The hydration mechanisms of granulated blast furnace (GBFS) slag sand can be described as a corrosion process. It was investigated by several sophisticated methods, i.e. SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) and SNMS (Secondary Neutral Mass Spectrometry) after being treated with water and Ca(OH)2 -, KOH - and CaSO4 -containing solutions. The layers of hydration products on the surface of the glassy slag particles could be analysed accurately against hydration time, accompanied by the parallel running analysis of the eluate composition. It was observed that at first the dissolution of mainly Ca and other ions occurs, leaving the solid surface enriched in the residual composition. The composition of those surface layers, however, undergoes significant alterations upon the kind of solution and during the time of hydration. The formation of initial and subsequently formed layers and their composition is illustrated and discussed.
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