Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 October 2014
Building materials are very complex samples of worldwide importance; hence quantitative knowledge of their mineralogical composition is necessary to predict performances. Rietveld quantitative phase analysis (RQPA) allows a direct measurement of the crystalline phase contents of cements. We highlight in this paper the use of laboratory X-ray powder diffraction (LXRPD) employing high-energy radiation, molybdenum (Mo), for attaining the RQPA of cements. Firstly, we evaluate the accuracy of RQPA employing a commercial calcium sulfoaluminate clinker with gypsum. In addition to MoKα 1 and MoKα 1,2 radiations, Cu and synchrotron patterns are also analyzed for the sake of comparison. Secondly, the assessment of the accuracy of RQPA results obtained using different radiations (synchrotron, Mo, and Cu) and geometries (reflection and transmission) is performed by analyzing two well-known commercial samples. As expected, for LXRPD data, accuracy in the RQPA results improves as the irradiated volume increases. Finally, three very complex aged hydrated cements have been analyzed using MoKα1-LXRPD and Synchrotron-XRPD. The main overall outcome of this work is the benefit for RQPA of using strictly monochromatic MoKα 1 radiation. Best laboratory results arise from MoKα 1 data as the effective tested volume is much increased but peak overlapping is not swelled.
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