Synthetic Determination of Specific Density, Specific Surface Area and Particle Size Distribution of Cementitious Powder Materials

Dr. Duwa Hamisi Chengula, Prof. Joseph J. Msambichaka, Prof. Bernhard Middendorf


The use of cementitious materials for construction of buildings and structures started during ancient civilization. Science of modifying physical and chemical properties of cementitious materials is a continual process which is because of a need to increase reactivity and improve strength and durability properties of binders. Due to increasing demand of modern infrastructures and continual depleting of binder sources the scientist, engineers and researchers work hard on improving binding properties of cementitious materials for construction of low cost and durable structures. Among of the factors which affect binding properties of cementitious properties are densities, surface areas and particle size distribution. Several methods and procedures have been developed to determine these physical properties on which other require huge capital investment and others takes long time to complete a test which hinders further investigation and improvement of alternative binders.This study investigated that there exist an ‘S’ curve similar to particle size distribution curve when time air flow against weights of sample measured using Blaine apparatus is drawn.

 The gradients of lower and middle lines of the curve and values at turning points were synthesized to determine specific densities, specific surface areas and particle size distribution of powder materials. The approach is time saving and the equipment is affordable by many researchers. In order to have accurate results the approach can be automated.


Synthetic; cementitious; densities; surface areas; particle size distribution; packing density; reactivity.

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