Belite appearance in clinkers

Published 11 April 2019

Tagged Under: cement chemistry belite 

This month Arthur Harrisson looks at the second-most abundant constituent of cement – belite – and its appearance in clinkers.

Figure 1: Type I belite with multiple sets of parallel laminations. The blue crystals are alite

Of the four main constituents of cement clinker, the tricalcium silicate known as alite is the most abundant and is the one that is conventionally maximised to react with water to produce calcium silicate hydrate, the material required to achieve strength in a cement-based product. The second-most abundant is belite, another calcium silicate which also produces calcium silicate hydrate when mixed with water.

In last month’s ICR1 the possibility of reversing this order to produce cement with lower alite contents was mentioned.

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