Dynamics of nano-confined water in Portland cement - comparison with synthetic C-S-H gel and other silicate materials
Journal article, 2017
The dynamics of water confined in cement materials is still a matter of debate in spite of the fact that water has a major influence on properties such as durability and performance. In this study, we have investigated the dynamics of water confined in Portland cement (OPC) at different curing ages (3 weeks and 4 years after preparation) and at three water-to-cement ratios (w/c, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5). Using broadband dielectric spectroscopy, we distinguish four different dynamics due to water molecules confined in the pores of different sizes of cements. Here we show how water dynamics is modified by the evolution in the microstructure (maturity) and the w/c ratio. The fastest dynamics (processes 1 and 2, representing very local water dynamics) are independent of water content and the degree of maturity whereas the slowest dynamics (processes 3 and 4) are dependent on the microstructure developed during curing. Additionally, we analyze the differences regarding the water dynamics when confined in synthetic C-S-H gel and in the C-S-H of Portland cement.