Comparative study of hydration of monocalcium aluminate and quaternary phase and the amorphous AH3 phase in their hydrates


Monocalcium aluminate (CaAl2O4, CA) and quaternary (Q) phase (Ca20Al26Mg3Si3O68) are the two principal hydraulic phases in calcium aluminate cement. Their strength development has been reported. However, little information about the difference of their hydration and hydrates composition is available. For this reason, the hydration process of CA and Q phase was investigated and compared. Results of conductometry indicate that the rate of Q phase hydrates precipitation is much slower than that CA latter. Hydrates identification demonstrates that the most prominent difference between the hydrates for these two compounds is the amorphous AH3 content. The quantity of amorphous AH3 (A=Al2O3, H=H2O) in Q phase hydrates is evidently less than that of CA, as confirmed by FTIR, TG and BSE. Even-distributed amorphous AH3 fills in the crystalline skeleton of calcium aluminate hydrates (C–A–H) enhancing the compactness of CA paste. Hence, CA exhibits a higher 72-day compressive strength than Q phase.

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This study was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China (Nos. 2016YFB0303501 and 2017YFB0310001) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51772226, 51802238 and 51272193).

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Correspondence to Yongjia He.

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Ding, W., He, Y., Lu, L. et al. Comparative study of hydration of monocalcium aluminate and quaternary phase and the amorphous AH3 phase in their hydrates. J Therm Anal Calorim 141, 707–716 (2020).

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  • Monocalcium aluminate
  • Q phase
  • Hydration
  • Amorphous AH3
  • Compressive strength