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7 March 2014 Terahertz spectroscopy of concrete for evaluating the critical hydration level
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Concrete, a mixture of cement, coarse aggregate, sand and filler material (if any), is widely used in the construction industry. Cement, mainly composed of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) and Dicalcium Silicate (C2S) reacts readily with water, a process known as hydration. The hydration process forms a solid material known as hardened cement paste which is mainly composed of Calcium Silicate Hydrate (C-S-H), Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. To quantify the critical hydration level, an accurate and fast technique is highly desired. However, in conventional XRD technique, the peaks of the constituents of anhydrated and hydrated cement cannot be resolved properly, where as Mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy has low penetration depth and hence cannot be used to determine the hydration level of thicker concrete samples easily. Further, MIR spectroscopy cannot be used to effectively track the formation of Calcium Hydroxide, a key by-product during the hydration process. This paper describes a promising approach to quantify the hydration dynamics of cement using Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. This technique has been employed to track the time dependent reaction mechanism of the key constituents of cement that react with water and form the products in the hydrated cement, viz., C-S-H, Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. This study helps in providing an improved understanding on the hydration kinetics of cement and also to optimise the physio-mechanical characteristics of concrete.
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Jyotirmayee Dash, Shaumik Ray, Kathirvel Nallappan, Saptarshi Sasmal, and Bala Pesala "Terahertz spectroscopy of concrete for evaluating the critical hydration level", Proc. SPIE 8985, Terahertz, RF, Millimeter, and Submillimeter-Wave Technology and Applications VII, 89850Q (7 March 2014);

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