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It has long been recognized that no aggregate is completely inert in the environment of portland cement paste. This environment is always at least as alkaline as a saturated solution of calcium hydroxide and may for certain sources of cement exceed this alkalinity . We only need to consider those reactions which take place at a rate sufficient to affect the concrete during its normal life span. Carbonate aggregate reactions may be beneficial, innocuous, or deleterious.
Materials research petrographer, Virginia Highway Research Council, Charlottesville, Va.