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An Argument for Using Coarse Cements in High-Performance Concretes



Dale P. Bentz, C J. Hacker


The NIST cement hydration microstructural model and experimental studies are used to investigate the effects of particle size distribution and water-to-cement ratio on hydration kinetics. Cement hydration is limited by the availability of water at the cement particle surfaces. Because a reaction layer forms around each cement particle during hydration, this availability is controlled by two factors: the overall water-to-cement ratio and the particle size distribution of the cement. As the water-to-cement ratio is decreased, the effects of particle size distribution on ultimate degree of hydration become less significant. Thus, in the new generation high-performance concretes, more coarsely ground cements may provide good performance, resulting in substantial energy savings due to a reduction in grinding time. This implies that cement fineness should be optimized based on the mixture proportions of the concrete in which it will be used.
Cement and Concrete Research
No. 4


building technology, high-performance concrete, hydration, microstructure, modelling, particle size distribution


Bentz, D. and Hacker, C. (1999), An Argument for Using Coarse Cements in High-Performance Concretes, Cement and Concrete Research, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created April 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017