The Role of Titanium Dioxide on the Hydration of Portland Cement: A Combined NMR and Ultrasonic Study

George Diamantopoulos, Marios Katsiotis, Michael Fardis, Ioannis Karatasios, Saeed Alhassan, Marina Karagianni, George Papavassiliou, Jamal Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is an excellent photocatalytic material that imparts biocidal, self-cleaning and smog-abating functionalities when added to cement-based materials. The presence of TiO2 influences the hydration process of cement and the development of its internal structure. In this article, the hydration process and development of a pore network of cement pastes containing different ratios of TiO2 were studied using two noninvasive techniques (ultrasonic and NMR). Ultrasonic results show that the addition of TiO2 enhances the mechanical properties of cement paste during early-age hydration, while an opposite behavior is observed at later hydration stages. Calorimetry and NMR spin–lattice relaxation time T1 results indicated an enhancement of the early hydration reaction. Two pore size distributions were identified to evolve separately from each other during hydration: small gel pores exhibiting short T1 values and large capillary pores with long T1 values. During early hydration times, TiO2 is shown to accelerate the formation of cement gel and reduce capillary porosity. At late hydration times, TiO2 appears to hamper hydration, presumably by hindering the transfer of water molecules to access unhydrated cement grains. The percolation thresholds were calculated from both NMR and ultrasonic data with a good agreement between both results.

Original languageBritish English
Article number5364
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • calorimetry
  • cement hydration
  • NMR
  • titanium dioxide TiO
  • ultrasonic


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