Measurement of the chemical composition, phase abundance, and microstructure of cementitious materials is an increasingly important prerequisite for mixture design, quality control, and troubleshooting of concrete materials. This workshop will provide practical information and guidance on performing chemical and phase analyses of portland cement and portland cement clinker materials, including hands-on practice with analyzing real data. The workshop will address several complementary methods but will focus especially on quantitative X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and quantitative scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for characterizing unhydrated materials.
- Quantitative X-ray Powder Diffraction (QXRD): Theoretical basis, instrumentation, specimen preparation, measurement artifacts and sources of error, internal and external standards, interpretation, and detection limits.
- Quantitative Scanning Electron Microscopy (QSEM): Theoretical basis, instrumentation, backscattered electron imaging, X-ray microprobe analysis, measurement artifacts and sources of error, image analysis, phase segmentation, advantages and disadvantages compared to QXRD, and microstructure characterization.
- Practicums on QXRD and QSEM: Participants will receive a complete set of cement-related raw material data sets obtained on portland cement powders, and will be given step-by-step guidance on analyzing the data to quantify the chemical composition and phase abundance using freely available software in the public domain.
- Principles and Applications of
- X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF)
- Surface topographical analysis
- Solution composition analysis
Who Should Attend
The workshop assumes a general familiarity with concrete materials, but no specialized knowledge of materials characterization is required. Engineers, research scientists, and technicians responsible for cementitious materials characterization, quality control, or testing should find this workshop beneficial for their continuing education and professional development.
Hardware and Software Requirements
To participate in the practicums, each participant should bring a laptop computer (Windows or Mac) with the following free public domain software packages and data files downloaded and installed prior to the workshop:
- ImageJ: download at http://imagej.nih.gov/ij/download.html (link is external)
- Thresholded Blur plugin for ImageJ: download at http://imagejdocu.tudor.lu/doku.php?id=plugin:filter:thresholded_blur:start (link is external)
- Color segmentation plugin for ImageJ: download at http://bigwww.epfl.ch/sage/soft/colorsegmentation/ (link is external)
- MultiSpec©: download at https://engineering.purdue.edu/~biehl/MultiSpec/ (link is external)
- Profex: download at http://profex.doebelin.org/ (link is external)
- MicroChar: download at https://www.nist.gov/services-resources/software/microchar/
- XRD instrument and crystal structure data files: Workshop-XRD-2018.zip
- SEM image data: Workshop-SEM-2018.zip
Brief instructions are provided below for downloading and installing the software. Please consult your system administrator about permissions or other security settings that may prevent you from successfully installing the software.
Other software and material data sets may be provided at the workshop.