What is it about?

In this work, we have applied for the first time a combination of s3DXRD (scanning 3D X-Ray diffraction) and PCT (phase contrast tomography) to the hydrating system of gypsum plaster. Hydrating calcium sulfate hemihydrate to form gypsum is crucial for developing the mechanical properties of gypsum plaster. This approach permitted us to gain unprecedented morphological and crystallographic insights into the calcium sulfate hemihydrate-gypsum transformation.

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Why is it important?

Gypsum plaster is one of the most widespread materials in our society. It is used in many industrial applications, from construction to medicine. In this work, we have followed in situ the evolution of the hydration reaction that brings to the formation of gypsum plaster. The techniques that we used permitted us to probe the system in a hierarchical way providing a link between microscopic and macroscopic processes. Since the hydration reaction is the source of the development of the properties of gypsum plaster, it must be studied and understood in all its steps.


This work shows how non-conventional, innovative, and powerful techniques such as the s3DXRD and PCT represent promising tools to study the evolution of complex systems in situ.

Michela La Bella
Universite Grenoble Alpes

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Hierarchical synchrotron diffraction and imaging study of the calcium sulfate hemihydrate–gypsum transformation, Journal of Applied Crystallography, May 2023, International Union of Crystallography,
DOI: 10.1107/s1600576723002881.
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