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Analysis of CCRL Portland Cement Proficiency Samples Number 151 and Number 152 Using the Virtual Cement and Concrete



Jeffrey W. Bullard, Paul E. Stutzman


This report provides experimental and computer modeling results for Portland Cement Proficiency Samples 151 and 152 issued by the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory at NIST in January of 2004. The purposes of this report are to characterize these cements via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and to document the ability of the Virtual Cement and Concrete Testing Laboratory (VCCTL) software to predict the hydration kinetics, heat of hydration, and mortar strength development of Portland cements evaluated in the CCRL proficiency sample program. The general procedure to evaluate a new cement is as follows: 1) two-dimensional SEM backscattered electron and X-ray microanalysis images of the cement of interest are obtained, along with a measured particle size distribution (PSD); 2) based on analysis of these images and the measured PSD, three-dimensional cement paste microstructures of various water-to-cement ratios are created and hydrated using VCCTL, and 3) the model predictions for degree of hydration under saturated conditions, heat of hydration (ASTM C186), setting time (ASTM C191), and strength development of mortar cubes (ASTM C109) are compared to experimental measurements either performed at NIST or at the participating CCRL proficiency sample evaluation laboratories. For cement 152, generally good agreement is observed between the model predictions and the experimental data are much larger, and possible reasons for these discrepancies are considered.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7260
Report Number


building technology, cement, computer modeling, heat of hydration, hydration kinetics, particle size distribution, SEM imaging, strength development


Bullard, J. and Stutzman, P. (2005), Analysis of CCRL Portland Cement Proficiency Samples Number 151 and Number 152 Using the Virtual Cement and Concrete, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created September 15, 2005, Updated November 10, 2018