Materials and Structures

, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 3675–3686 | Cite as

Physical characterization methods for supplementary cementitious materials

  • Eleni C. Arvaniti
  • Maria C. G. Juenger
  • Susan A. Bernal
  • Josée Duchesne
  • Luc Courard
  • Sophie Leroy
  • John L. Provis
  • Agnieszka Klemm
  • Nele De Belie
Original Article


The main supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) that are used today are industrial by-products. In most cases the quality of these materials cannot be controlled during their production, resulting in materials with varied characteristics. The adequate physical characterization of SCMs is important to better predict their performance and optimize their use in concretes production. There are standardized methods used to determine the particle characteristics for Portland cements that are usually adopted to characterize SCMs; however, these methods may not be as accurate when applied to SCMs. This paper is an overview of the techniques that are currently used for the determination of the density, particle size distribution, surface area and shape of SCMs. The main principles of each method are presented. The limitations that occur for the SCMs measurements are also discussed. This paper is an output from the work of the RILEM Technical Committee on Hydration and Microstructure of Concrete with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (TC-238-SCM).


Supplementary cementitious materials Particle size measurement Laser diffraction Blaine BET Image analysis 


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni C. Arvaniti
    • 1
  • Maria C. G. Juenger
    • 2
  • Susan A. Bernal
    • 3
  • Josée Duchesne
    • 4
  • Luc Courard
    • 5
  • Sophie Leroy
    • 5
  • John L. Provis
    • 3
  • Agnieszka Klemm
    • 6
  • Nele De Belie
    • 1
  1. 1.Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  4. 4.Département de géologie et de génie géologiqueUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.GeMMe Research Group, ArGEnCo DepartmentUniversity of LiegeLiegeBelgium
  6. 6.Department of Construction and Surveying/School of Engineering and Built EnvironmentGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK

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