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The application of transmission electron microscope techniques to the study of cement hydration can reveal the nature of the fine pore structure present in dried cement pastes. Studies of OPC cement pastes and OPC/fly ash or blast-furnace slag blends are presented and compared. Preliminary results of a technique which allows effective imaging of the porosity which is important in permeation, and which is involved in mercury porosimetry measurements, are presented.
Ground granulated blast-furnace slag (ggbfs) /Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) blends are possible materials for use in intermediate and low-level radioactive waste repositories. The microstructural development in neat OPC is described. The effect of increasing the loading of ggbfs on the composition and microstructure of the hardened paste has been examined by a number of techniques, including transmission electron microscopy. The implications for performance are discussed. A ggbfs/OPC 9:1 blend which had been exposed, after normal hydration to aqueous leaching was also examined. Marked changes in the microstructure and composition were observed.
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