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Performance Testing of Hydraulic Cements: Measuring Sulfate Resistance



Chiara F. Ferraris, Paul E. Stutzman, Max A. Peltz


The sulfate resistance of cements used in the construction industry is traditionally assessed by measuring the expansion of a prism of 280 mm (11inch) length and 25 mm (1 inch) square cross section immersed in a sodium sulfate solution for at least one year. The duration of the experiment limits this test from being used as a performance-based determination of innovative mixtures of cementitious materials. In response to the need for a more rapid test protocol, NIST has developed a new test method that measures the expansion of smaller bars (10 mm x 10 mm x 60 mm) made with neat cement paste. With these bars, similar expansion is achieved in less than 3 months, reducing the test duration by a factor of at least 4. This accelerated test method provides more rapid results consistent with the traditional test procedure, allowing for a shorter decision time and the screening of more materials.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


expansion measurements, degradation, hydraulic cement, sulfate attack, sulfate resistance.


Ferraris, C. , Stutzman, P. and Peltz, M. (2018), Performance Testing of Hydraulic Cements: Measuring Sulfate Resistance, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created May 25, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018