Materiales de Construcción, Vol 59, No 293 (2009)

Calcium aluminate cement hydration in a high alkalinity environment

C. Pastor
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (CSIC), Spain

A. Fernández-Jiménez
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (CSIC), Spain

T. Vázquez
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (CSIC), Spain

Á. Palomo
Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (CSIC), Spain


The present paper forms part of a broader research project that aims primarily to devise new cementitious products via the alkali activation of silico-aluminous materials. This work addresses the possibility of using small percentages of calcium aluminate cement (CAC) as a source of reactive aluminium. For this reason, a preliminary review was needed of the behaviour of CACs in highly alkaline media (2, 8 and 12M NaOH solutions). Two, 28- and 180-day mechanical strength was determined and the reaction products were characterized with XRD and FTIR. The water-hydrated CAC was used as the control.

The results obtained showed that CAC hardening took place much more slowly in highly alkaline media than in water. Nonetheless, the 28-day compressive strength obtained, ≥80MPa. As main reaction products, to ambient temperature and from the two days of cured, cubic aluminate C3AH6), and AH3 polymorphs are formed, instead of the usual hexagonal aluminatos (CAH10 and C2AH8) that are formed in the normal hydrate with water.


alkali activation; calcium aluminate cement (CAC); XRD; FTIR

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