Technical requirements for determining the size distribution of capillary pores in hardened cement paste by SEM image analysis are discussed. Results of such measurements are reported for a set of hardened cement pastes of w:c ratio 0.40 and 0.25, and of ages ranging from 1 to 28 days. Pore size distributions based on conventional mercury intrusion porisimetry are presented for the same pastes. Estimates of pore diameters by mercury intrusion are two orders of magnitude smaller than the sizes revealed by the image analysis. Diameters of air voids are even more drastically underestimated by mercury intrusion. Typical micrographs are provided to illustrate the physical reality of the image analysis results, and the technical reasons underlying the conventional misinterpretation of MIP results for hydrated cements are reviewed.
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Diamond, S., Leeman, M.E. Pore Size Distributions in Hardened Cement Paste by Sem Image Analysis. MRS Online Proceedings Library 370, 217–226 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-370-217