Microstructural origins of cement paste degradation by external sulfate attack Academic Article uri icon


  • A microstructure model has been applied to simulate near-surface degradation of portland cement paste in contact with a sodium sulfate solution. This new model uses thermodynamic equilibrium calculations to guide both compositional and microstructure changes. It predicts localized deformation and the onset of damage by coupling the confined growth of new solids with linear thermoelastic finite element calculations of stress and strain fields. Constrained ettringite growth happens primarily at the expense of calcium monosulfoaluminate, carboaluminate and aluminum-rich hydrotalcite, if any, respectively. Expansion and damage can be mitigated chemically by increasing carbonate and magnesium concentrations or microstructurally by inducing a finer dispersion of monosulfate.

published proceedings

  • Construction and Building Materials

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Feng, P., Garboczi, E. J., Miao, C., & Bullard, J. W.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Feng, Pan||Garboczi, Edward J||Miao, Changwen||Bullard, Jeffrey W

publication date

  • October 2015