Journal Published Online: 04 December 2004
Volume 26, Issue 2

Measurement of Particle Size Distribution in Portland Cement Powder: Analysis of ASTM Round Robin Studies



A distribution of particle sizes or particle size distribution (PSD) is a fundamental characteristic of cement powder. Accurate PSDs are required in computational efforts to model the hydration process and it is an important practical issue for the cement industry. Presently, the only available standard method for measuring the PSD of cement, namely ASTM C115, is limited in scope, with a lower size detection limit of 7.5 μm. Since there are no standard procedures that adequately cover the broad particle size range associated with portland cement powder, the implementation of different measurement techniques varies widely within the industry. Two ASTM-sponsored round robin tests were performed to (1) ascertain the techniques and methods currently used in the cement industry and (2) develop and refine a standard method or methods. The results have been incorporated into a best practice method based on the technique of laser diffraction. The aim of the current paper is to summarize the findings based on the data generated during the round robins and to summarize the various approaches available to measure the PSD of cement. A summary of the statistical analysis of the test results is described.

Author Information

Ferraris, CF
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Hackley, VA
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Avilés, AI
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Pages: 11
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Stock #: CCA11920
ISSN: 0149-6123
DOI: 10.1520/CCA11920