Many efforts have been made over the last decades to improve and develop new technologies for cement and chemical industries that can provide materials that are more durable and cost efficient, stronger and less environmentally harmful. Studies at small scale in cementitious materials usually require special sample preparation, which can damage the material and mislead the analysis. In nanoscale experiments, several techniques require samples to be extremely thin, while others need the samples to be very flat. The possibility of using thin films of clinker phases in cement research opens far-reaching opportunities for the development of this material and the materials associated to this. Testing different evaporation parameters, the deposition of films with a few tens of nanometers in thickness was achieved for all the clinker phases individually. This chapter will present the attempts for synthesizing thin films of all main clinker phases by the use of electron beam evaporation technique, as well as data on the hydration of the calcium silicate thin, flat and homogeneous samples. Changes are tracked chemically and mineralogically. This study redirects cement science to new perspectives of understanding the nanostructure of cement products. This leads to basis for developing stronger and more durable cement-based materials.
Part of the book: Thin Film Processes