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The pore solution of blended cements: a review

This paper is the work of working group 3 of the RILEM Technical Committee on Hydration and Microstructure of Concrete with SCM (TC 238-SCM). The pore solution is an essential but often overlooked part of hydrated cements. The composition of the cement pore solution reflects the ongoing hydration processes and determines which solid phases are stable and may precipitate, and which phases are unstable and may dissolve. The study of the cement pore solution therefore contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms as well as of the kinetics of cement hydration. This paper reviews the impact of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) on the pore solution composition of blended cements. In a first part, the extraction and analysis methods of cement pore solutions are reviewed, leading to a set of practical guidelines and recommendations. In a second part, an extensive literature survey is used to document the effect of the addition of SCMs (blast furnace slag, fly ash and silica fume) on the pore solution. Finally, in a third part the collected literature data are compared to thermodynamic simulations. The performance and current limitations of thermodynamic modelling of blended cement hydration are demonstrated and discussed in view of future progress.

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