Cement and Concrete Research vol:40 issue:12 pages:1704-1713
The in situ early-age hydration and pozzolanic reaction in cements blended with natural zeolites were investigated by time-resolved synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction with Rietveld quantitative phase analysis. Chabazite and Na-, K-, and Ca-exchanged clinoptilolite materials were mixed with Portland cement in a 3:7 weight ratio and hydrated in situ at 40 °C.
The evolution of phase contents showed that the addition of natural zeolites accelerates the onset of C3S hydration and precipitation of CH and AFt. Kinetic analysis of the consumption of C3S indicates that the enveloping C–S–H layer is thinner and/or less dense in the presence of alkali-exchanged clinoptilolite pozzolans. The zeolite pozzolanic activity is interpreted to depend on the zeolite exchangeable cation content and on the crystallinity. The addition of natural zeolites alters the structural evolution of the C–S–H product. Longer silicate chains and a lower C/S ratio are deduced from the evolution of the C–S–H b-cell parameter.