Many difficulties are encountered in quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis of portland cement and clinker. Despite these difficulties, it appears that, with adequate experimental procedures, the major clinker phases can be determined with an absolute accuracy of 2 to 5% (by weight of the total clinker) for alite and belite and 1 to 2% (by weight of the total clinker) for aluminate and ferrite. A task group in ASTM is exploring X-ray diffraction methods for quantitative phase analysis of cement and clinker. The group has made considerable progress towards proposing a standard test method for aluminate, ferrite, and magnesium oxide. Using specified experimental procedures, preliminary results indicate that these three phases may be determined in clinker with an absolute accuracy of 1.7%. After the task group completes work with these phases, it plans to continue with the calcium silicates.
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