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Infrared analysis has developed into a useful and reliable method for qualitative and quantitative investigations of cements, clinkers and their hydration products. Thus it is now possible to identify the hydrates that contribute to the setting of cements with fair certainty. Difficulties can arise in the preparation of samples for the infrared, and also because cement hydration leads to a complex mixture of different hydrates which change with time: the similarity of their spectra makes it difficult to distinguish the components. On the other hand it is possible to analyse quantitatively a Portland-cement clinker, for both principal phases and gypsum content, by infrared spectroscopy, the calculations being based on a set of linear simultaneous equations. Difficulties do arise from varying contents of impurities in some clinker phases, and these sometimes require a new calibration taking account of variations in the components present in the raw mix.

In this chapter, the possibilities and limitations of infrared spectroscopy as a tool for identification and quantitative analyses of cements and their hardening products is examined. We shall not discuss problems associated with the assignment of absorption bands and their symmetry classification, but we will sketch the contribution made by IR spectroscopy to our understanding of the structure of the hydrated calcium silicates.

As examples of the possibility of identifying technical cements from their infrared spectra, the spectra of some silicate cements are shown in Fig. 19. 1, and various aluminous cements in Fig. 19.2. It will be seen that the IR-absorption of the

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