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Scanning Electron Microscopy Imaging of Hydraulic Cement Microstructure



Paul E. Stutzman


Microscopy of portland cement clinker and cementitous materials dates to the first petrographic microscope in the late 19th century. The development of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) with x-ray microanalysis allows the petrographer to study cements, measuring bulk phase abundance and surface areas of the constituent phases, as well as bulk chemistry of constituent phases. These data are being applied in developing better relationships between the cement material properties and performance properties and are utilized as starting materials in the development of a cement hydration simulation model being developed at NIST. Direct imaging of hydraulic cements by electron microscopy yields a more accurate and complete picture of both bulk and surface phase compositions, which should provide new insights into early-age hydration characteristics, cement chemical admixture interactions, and aid in engineering new hydraulic cements. The ability to better describe cement compositional and textural characteristics promises to make cements a more predictable material.
Cement and Concrete Composites
No. 8


cement, concrete, microstructure, scanning electron microscopy


Stutzman, P. (2004), Scanning Electron Microscopy Imaging of Hydraulic Cement Microstructure, Cement and Concrete Composites, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017