Specific surface, S, of CSH-gel particles of disordered layered structure, was studied by water sorption/retention in two cement pastes differing
in strength, i.e. C-33 (weaker) and C-43 (stronger), w/c=0.4. Hydration time in liquid phase was th=1 and 6 months, followed by hydration in water vapour either on increasing stepwise the relative humidity, RH=0.5→0.95→1.0 (WS) or on its lowering in an inverse order (WR). Specific surface was estimated from evaporable (sorbed) water
content, EV (110C), assuming a bi- and three-molecular sorbed water layer at RH=0.5 or 0.95, respectively (WS). On WR it was three- and three- to four-molecular (50 to 75%), respectively, causing a hysteresis
of sorption isotherm. At RH=0.5 the S increased with cement strength from 146 m2 g-1 (C-33, 1 m) to 166 m2 g-1 (C-43, 1 m) and with hydration time to 163 (C-33, 6 m) and to 204 m2 g-1 (C-43, 6 m). At RH=1.0 (and 0.95), higher S-value were measured but these differences were smaller: S amounted to 190-200 m2 g-1 in C-33 (1 and 6 m) and 198-210 m2 g-1 in C-43 (1 and 6 m). Thus no collapse occurred on air drying of paste C-43 (6 m).