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Paving the Way for a More Sustainable Concrete Infrastructure: A Vision for Developing a Comprehensive Description of Cement Hydration Kinetics



Joseph J. Biernacki, Jeffrey W. Bullard, Constantiner Constantiner, Richard Meininger, Maria Juenger, Josephine H. Cheung, William Hansen, R. D. Hooton, Andreas Luttge, Jeffrey J. Thomas


Hydration of portland cement is the cornerstone of the process responsible for microstructure development in concrete and ultimately controls the kinetics of all materials properties that make concrete such a useful product for society (properties such as setting, strength, permeability, and durability). A comprehensive understanding of, and model for, cement hydration will enable new applications that require better control of concrete properties. Recent advances both in experimental and in computational technology are providing unprecedented insights into the nature of cement hydration. While a comprehensive theory is not yet available, recent progress suggests that what were once thought to be the most elusive hurdles are now within reach. A number of simulation platforms are now available, along with emerging modeling strategies that could provide multi-scale linkages for the development of engineering models and computational research tools. Similarly, new experimental strategies are yet to be fully exploited, although some are now positioned to offer real insights and breakthroughs. Ultimately, a more coordinated effort must be assembled that will enable research teams to focus on specific tasks identified within a Roadmap for developing a comprehensive description of cement hydration kinetics, rather than individual efforts being spent on isolated tasks. The objective of this document is to establish an outline for the efficient development of data and related models that will enable predictive approaches for concrete materials use and new materials realization. This new path is needed for the continued technical leadership of the U.S. in the development and maintenance of a sustainable civil infrastructure.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1138
Report Number


cement hydration kinetics, research roadmap


Biernacki, J. , Bullard, J. , Constantiner, C. , Meininger, R. , Juenger, M. , Cheung, J. , Hansen, W. , Hooton, R. , Luttge, A. and Thomas, J. (2013), Paving the Way for a More Sustainable Concrete Infrastructure: A Vision for Developing a Comprehensive Description of Cement Hydration Kinetics, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created March 27, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021