The existence of amorphous phase in Portland cements: Physical factors affecting Rietveld quantitative phase analysis
Rietveld quantitative phase analysis has become a widespread tool for the characterization of Portland cement, both for research and production control purposes. One of the major remaining points of debate is whether Portland cements contain amorphous content or not. This paper presents detailed analyses of the amorphous phase contents in a set of commercial Portland cements, clinker, synthetic alite and limestone by Rietveld refinement of X-ray powder diffraction measurements using both external and internal standard methods. A systematic study showed that the sample preparation and comminution procedure is closely linked to the calculated amorphous contents. Particle size reduction by wet-grinding lowered the calculated amorphous contents to insignificant quantities for all materials studied. No amorphous content was identified in the final analysis of the Portland cements under investigation. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.