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Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopaedia of the Unknown Science

Cement

Cements of various types have been in more or less constant use since at least Roman times. However, the ways in which cements set (via a complex series of chemical hydration reactions) are still not fully described.

“The hydration of cement is an extremely complex reaction involving chemo-physical phenomena spanning from a nanometer to micrometers in length and from seconds to decades in time.”

Source: Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Volume 99, February 2017, Pages 211–224

Although several chemical models give a good approximation of how a cement will set, they have limitations, particularly in view of the extremely long setting time of some cements which continue to harden over several decades.

“[…] the molecular compositions, structures and changes that occur as a result of hydration are poorly understood, because cement has a composition that is partially crystalline, partially disordered, and holds multiple components that also change with time”

Source: Scientific American


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