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Quartz is a highly versatile mineral with wide-ranging uses in jewellery making, gemstones, brick manufacturing in the refractory industry, abrasives and electronics. It is also used as a filler in paints, soaps and synthetic rubber goods.
Quartz powder can be used to increase the strength and insulation of ceramics, and improve the acid and alkali resistance of paints, rubber and plastic products. It is often employed to improve the smoothness and durability of paints, as well as make them more chemical resistant, which reduces the need for reworking during application.
At low w/b ratio, quartz powder promotes the early hydration of cement.
In this study, the effects of adding quartz powder on the hydration of cement were investigated for RC, SFC and QPC composites with different w/b ratios. The hydration exotherm of the pastes was analyzed with TGA, and the results showed that the use of quartz powder promoted the hydration of the cement more clearly under the low w/b ratio than under the high w/b ratio.
The hydration exotherm of the binder mixtures with a w/b ratio of 0.5 increased by 5.24% in the case of quartz powder addition, compared to the control. In the case of a w/b ratio of 0.2, however, the hydration exotherm of the quartz powder added pastes was significantly lower than that of the control.
It can be observed from the SEM images of the pastes with a w/b ratio between 0.5 and 0.2 that the quartz powder particles have pores, which is consistent with heterogeneous crystal nucleation theory. Moreover, it can be found that the C-S-H product covers the surface of the quartz powder particles in the pastes with a w/b of 0.2.