Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 51, Issue 12, pp 6062–6074 | Cite as

The influence of slightly and highly soluble carbonate salts on phase relations in hydrated calcium aluminate cements

  • Guillermo Puerta-Falla
  • Magdalena Balonis
  • Gwenn Le Saout
  • Aditya Kumar
  • Melanie Rivera
  • Gabriel Falzone
  • Narayanan Neithalath
  • Gaurav SantEmail author
Original Paper


The addition of slightly (CaCO3) and highly soluble (Na2CO3) carbonate salts is expected to favor the formation of carboaluminate phases in hydrated calcium aluminate cements (CACs). A multi-method approach including X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, and thermodynamic calculations is applied to highlight that the “conversion phenomena” in CACs cannot be mitigated by the formation of carboaluminate phases (monocarboaluminate: Mc and hemicarboaluminate: Hc) which are anticipated to form following the addition of carbonate salts. Here, carboaluminate phase formation is shown to depend on three factors: (1) water availability, (2) carbonate content of the salts, and their ability to mobilize CO3 2− species in solution, and (3) lime content associated with the carbonate salt. The latter two factors are linked to the composition and solubility of the carbonate agent. It is concluded that limestone (CaCO3), despite being a source of calcium and carbonate species, contributes only slightly to carboaluminate phase formation due to its low solubility and slow dissolution rate. Soluble carbonate salts (Na2CO3) fail to boost carboaluminate phase formation as the availability of Ca2+ ions and water are limiting. Detailed thermodynamic calculations are used to elucidate conditions that affect the formation of carboaluminate phases.


CaCO3 Ordinary Portland Cement Phase Assemblage Gehlenite Calcium Aluminate Cement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the financial support for this research provisioned by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and National Science Foundation (CMMI: 1066583). The authors also acknowledge the provision of materials by OMYA A.G. and Kerneos Aluminate Technologies. The contents of this paper reflect the views and opinions of the authors who are responsible for the accuracy of the datasets presented herein. This research was conducted in the Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials (LC2) and Molecular Instrumentation Center (MIC) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As such, the authors gratefully acknowledge support that has made these laboratories and their operations possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Puerta-Falla
    • 1
  • Magdalena Balonis
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gwenn Le Saout
    • 4
  • Aditya Kumar
    • 1
  • Melanie Rivera
    • 1
  • Gabriel Falzone
    • 1
  • Narayanan Neithalath
    • 5
  • Gaurav Sant
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Technology AdvancementUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Centre des Matériaux de l’École des Mines d’Alès (C2MA)École des mines d’AlèsAlèsFrance
  5. 5.School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SSBE)Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  6. 6.California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI)University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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