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Can you think of construction without concrete? Where do concrete gets its strength, resistance, and utility?

This course will teach you the basic cement chemistry. You will learn how cement is made and hydrated with its environmental and economic benefits. You’ll learn to test samples in isocalorimetry in order to track the hydration and to prepare and observe samples by scanning electron microscopy. Lastly, you will also learn how X-ray diffraction works and how to apply it to cement.


This course does not involve any written exams. Students need to answer 5 assignment questions to complete the course, the answers will be in the form of written work in pdf or word. Students can write the answers in their own time. Each answer needs to be 200 words (1 Page). Once the answers are submitted, the tutor will check and assess the work.


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Course Credit: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Course Curriculum

Teaser 00:01:00
Introduction 00:02:00
Week 1: Research context on sustainable cementitious materials
Introduction 1: Context 00:12:00
Introduction 2: Why “Portland” cement 00:14:00
Introduction 3: Lowering environmental impact 00:14:00
Introduction 4: LC3: Limestone Calcined Clay Cement 00:21:00
Week 2: Hydration of cement
Hydration 1: Overview 00:18:00
Hydration 2: C-S-H 00:23:00
Hydration 3: Aluminate hydrates 00:15:00
Week 3: Scanning Electron Microscopy :SEM-EDX
SEM Sample preparation 00:04:00
Microstructure characterisation by Scanning Electron Microscopy 00:26:00
Week 4: Cement and kinetics
Kinetics: the Induction period 00:18:00
Kinetics: the Main hydration peak 00:16:00
Kinetics: the “Filler” Effect 00:08:00
Kinetics: After the main peak 00:18:00
Kinetics: Aluminates 00:15:00
Kinetics Development of microstructure 00:19:00
Isothermal Calorimetry 00:19:00
Week 5: X-ray diffraction basics and measurements
X-ray diffraction applied to cement 00:07:00
X-ray diffraction: History and basics 00:12:00
Inside the powder diffraction pattern 00:12:00
X-ray powder diffraction equipment and data collection 00:11:00
Sample preparation 00:18:00
Qualitative XRD data analysis 00:16:00
Week 6: Advanced data analysis and applications to cement
The Rietveld method 00:16:00
Rietveld quantitative phase analysis 00:50:00
Conclusions and perspectives on XRD diffraction 00:03:00
Submit Your Assignment 00:00:00
Certification 00:00:00

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