Regulations on the hydration, morphology, and sulfate-attack resistivity of C3A with micro/nano-silica particles

Pengkun Hou*, Xinming Wang, Xiangming Zhou, Xin Cheng, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Micro- and nano-sized SiO2 particles, i.e., silica fume (SF) and nanosilica (NS) have been extensively documented of improving the durability of concrete, but rare investigation on their specific effects on tri-calcium aluminate (3CaO·Al2O3, C3A) reactions/performances in harsh environment has been reported. This work determined the effects of SF and NS on the hydration and hardening properties of C3A-gypsum systems, and their performances under sulfate attack. Results showed that NS and SF can effectively improve the sulfate attack resistivity of the C3A-gypsum systems due to the filling effect and the reduction of crystal size/morphology-induced expansion: a significant reduction of the aspect ratio (length/diameter) can be observed in the NS-added sample comparing the pure C3A-gypsum system. Comparatively, SF can hardly change the morphology of ettringite (AFt), which could be due to that its bigger particle size cannot effectively block the ion migration. It is expected that these findings could contribute to the utilization of fine/ultra-fine SCMs in cementitious materials systems, especially those with high amount of aluminate phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126388
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - Mar 21 2022


  • CA
  • Nanosilica
  • Silica fume
  • Sulfate attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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