The development of an improved method of trimethylsilylation  made possible the assessment of different polysilicate fractions in hydrated cement pastes, as a means of structural characterization. Several laboratories have presented various gas-liquid chromatographic data on the polysilicate derivatives of C-S-H [2–5]. Identification of the different molecular weight fractions has been made, in most laboratories, by matching the gasliquid chromatographic peaks with the gel permeation chromatographic peaks. The success of this matching process is always dependent on type of instruments, length of columns and temperature range.
In the present investigation, a mass spectrometer, in direct contact with the gas-liquid chromatograph, was used to identify the molecular weight of each of the fractions separated from the chromatograph. The technique was applied to determine the molecular weights and abundances of different polysilicate species in hydrated fly ash pastes.