Portland Cement - Setting and Hardening

Setting and Hardening

Cement sets when mixed with water by way of a complex series of chemical reactions still only partly understood. The different constituents slowly crystallise and the interlocking of their crystals gives cement its strength. Carbon dioxide is slowly absorbed to convert the portlandite (Ca(OH)2) into insoluble calcium carbonate. After the initial setting, immersion in warm water will speed up setting. Gypsum is added as an inhibitor to prevent flash setting.

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