Before µic the model

In 1990s, the integrated particle kinetics model was developed at EPFL by Navi and Pignat [1-4]. This model simulates the hydration of spherical C3S particles using the vector approach, which was then called the "Continuum Approach". One of the important features of the this model was that it simulated the hydration of every individual particle using kinetics laws that depend not only on the size of the particle, but also on the neighbourhood of every individual particle. This model also supported the nucleation and growth of new nuclei in the pore-space, away from the cement particles, instead of depositing the entire reaction product on the surface of cement particles. In this model, the hydration of C3S particles was simulated as shrinking of the reacting cores and the concentric growth of C-S-H on the surface of particles. The CH produced grew at new spherical nuclei forming in the pore-space at an exponentially reducing rate.

As we felt that this approach to modelling the cement microstructure was closest to reality, we decided to build on this approach to model cement hydration. µic is a result of the development that followed!


1. Navi P., and Pignat C., Simulation of cement hydration and the connectivity of the capillary pore space, Advanced Cement Based Materials, Vol. 4, 1996, pp.58-67

2. Pignat C., Simulation numérique de l'hydration du silicate tricalcique, charactérisation de la structure poreuse et de la perméabilité, Doctoral Thesis, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 2003

3. Pignat C., Navi P. and Scrivener K., Simulation of cement paste microstructure hydration, pore space characterization and permeability determination, Materials and Structures, Vol. 38, 2005, pp.459-466

4. Navi P. and Pignat C., Three-dimensional characterization of the pore structure of a simulated cement paste, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 29, 1999, pp.507-514

© 2008 Shashank Bishnoi

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