In situ dynamic SEM imaging of hydration of cement using WETSEM technology
This paper presents an in situ study of the hydration of cement pastes in the SEM, made possible by the development of a radical new technology for the investigation of wet samples: the QX capsule from QuantomiX, based on the WETSEM technology, consists of an electron transparent but water and air tight membrane, which allows the examination of cement/water suspensions without any further preparation. In this way the evolution of hydration can be followed dynamically - in the same sample - over time. Results obtained with this technique are described. In addition to plain water/cement pastes the impact of additives on the early formation of phases has been studied. The strengths and limitations of this technology were identified and discussed.