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CEMENT and CONCRETERESEARCH. Vol. 6, pp. 113-128, 1976. Pergamon Press, Inc.

Printed in the United States.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION AND COMPRESSIVE


STRENGTH IN PORTLAND C~LENT

G. Frigione and S. Marra


Research Laboratory Cementir
Cementerie del Tirreno, Naples, Italy

(Communicated by R. Kondo)
(Rec. Sept. 22, 1975; in final form Oct. 13, 1975)

ABSTRACT
We have studied the relations between particle size dis-
tribution at equal specific surface area a n d compressive
strength in Portland cement. Starting from a series of
hypotheses, we have demonstrated that the volume of hy-
drated p r o d u c t , therefore the mechanical stTength ,
increases when t h e g r k n u l o m e t r i c range decreases.
The e x p e r i m e n t a l data have demonstTated that the depth
of hydration d e p e n d s m o s t l y on t h e p a r t i c l e size, con-
trary to our hypothesis. Nevertheless, we h a v e p r o v e d
that when with the actual plants of grinding it is
possible to minimize the width of granulometric range,
the mechanical strength of Portland cements both in
Riles mortar and in concrete can be maximized.

Nous avons fait une recherche pour ~clairer les rela-


tions entre la distTibutlon granulom~trique des ciments
portlande avec egale surface sp~cifique et la r~sistan-
ce m~canique k compression. Sur la base de beaocoup des
hypoth~se, nous avons d~montr~e que le volume du produit
hydrate, par cons6quent les r~sistanoes m~caniques, aug-
ments d~croiesant le spectre granulom~trique. Les mesu-
res exp~rimentalles ont montr~ que, au contTaire de nos
hypotheses, la profondeur de hydratation est due forte-
sent ~ la grandeur des ~Tanules. Nous avons cependant
confirm~e que r~duisant la largeur du spectre granulom~-
trique est possible am~liorer les r~sistances m~cani-
ques des ciments portlands.

113
114 Vol. 6, No. 1
G. F r i g i o n e , S. Marra

Introduction

The strength of cement paste and concrete, under the same


conditions for other factors, depends essentially on ~he chemi-
cal and mineralogical composition of the clinker; and the rate
by which this strength rises depends mostly on its specific
surface area. However to characterize this is not always
requisite; in fact, clinkers of the Same production, ground at
the same specific surface area in different tube mills, have
sometimes different rates of hardening and consequently
different mechanical strengths.
A l t h o u g h many A u t h o r s ( 1 - 7 ) have s t u d i e d t h e i n f l u e n c e of
particle size classes on the development of different properties
and, particularly, on the mechanical strengths, only recently
Eato and Hirose (8), Sprung (9), Locher et al (IO), have studied
the influence of the different particle size distribution in
cements of the same specific surface area.
As measures of particle size distribution these authors
assumed the parameter n = tag u to individuate the inclination
of the lines characterizing size distribution in granulometric
grid according to Rosin, hammler and Bennett (RRB). The results
obtained by these authors seem to lead to the conclusion that a
cement with short range size distribution, gives higher
strengths after a curing period of 2, 7 and 28 days.
Recently Cleem-mn and Madeweg-Hansen (11) published data
concerning cements with different size distributions. They have
analysed the behaviour of cement samples coming from industrial
experiments by tests on Rilem mortars and on concretes. While
the data obtained on mortar confirm the tests of the above
mentioned authors, the data on concrete have not given the
completly expected results. For this reason the authors have
concluded that in cements with particularly short range size
distributions there is a different correlation between Rilem
strength a~d concrete strength.
The object of the present study is to analyse the relations
between compressive strength on Rilem mortar and on concrete on
the one hand, and size distribution of Portland cements, of
equal specific surface area, on the other.

Theoretical Formulation

Relation of physical characteristics


ii, i ii i
of h a r d e n e d cement to
| i 1 ,

com~ressive strength.
V e r b e c k and F o s t e r (12) and B r u n a u e r (13) d e m o n s t r a t e d t h a t
a n o r m a l P o r t l a n d c e m e n t - t y p e I ASTM- g i v e s t h e same r e a c t i o n
products at all stages of its hydration, except for the reaction
of products of gypsum which finish after the first 24 hours at
Vol. 6, No. 1 115
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATED CEMENT

the most. This is shown by:


- constant heat of hydraSion per unit of combined water,
- constant intensity ratios in X-ray patterns, from O to 28 days,
- constant specific surface of the gel, from I day to 14 years.
Therefore the compounds of Portland cement do not hydrate
independently but with constant ratio in fractional rate on
stationary conditions of the process (14) (15).
The mechanical strength of a paste, of a mortar or of a
concrete, was defined by Powers (16) as a function of the hy-
drated cement in the space available to it; or since hydrated
cement is mostly gel, it is some function of gel-space ratio.
This may be expressed as follows:

'° = LV.o + P°J I


were f~ = compressive strength
v,~ = volume of hydrated cement
p~ = capillary pores
Since v.=
-- I N + n ] W n II
and pC
= Wo--NWn III
where
N = the volume, in cubic centimeters, by which the solid phase
(including gel pores) increases when W. increases by I g.
n = volume, in cubic centimeters, of original cement that
becomes hydrated when W. increases by I g.
Wo = volume, in cubic centimeters, of original mixing water,
corrected for bleeding.
becomes :
fo _- [ wo]
IN+n]
n Wn + Wo

w h i c h can be rearranged:

f~= ~= N+n [N÷n]W~


or, since n and N are constant for a given cement,
fc

P l o t t i n g ig(f¢ ) versus Wo/Wn we obtain a straight line such


as Powers had experimentally verified.
It is necessary to remember that the surface area of cement
gel, produced by the r e a c t i o n of the cement whit water, can be
m e a s u r e d by Vm which represents the amount of wa~er required to
form a complete monomolecular layer of adsorbed water over the
solid surface of hydrated cement. Since the surface area of mi-
crocrystalline material is negligible when compared with that of
116 Vol. 6, No. 1
G. Frigione, S. Marra

colloidal material, Vm may be considered proportional Co the


amount of colloidal material in the sample (17). Since, as we
mentioned before, a cement produces the same kind of hydration
products at all stages of its hydration, the Vm/W. ratio for
any given cement is constant and independent of the age and of
the water-cement ratio. It is demonstrated that the Vm/Wn ratio
is strictly constant for the cement type I ASTN (18) (19).
Therefore for these types of cement we can write VI as follows:
f¢ = W, wl-j~-] VII

that is, the compressive strength of a cement is a function of


produced gel quantity. But, as said above, the gel quantity
which is formed at each stage of hydration is proportional to
the volume of hydrated cement and, for this reason, the compres-
sive strength for a given cement is always proportional to the
volume of hydrated cement.

Mathematical solution of problem

The problem of finding the optimum particle size distribu-


tion, in order to obtain the highest mechanical strength, at
equal specific surface area, can be resolved by determining the
size distribution that, at a given a~e, maximized the volume of
hydrated cement.
We shall suppose that:
- the cement particles are spherical,
- the hydration proceeds uniformly from the outside to the
inside,
- the depth of the water penetration into the cement particles
does not depend upon the particle size, but it is only con-
trolled by the water diffusion through the gelatinous hy-
dration products already formed (20). The diffusion e q ~ t i o n
is given by Fick's second law (21).
We want to demonstrate that in a Portland cement for~ned by
grains having the same diameter, at a given stage of reaction,
the quantity of hydration products obtained is always higher
than ~he quantity obtained from a cement with grains having a
different particle size distribution but of equal specific
surface area.
This will be demonstrated assuming rn spheres of radius s
having a specific surface area equal to that of m, spheres of
radius s, and of m= spheres of radius R= (with RI>R, ). With
this demonstration the problem will be solved in general terms
because the rn, and rn2 spheres may in turn produce other
particles of different radius and therefore permit any particle
size distribution to be generated.
The above-mentioned spheres must satisfy the following
Vol. 6, No. 1 117
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATEDCEMENT

conditions :
m 4 ~R'-- mr4 ~ R 3 + rr~24 ~TR: VIII

m4'~R'~= m'4~TR'= + m 2 4 ~ R 2 IX
and simplifying:
,-,-,R' = ,-n, R~ + ~, R~ Z

mR2= r n , R ~ + r'n:.R22 "X"T

Indicating 6 the depth of water penetration, the volumes


of hydration products ilmer will be:
f o r th e s p h e r e s R : V : = m 4 _ ~ r [ R ' - - [ R 3 -6]']

and f o r t h e s p h e r e s ", and R=: v.' = m, ~;m[R,~--[R,--6]'] q-m.~¢~[.:--[.2--~]' ]

We want to d e m o n s t r a t e that it is always:


v ° > v~
XII
that is: mR3--m[R--(~]3>m,Fll~--m/[R, - ~]=+ ~ , ~ ,=- ~,[%_ 61 ~ XIII
and by X we obtain:
m[R- ~]'< m,[~,--~I'+ m.[..--6]' XIV
rearranging:
3mR-- m ~ < 3re, R,-- m,6 -~ 3m=R 2 - m=~ XV
dividing the left-hand and right-hand sides of X by the
respective sides of. XI we obtain R ; replacing m in XI we
obtain :

R = ...mIR,3+ re=R== XV:


m, R; + ~=R==

n~ = [,,~'";÷ ~,R:] ~
[ m , R ,=+ ~ . R . = ]" X'v'I I

replaciz~ ~ and ~I i n ~ we o b t s . t n :
3rr.,,:,, ~ + ,-,-,. R:]" [~, R,~ + ,~.R: ] -- Ira, n,' + ,',',. R:]'~ < 3,',',, .,[,',r',,R, ~ + rr-,.R:]%
-- ",[~,R,~ + ,'-.,:,:]'~ + 3,',',.R.[r-,R,' + r,',. R~]'-- ~ . [ , ~ , . , ~ + ,',',.R: ] ' ~
"l;hat i s :
3m/R~R=[R: + R?--2R, R=] Jr- 3 m=R;R,[R: "~ R2 -- 2R, R=] >m,R~[RI3-'J" 2R23--3R,R2] ~"
+ r n , R2S(~[R3 -I- 2R~ -- 3R2RI2]

which can be s u b d i v i d e d in~o:


3mtR:R=[R:+R ~-2R1R2] > mI(~[R~+2R:--3R,R:]R~ X'v'ZII

3m2R;R,[R22 + R2--2R,R2] > m:z(~[R=3 + 2R,3 --.3R:zR2]R: ~X


XVIII and XIX are similar a~d therefore it is sufficient to
rearrange only XIX to obtain the following:
118 Vol. 6, No. 1
G. Frigione, S. Marra

3R,R,[R ÷ 2R,R ] > 2R, 3R=R, ] xx


and in the most unfavourable case where 6 = R, XX can be
r earr anged :
3R! R23 + 3R~R 2 - = 22 > 2 R ~ -
6RIR RtR:-- 3 2
:3RtR
2 2
or 2RiR~3 -- 2Rt4 > 6RtR2 -- 6 R3tR2 XXll
that can be also rearranged
[R 2 - Rt][R:-}-RtR2"~R~] > 3RIR2[R='-R1] X.~[II
dividing by JR2"-" R t] (~ 0 by hypothesis)
R 22 -- 2R, R2-}" R~ > 0 L~IV
and that is
[ R2-- R, ] ' > 0
Since a square is always positive, XXV is always satisfied,
that is XII will be valid in all cases, so that the hydration
products of a cement with a certain granulometric range are
always higher than the hydration products of another cement,
formed by the same clinker and having equal specific surface
area, but a wider granulometric range.
We have experimentally verified the above theoretical res-
ults in ~wo phases performing measures of
- rate of hydration,
- mechanical strength
by varying the particle size distribution.
It shall be noticed that cements having same specific sur-
face area and shorter range particle size distribution, also
require less grinding work. In fact, the grindablity curve
-specific surface area versus grindablity work- follows an
exponential law (22), when the finest particles in cement
increase the necessary grinding work increases too. Industrial
tests confirm it (23).

Experimental

The test were performed on Portland cement having different


particle size distTibution but always the same Blaine specific
surface. A clinker produced in a dry-process rotary kiln was
used to make the cement. The selected clinker is suitable to
prepare a cement type I ASTM.
The clinker was ground in a laboratory b a l l mill at a
Blaine specific surface area of 3200 cm2/g. Then the cement was
treated in a Walther dust trap, so that cements having shorter
and shorter granulometric range were obtained. Since in the dust
trap the material came into contact with a large amount of air,
this air was previously freed from water vapour and from CO 2,
in an absorption tower with silica gel and soda lime. Working in
this manner the loss on ignition of the different cements was
reduced to very low values. However, all the prepared cements,
Vol. 6, No. l I19
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATED CEMENT

including the cement obtained from laboratory mill grinding, w e -


re treated i n t h e W a l t h e r d u s t d r a p w i t h a l m o s t t h e same a m o u n t
of air in order to reduce any effect due t o w a t e r v a p o u r and
CO 2, in case they should be still present in the treatment air.
The granulometric analysis of different cements was perfor-
med with Baho-Neu particle classifier. The size distribution
curves are drawn in RRB diagram, fig.1.
The values used for
n in our tests are the
limit values usually
found in industTial
-~ ,o I ~ o~ cements ( 1 . 1 and 1.5)
with the exception of
two values which are
c~z 50 /" much higher. Of these
6o I- / / .// 44o two values one (2.1)
is still a possible

:I / 1
8O 2O industrial limit and the
8 ~5 other (3.3) represents
gO to a value that might
characterize the theore-
5 tical aspect of the
4
3 problem. As we said all
2
the cements have the
n= t~5 same Blaine specific
n= 'l.cO
99 o---o n = ,~.f4 '1 surface area of 3200
n=331 cm2/g, measured on
0,5 1 2 3 45 fo ~o 3o 4o 5o foo
cement without gypsum.
d Equivalent diarnete~/~ In table I the che-
mical analysis and the
potential constitutions
FIG. 1 of the four cements are
Particle size distribution indicated.
of experimented cements.

TABLE I

Chemical ,Analysis and Calculated Compound Composition


of Starting Materials

Chemical composition (%) Potential phat9


eomposi~ion ~ )
lose $io 2 AI203Fe!O} C&OIM&,O Na20 I K20
F.C&O C}S IC2S C3A IC4/~'

n = 1.15 1 24 4.76 4.13 64.041 .01 0"541 0.55

n = 1.50 1 35 4.78 4.16 6A.211.01 0"341 0.681 0.86


I 0.44

n = 2.14 1 10 4.8A i 4 . 2 3 64.511 .oi O.301 0.47

n = 3.31 1 25 4.'t6i4.34
° 641°
6,.541 . o , O.281O. 621 0..74 O.33
120 Vol. 6, No. 1
G. Frigione, S. Marra

Preliminar~ tests: optimum ~ s u m content

We prepared cements with an amount of gypsum (CaSO4.2H20)


increasing from 4 to 8.5%. The gypsum was ground to pass a sieve
with 10,000 mesh/cm 2, in order to reproduce the granulometry
found in industrial cement (24). The cements so obtained were
tested on Rilem mortar at 1, 3 and 7 days. The values of
s~rength obtained are indicated in fig. 2. We may note that the
gypsum optimum value is around 6% for all cements. This optimum
is independent of cement particle size distribution. All the
other tests were made on cements having 6% of gypsum.

~" n= f.#5 n = f.,,',O


5~

4a ~ 7iays

7d=ys

~ 3 d a ~ ~
W

I day
lit l I I I I i I I
0 ~, 5 S 7 8
(%)
0 % 4• $ ~ ? 8
(y.)
n= 2.#4 n= 3.3f
SO0

"~400
~ 7days "~ f ""'--'-~'~""~ 7days

W mi f ° ~'--"----~lday

! | ! I I ~. I I I I
4 5 6 7 8 0 ~" 5 6 ? 8
CaS04.2H20(%)added Ca504.2H~O(%) add~

FIG. 2
Influence of gypsum content on strength of Rilem mortars.
Vol. 6, No. 1 121
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATEDCEMENT

Determination of the rate of hydration

We prepared pastes for every sample with two W/C ratios and
put them into test tubes at 20 ± I oC for a curing period. At
fixed periods, the hardened paste was ground and tested to D-dr~
ing according Copeland and Hayes (25) for the determination of
nonevaporable water, Wn/C.
The hydration rates were also confirmed by heat of hydra-
tion measures, H, determined according ASTM C 186-68 but at
room temperature of 2 0 ± I oC.
The two fixed W/C ratios were:
W/C = 0.40, corresponding to the ratio established by ASTM for
the determination of hydration heat.
W/C = 0.80, corresponding to a very high fluidity paste. To
avoid bleeding and, therefore, the change of ratio, as
soon as the paste was made it was poured into test tubes
which, well closed, were set in a continuous motion, in a
radial position, attached to a vertical disc rotating at a
slow velocity until the cement had completed its setting
(26).
We had not considered the values of W./C and of H determi-
ned at ~ges of I and 2 days for pastes at high W/C ratio, be-
cause these values have a high dispersion.
In figg. 3 and 4 the plotting values of nonevaporable
water and of hydration heat, versus n, demonstrate that the

w/c-

~
2B days
~4 days
7 days

- f4 d,,ys days

~" ~ 3days

04

I
f.rs t.~ 2 f.~ 1~..~t 0 t,15 t.50 2 ~.~ 5 3J!
Ig~-n IQcx-n

FIG. 3
The nonevaporable water as a function of n.
122 Vol. 6, No. l
G. Frigione, S. Marra

fW =o, o IfO w/c = 0,80


28daw
t '14days
7 days
28 day~
~m . f4 days ~--. g0 ,:3days
o 7 day5
~m
-' 3 days
'Zdays
11o

8 o t day

t~

fn

I I I I
.%31 o U5 I,~ Z Z,14 3 ]31
[q~= n i'qo~= n

FIG. 4
The hydration heat as a function of n.

quantity of hydrated product increases quickly to about n = 2,


then slows down considerably, until it almost stops. It should
be noticed also that hydration increments, versus n, are more
notable for higher W/C ratios.
In order to test our hypothesis we calculated the
percentage of hydrated product for the four cements at different
hydration stages as indicated in table II. These data were calcu_
lated assuming a nonevaporable water value, at complete hydra-
tion (W./C) ° equal to 0.2150. This value was found in previous
experiments where we employed a clinker of chemical composition
similar to the clinker now employed and obtained from the
rotary kiln itself.
On the other hand, according to Ritzmann (27), using the
following formula: (where×/2----6 ---- depth of penetration of water)
HyOr°/o = ,00 [ , _ [d,--x]
d=4
--
d, 4
x] ]
we ~a~ c a l c u l a t e from the data of the particle size distribution,
:he degree of hydration t h a t m i g h t be o b t a i n e d f o r d i f f e r e n ~
values of depth of penetration of water. Plotting ~he c a l c u l a t e d
de@Tee of hydration versus the thic~less of the hydrated layer,
fig.5, it was possible to obtain the thickness of the hydrated
layer for each of the four cements from the degrees of hydration
in per cent as indicated in table II. These values plotted vet-
Vol. 6, No. 1 123
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATED CEMENT

TABLE II

Degree of Hydration in Percent calculated from Data of W./C

W/O - O. 40 w/C . 0.80

1.15 1.50 2.14 3.31 1.15 1.50 2.14 3.31

1 ¢1a,7 32.1 38.7 39.3 39.3

2 days 41.9 53.0 56.3 56.3

3 d.a:re 48.0 58.0 62.1 62.3 58.4 65 • 1 74.0 75.8


7 ¢1o~ys 57.7 65.6 70.7 71.2 61.2 71.0 78.1 81.8
14 de.It's 63.6 72.5 75.2 75.3 66.4 73.9 83.6 87.7
28 d a y s 6~.5 75.8 78.1 79.1 69.8 78. I 86.0 89.8

sus n, are indicated in fig.6. It may be noticed that the thick-


ness of hydrated layer is not constant for different cements but
it decreases when n increases. This decrease is more sensible
aN
with the age. The increase of W/C
• ..3,3
ratio, on the contrary, has an
~m n - (.5 opposite effect.
• n-l.I
Since little differences in
the potential constitution of ce-
ments cannot have influenced the
rate of penetration of water so
greatly, we must believe that our
hypothesis about the constancy of
depth of water penetration being
independent of particle size
distribution, is not a valid one,
although it is widely quoted in
the literature. Really in 1960
Steinherz (28) demonstrated that
Thickness d h~lmkd layer # ~he penetration of water into a
FIG. 5 particle derives from the
The degree of hydration for wideness of particles and
different values of depth increases for bigger particles.
of penetration of water. Clearly the depths of pene-
tration which we have calculated
are the average of depths of penetration calculated for all par-
ticles (from the smallest to the biggest). The difference of
penetration of water is regulated by several causes which will
be the object of other researches.
Since we have confirmed that, within determined bounds, the
amount of hydrated product increases when n increases, now we
shall examine the influence of this increase on the mechanical
strengths of cement.
124 Vol. 6, No. 1
G. Frigione, S. Marra

,_ w/~, = 0,40 w / c =0,80

7d. 3d.

I-..-
, I J I i
f.tS tSO t t.~ 3 3.ZJ 0 J,~5 C50 2 ~,f,~ 3 S, Sf
[ga= n tga = n
FIG. 6
The d e p t h s of water penetration as a function of n.

MechQnical stTeng~hs on R i l e m m o r t a r
,, | , , , H

The four prepared cements we- m


re tested on Rilem mortar at dif-
• 50 dovs
ferent a~ee. Plotted versus n, the
obtained results are showed in
fig.7. Again one should notice the
influence of n parameter. This m
influence is very sensible at ~
e v e r y a g e u p t o a b o u t n = 2. When
n e x c e e d s t h e v a l u e n = 2, s l i g h t .~
increases of strength are obtained ~w
only for long ages.
3~

FIG. 7
Mechanical stremg~hs on Rilem
mortar as a function of n.
J.Jl t ~ | I.~ ,.t SM

M_echanical.strengths on c o n c r e t e

The concrete contained 300 kg per cubic meter of cement.


Natural river sand, crushed basalt and crushed limestone were
used as aggregate respectively fine, medium and coarse. Mixing
water was added to produce water-cement ratios of 0.42 and 0.82
by weight. The two W/C selected ratios are such that the cement
in concrete is at a W/C ratio very close to the ratio of the
pastes which we used to determine the rate of hydration (29).
The strength values, in Kg/cm 2, are shown in figg. 8 and 9.
Vol. 6, No. l 125
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH,HYDRATEDCEMENT

W/C= 0,42 w / ¢ = 0,82

M
28days 28 dove,
° N clays t~.days
* 7 days 7 days

. 3 days 3 da~
. ~ rJays
2 ~ys

v
1 day

,~ f day

I h I i
3 u~ f,fg f.S4p f t, f4 3 Uf
tg~= n

FIG. 8 PIG. 9
Hechanical strengths on con- Hechanlcal strengths on con-
crete as a function of n, crete as a function of n,
(W/C = 0 . 4 2 ) , (w/c = o . 8 2 ) .

We can note 3he influence of n on the development of the mecha-


nical strength. This influence is sensible for values about n=2
for low W/C ratios, while for high W/C ratios the parameter n
seems to have influence up to higher values. This demonstrates
the lower sensibility of cements in function of the higher
values of n when the W/C ratios increase. Under these condi-
tionee it is obvious that the same relation between the values
of Rilem mortar strengths and the values of concrete s~rengths
cannot exist when the n parameter changes.
In conclusion, in order to verify ~he relation between our
experiments and the theoretical hypothesis, concerning the deve-
lopment of mechanical strengths, in flg.10, we have plotted
the Wo/W. values for W/C equal to 0.40 and 0.80 versus the
values of the mechanical strengths obtained from our tests on
concrete. It will be noticed that the experimental poin~s are
perfectly lined. Therefore it is confirmed that the mechanical
s~rengths are maximized by maximizing the quantity of gel pro-
duced during the hydration, whatever the pavtlcle size
distribution.
126 Vol. 6, No. 1
G: Frigione, S. Marra

FI~. 10
Mechem&cal s t r e r ~ t h s on c o n c r e t e
as a function of Wo/W..

Z~

I I I I
!
Wc/Wn

Conclusion

Starting from the hypothesis that the rate of penetration


of water into a cement particle is constant and independent of
particle size, we ~heoretically came to the conclusion that with
the increasing of n the percentage of hydrated product increased
too and consequently the related characteristics.
But, experimentally, we found that the rate of penetration
of water is not independent of the particle size and so the
starting hypothesis has fallen. So we have observed that the
rate of hydration increases very quickly, and c o n s e q u e n t l y a l s o
the mechanical strengths, when n i n c r e a s e s to about n = 2 which
for industrial purposes has still to be reached.
It has been also possible to confirm that there is not the
same relation between the values of compressive strengths
obtained from Rilem mortar and concrete when the &Tanulometric
range of cements changes even if they are obtained from the
same clinker and ground to the same Blaine specific surface
area.

References

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Vol. 6, No. 1 127
PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION, STRENGTH, HYDRATED CEMENT

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CEMENT and CONCRETERESEARCH. Vol. 6, pp. 113-128, 1976. Pergamon Press, Inc.
Printed in the United States.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION AND COMPRESSIVE


STRENGTH IN PORTLAND C~LENT

G. Frigione and S. Marra


Research Laboratory Cementir
Cementerie del Tirreno, Naples, Italy

(Communicated by R. Kondo)
(Rec. Sept. 22, 1975; in final form Oct. 13, 1975)

ABSTRACT
We have studied the relations between particle size dis-
tribution at equal specific surface area a n d compressive
strength in Portland cement. Starting from a series of
hypotheses, we have demonstrated that the volume of hy-
drated p r o d u c t , therefore the mechanical stTength ,
increases when t h e g r k n u l o m e t r i c range decreases.
The e x p e r i m e n t a l data have demonstTated that the depth
of hydration d e p e n d s m o s t l y on t h e p a r t i c l e size, con-
trary to our hypothesis. Nevertheless, we h a v e p r o v e d
that when with the actual plants of grinding it is
possible to minimize the width of granulometric range,
the mechanical strength of Portland cements both in
Riles mortar and in concrete can be maximized.

Nous avons fait une recherche pour ~clairer les rela-


tions entre la distTibutlon granulom~trique des ciments
portlande avec egale surface sp~cifique et la r~sistan-
ce m~canique k compression. Sur la base de beaocoup des
hypoth~se, nous avons d~montr~e que le volume du produit
hydrate, par cons6quent les r~sistanoes m~caniques, aug-
ments d~croiesant le spectre granulom~trique. Les mesu-
res exp~rimentalles ont montr~ que, au contTaire de nos
hypotheses, la profondeur de hydratation est due forte-
sent ~ la grandeur des ~Tanules. Nous avons cependant
confirm~e que r~duisant la largeur du spectre granulom~-
trique est possible am~liorer les r~sistances m~cani-
ques des ciments portlands.

113