Calorimetric evolution of the early pozzolanic reaction of natural zeolites
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- Snellings, R., Mertens, G. & Elsen, J. J Therm Anal Calorim (2010) 101: 97. doi:10.1007/s10973-009-0449-x
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The pozzolanic reaction between natural zeolite tuffs, portlandite and water was investigated over the course of the early reaction period up to 3 days. Isothermal conduction calorimetry experiments supplemented by TG/DTG and XRD analyses assisted in the elucidation of the sequence of reaction processes taking place. The calorimetry experiments clearly showed the dependence of the pozzolanic reaction rate and associated heat release on the fineness of the zeolite tuff. Higher external surface areas of pozzolans yield higher total heat releases. Also the exchangeable cation content of the zeolites influences the reaction rate. Release of exchangeable alkalis into solution promotes the pozzolanic reaction by raising the pH and zeolite solubility. The appearance of an exotherm after approximately 3 h of reaction is more conspicuous when alkali-rich zeolites are reacted. This exotherm is conceived to be related to a transformation or rupture of initially formed reaction products covering the zeolite grains. The formation of substantial amounts of ‘stable’ calcium silicate hydrate (C–S–H) and calcium aluminate hydrate (C–A–H) reaction took place after an induction period of more than 6 h. The openness of the zeolite framework affects the proneness of the zeolite to dissolution and thus its reactivity. Open framework zeolites such as chabazite were observed to react much more rapidly than closed framework zeolites such as analcime.