Impact of hydration stoppage on quantification of the GGBS content in ternary limestone cements using the PONKCS method


Most supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) are predominantly poorly-crystalline or amorphous. Their reactivity is routinely evaluated through SEM image analysis (SEM/IA), which is a laborious and resource intensive technique. Quantitative X-ray diffraction (QXRD) provides an alternative, facilitating simultaneous evaluation of reaction kinetics and phase assemblages. However, QXRD requires relevant model structures, which are lacking for amorphous phases. In this study, we use the Phases of No Known Crystal Structures (PONKCS) method to model and calibrate ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and assess robustness in quantifying the GGBS content in synthetic and hydrated ternary blended CEM I-GGBS-limestone cements. Implications of sample preparation, in particular hydration stopping methods on the quantification was measured via the external standard method. Subsequently, the results are compared with SEM/IA calculations, based on backscattered images and magnesium maps. Robustness of the calibrated PONKCS phase is demonstrate with and without hydration stopping. However, X-ray absorption by the cements must be accounted in the attenuation co-efficient calculation. Freeze-drying destroyed water-rich phase assemblages and led to overestimation of the calibrated GGBS phase contents.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Civil Engineering
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ternary limestone cement,PONKCS / QXRD,hydration stopping,phase assemblages
Publication ISSN: 1359-5997
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 07:27
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2023 12:41
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Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 527-023-02198-6 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-09
Published Online Date: 2023-07-12
Accepted Date: 2023-04-16
Authors: Adu-Amankwah, Samuel (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0568-2093)
Zajac, Maciej
Hou, Pengkun
Black, Leon



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Registered users only


Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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