On the initial stages of cement hydration

Stephen Preece, John Billingham, Andrew King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


After the initial mixing of cement, an induction period occurs during which its consistency remains constant. Thickening occurs at the end of this period when the consistency is observed to increase very rapidly. In this paper we propose a reaction-diffusion model for the hydration of tricalcium silicate, a principal constituent of cement, which is believed to be responsible for the initial development of its strength. Our model is based on the assumption that the hydration of cement can be described as a dissolution -precipitation reaction. The mathematical solutions enable us to determine some of the factors that control the length of the induction period and make predictions of the ionic concentrations which are in agreement with experimental data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • induction period
  • cement hydration
  • mathematical modelling
  • reaction-diffusion
  • tricalcium silicate


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