Investigation on early-age hydration, mechanical properties and microstructure of seawater sea sand cement mortar

Peiran Li, Wengui Li, Tao Yu, Fulin Qu, Vivian W.Y. Tam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Using seawater for concrete manufacturing promisingly provides significant economical and environmental benefits. In this study, ordinary Portland cement (OPC) hydration in distilled water and seawater and the corresponding evolution of solid phases was investigated by heat evolution, hydrated phase, hydration kinetics, and microstructure characterization. The results show that seawater can promote the early hydration of tricalcium silicate (C3S) during the hydration acceleration period. The hydrated phase assemblage was affected by the dissolved ions in seawater. Friedel's salt was detected as a specific hydration phase in seawater, which was formed by chemical combination between the aluminate ferrite monosulfate (AFm) phase and chloride ions. The monocarboaluminate can be converted into a stable phase as Friedel's salt in the seawater, due to the reaction with chloride ions. Furthermore, the ettringite becomes more stable when coexists with Friedel's salt than that with monocarboaluminate, and thus ettringite formed in seawater remains 67% higher than that formed in distilled water at the later curing age. Moreover, additional unhydrated cement and less amorphous calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) were formed in seawater, which might be responsible for the slightly lower compressive strength of cement mortar prepared by seawater and sea sand. A modeled evolution of the solid phase and pore solution have been established, which agrees well with the characteristics of the dissolution of mineral phase, precipitation of hydration products and changes of pore solution. The related results can provide an insight into the applications of seawater and sea sand concrete for marine infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118776
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020


  • Chloride ion
  • Early-age hydration
  • Mechanical strength
  • Microstructure
  • Seawater and sea sand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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