Influence of the availability of calcium on the hydration of tricalcium aluminate (C3A) in seawater-mixed C3A–gypsum system

Yamei Cai, Dongxing Xuan, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This work examined the effects of seawater (SW) on the hydration of tricalcium aluminate (C3A) in C3A–gypsum and C3A–gypsum–Ca(OH)2 systems through the characterization of hydration heat release, the evolution of aqueous phase composition and hydration products with the hydration time. It was found that SW increased the dissolution driving force of C3A and solubility of gypsum, which accelerated the early hydration of C3A and the formation of ettringite (AFt), leading to a higher hydration degree of C3A at an early age compared with the deionized (DI) water–mixed pastes. After gypsum depletion to form AFt, and in the absence of Ca(OH)2, the formation of chloroaluminate hydrates was slower due to the insufficient Ca resulted in an accumulation of Al in solution. This would delay the subsequent transformation of AFt to monosulfate (SO4–AFm) and the formation of hydrogarnet (C3AH6), which would further reduce the hydration degree of the C3A at the later ages. However, in the presence of Ca(OH)2, the hydration degree of C3A–gypsum–Ca(OH)2 at later ages was increased, which was similar to that of the corresponding DI pastes. This can be inferred that the amount of Ca available in SW-mixed cement concrete can affect the hydration degree of C3A in cement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5895-5910
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number9
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • C A
  • Ca(OH)
  • gypsum
  • hydration
  • seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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