Hydrothermally treated cement-based building materials. Past, present,
Department of Chemistry, Materials and Forensic Science,
Faculty of Science, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Abstract: Hydrothermally cured or autoclaved cement-based building
products have provided many challenges to researchers, manufacturers,
and users since their inception nearly 100 years ago. The advantages,
including the development of high strength within a few hours and a
reduction of drying shrinkage, of the hydrothermal curing process have
resulted in a variety of building products; inevitably, the technology
of their production has undergone many stages of refinement. With the
advent of nonconventional starting materials for the production of modern
cements, and the push to utilize renewable resources to form blended
cements, the chemical and physical make-up of hydrothermally cured building
materials have changed considerably in recent years and will continue
to change. It is, therefore, important to understand the chemical reactions
taking place in an autoclave, and the consequent phase developments,
if building materials produced by this process continue to be successful
in the long term. A wide range of analytical techniques exists for characterizing
the phase development in cement-based materials. The purpose of this
paper is to illustrate the strength of thermal methods, especially when
used in combination with other analytical techniques, in the understanding
of hydrothermal reactions.
* Lecture presented at the 5th Conference on Solid
State Chemistry (SSC 2002), Bratislava, Slovakia, 7-12 July 2002. Other
presentations are published in this issue, pp.
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