Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 962–969 | Cite as

Investigation of early growth of calcium hydroxide crystals in cement solution by soft X-ray transmission microscopy

  • V. S. HarutyunyanEmail author
  • A. P. Kirchheim
  • P. J. M. Monteiro
  • A. P. Aivazyan
  • P. Fischer


The early growth of calcium hydroxide (CH) crystals in cement solution is investigated by soft X-ray transmission microscopy imaging. A quantitative analysis of the successively recorded images of the hydration process enabled to evaluate the supersaturation ratio of solution, growth rates, both kinetic and diffusion coefficients, and concentrations of solute molecules at \( \{ 10\overline{1} 0\} \) and {0001} facets of the CH crystals. It is concluded that the difference in obtained concentrations of solute molecules at these facets may be associated with solubility anisotropy of crystallographic facets of the CH. The interfacial energy of the CH nuclei in aqueous solution is evaluated to be 0.114 J/m2 that by an order of magnitude is smaller than the average free surface energy of this phase. The proposed theoretical approach is universal and, in potential, may be applied to any precipitating phase in a supersaturated solution.


Portland Cement Calcium Hydroxide Ettringite Hydration Product Solute Molecule 



Authors would like to express their gratitude to Dr. D.A. Silva and Dr. K. Benzarti for valuable discussions. The research described in this publication was made possible in part by Award No. ARP2-2610-YE-04 of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (CRDF). The operations of the ALS are supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05-CH11231.


  1. 1.
    Gartner EM, Kurtis KE, Monteiro PJM (2000) Cement Concrete Res 30:817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Juenger MCG, Lamour VHR, Monteiro PJM, Gartner EM, Denbeaux GP (2003) J Mater Sci Lett 22:1335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kurtis KE, Monteiro PJM, Brown JT, Meyer-Ilse W (1998) Cement Concrete Res 28:411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brunauer S, Kantro DL, Weise CH (1956) Can J Chem 34:729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rodriguez-Navarro C, Hansen E, Ginell WS (1998) J Am Ceram Soc 81:3032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyer JP, Berger RL (1980) J Am Ceram Soc 63:575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Teramoto H, Koie S (1976) J Am Ceram Soc 59:522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mehta PK (1973) Cement Concrete Res 3:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sawada K (1997) Pure Appl Chem 69:921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    McCaulay JW, Roy R (1974) Am Mineral 59:947Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kralj D, Brecevic L, Nielsen AE (1990) J Cryst Growth 104:793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Perruchot C, Chehimi MM, Vaulay MJ, Benzarti K (2006) Cement Concrete Res 36:305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Juenger MCG, Monteiro PJM, Gartner EM, Denbeaux GP (2005) Cement Concrete Res 35:19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kirchheim AP, Monteiro PJM, Fisher P, Dal Molin DC Cement Concrete Res (to be published)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vainshtain BK (1980) Modern crystallography vol 3: Formation of crystals. Nauka, MoskowGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gartner EM, Tang FJ, Weiss SJ (1985) J Am Ceram Soc 68:667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Parker RL (1970) Crystal growth mechanisms: energetics, kinetics and transport, solid state physics, vol 25. Academic Press, New York and LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Khamskii AV (1967) Crystallization in solutions. Nauka, Leningrad, p 49Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kashchiev D, van Rosmalen GM (2003) Cryst Res Technol 38:555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Laudise RA (1970) The growth of single crystals. Prentice-Hall, New JersyGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Harutyunyan VS, Kirchheim AP, Monteiro PJM, Aivazyan AP, Fischer P J Am Ceram Soc (to be published)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. S. Harutyunyan
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. P. Kirchheim
    • 2
  • P. J. M. Monteiro
    • 2
  • A. P. Aivazyan
    • 1
  • P. Fischer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Solid State PhysicsYerevan State UniversityYerevanArmenia
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Center for X-ray OpticsLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations