Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Using Thermodynamics to Simulate Cement Paste Microstructure Development



Jeffrey W. Bullard, Barbara Lothenbach, Paul E. Stutzman, Kenneth A. Snyder


We couple equilibrium thermodynamic calculations to a 3D microstructure model to simulate microstructure development during hydration of portland cement paste. The model uses a collection of growth/dissolution rules to approximate a range of growth modes at material interfaces, including growth by weighted mean curvature and growth by random aggregation. The growth rules are formulated for each type of material interface to capture the kinds of cement paste microstructure changes that are typically observed experimentally by microscopy. We make quantitative comparisons between simulated and observed microstructures for two ordinary portland cements, including bulk phase analyses and two-point correlation functions for various phases. The method is also shown to provide accurate predictions of the heats of hydration and 28 d mortar cube compressive strengths. The method is an attractive alternative to the cement hydration and microstructure model CEMHYD3D because it has a better thermodynamic and kinetic basis and because it is transferable to other cementitious material systems.
Proceedings Title
Concrete Modeling CONMOD'10: Proceedings of the International RILEM Symposium
Conference Dates
June 22-25, 2010
Conference Location
Conference Title


cement hydration, building technology, computer modeling


Bullard, J. , Lothenbach, B. , Stutzman, P. and Snyder, K. (2010), Using Thermodynamics to Simulate Cement Paste Microstructure Development, Concrete Modeling CONMOD'10: Proceedings of the International RILEM Symposium, Lausanne, -1 (Accessed June 25, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 22, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017