Portland cement reacts with water to form an amorphous paste through a chemical reaction called hydration. In concrete the formation of pastes causes the mix to harden and gain strength to form a rock-like mass.
How Does Cement Harden?
Cement is one of the most widely used building materials in the world. It is a fine powder made of a combination of minerals, such as limestone, clay, and other materials. When mixed with water, cement produces a paste that hardens and binds together other materials like sand and gravel to form strong, durable structures. But how does cement harden?
The process of cement hardening is known as hydration. When cement is mixed with water, a chemical reaction takes place between the calcium silicate and the water molecules. This reaction causes the cement particles to form a network of crystals, which bind together and form a hard solid.
The amount of time it takes for cement to harden depends on the type of cement used, the amount of water added, and the temperature and humidity of the environment. Generally, the more water that is added, the faster the cement will harden. However, if too much water is added, the cement can become weak and porous.
The main mineral components of cement are calcium, silicon, aluminum, and iron. During the hydration process, these minerals react with the water to form a gel-like material called calcium silicate hydrate. This gel-like material takes up space between the particles