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Thermodynamics have been successfully applied to the field of cement hydration science to predict the formation of phase assemblages and pore solution chemistry. For any cement hydration model to be accepted, it must provide accurate forecasts of which solids may form and how the cement will dissolve over time. This is particularly important for the ongoing development of new sustainable cements and understanding their hydration behaviour in service. HYDCEM is a cement hydration model that simulates volumetric changes of cement and gypsum dissolution and product growth that, up to now, assumed which solids would form. In order to improve its usefulness, the PHREEQC geochemical software has been coupled with HYDCEM to provide more sophisticated and flexible predictions of which phases may form under equilibrium conditions and generate their change in volume over time for curing temperatures between 5-45°C, variable w/c ratio and cement oxide compositions. To incorporate the coupling of PHREEQC into the model, HYDCEM was re-written in the C# programming language (previously coded in MATLAB) which also improved overall performance and functionality. This paper presents analysis of a cement system with a w/c ratio of 0.5 at a curing temperature of 20°C and provides predictions of the phase assemblage, phase and product changes in volume and heat evolution over a 1,000-day period in one hour time-steps.
Holmes, N., Kelliher, D. & Tyrer, M. (2020). Thermodynamic cement hydration modelling using HYDCEM. CERI: Civil Engineering Research in Ireland (CERI) 2020, 27th. August, online.