The main supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) that are used today are industrial by-products. In most cases the quality of these materials cannot be controlled during their production, resulting in materials with varied characteristics. The adequate physical characterization of SCMs is important to better predict their performance and optimize their use in concretes production. There are standardized methods used to determine the particle characteristics for Portland cements that are usually adopted to characterize SCMs; however, these methods may not be as accurate when applied to SCMs. This paper is an overview of the techniques that are currently used for the determination of the density, particle size distribution, surface area and shape of SCMs. The main principles of each method are presented. The limitations that occur for the SCMs measurements are also discussed. This paper is an output from the work of the RILEM Technical Committee on Hydration and Microstructure of Concrete with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (TC-238-SCM).
- supplementary cementitious materials
- particle size measurement
- laser diffraction
- image analysis