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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 31, 2013

3D imaging of complex materials: the case of cement

  • Gilberto Artioli , Maria Chiara Dalconi , Matteo Parisatto , Luca Valentini , Marco Voltolini and Giorgio Ferrari


Absorption-based X-ray micro-tomography (X-μCT) provides fundamental in-situ information on the 3D microstructure of complex multiphase materials such as cements. However, since the phases present in a hydrating cement paste may be characterized by similar values of the attenuation coefficient, leading to low absorption contrast between different crystalline or amorphous phases, micro-structural interpretation can be equivocal. 3D phase mapping by X-ray diffraction micro-tomography proved to be a successful technique for investigating the spatial distribution of the products in the paste during the hydration process, in a totally non-invasive mode and with enhanced phase selectivity compared to absorption tomography. Phase-selective maps, in the case of crystalline phases, can be extracted from single Bragg peaks or from the Rietveld-refined scale factor. However, even poorly crystalline and/or amorphous phases present in the cement paste, such as calcium silicate hydrates, can be successfully mapped by the use of selected portions of the measured powder data containing the relevant scattering of the phase. The reconstructed maps can be directly modeled by multifractal analysis and compared with computer-generated distributions.

* Correspondence address Prof. Gilberto Artioli, Dipartimento di Geoscienze, Università degli Studi di Padova, Via Gradenigo 6, I-35131 Padova, Italy, Tel.: +39 049 827 91 62/91 66, Fax: +39 049 827 91 11, E-mail:


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Received: 2011-7-19
Accepted: 2011-10-24
Published Online: 2013-05-31
Published in Print: 2012-02-01

© 2012, Carl Hanser Verlag, München

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