Modifications induced by adding natural zeolitic pozzolans to cement paste
Keywords:cement, pozzolans, zeolites, hydration, CSH gel
Volcanic pozzolans owe their pozzolanic activity chiefly to the presence of vitreous or zeolitic material rich in SiO2, and Al20y compounds that react with the portlandite produced during cement hydration to generate amorphous gels with cementitious properties. The present study analyzes the modifications taking place in the composition, structure and micro structure of the hydra ted cement paste when 20% of the cement by weight is replaced by two finely ground zeolitic rocks from Cuban deposits. Hydrated cement pastes were prepared with a CEM I35 cement, as well as with mixes of the cement and two Cuban zeolitic rocks (20% by weight). After eight months of hydration, the pastes were characterized -mineralogically, chemically and microstructurally- with XRD, FTIR, 29Si and 27Al MAS NMR, DTA/TG, back scattered electron microscopy and mercury porosimetry techniques. The replacement of 20% by weight of the cement with two finely ground zeolitic rocks significantly modified the composition, structure, quantity and microstructure of the hydrated cement paste reaction product. The C-S-H gel formed in these pastes differed in quantity, which was larger, and composition from the original cement gel. Moreover, the gel formed in addition-free cement had a higher Ca and a lower Al content and shorter silicate chains than the C-S-H product formed in the pastes made with zeolitic rocks. Finally, the pastes with pozzolan additions had fewer and smaller pores.
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