Adverse reactions between specific aggregate particles and the pore fluids in cement pastes have been widely reported, and have been regarded as responsible for the failure of the structures into which the resulting concrete had been emplaced. The reactivity of aggregates containing various forms of silica has been well understood but similar reactions, apparently taking place between aggregates of limestone, dolostone and ‘dedolomites’, although widely recognized, remain controversial. Here we review the evidence bearing on the latter reactions and suggest a new view of their implications.

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