The Third International Conference on CHEMICALLY ACTIVATED MATERIALS (Preliminary Announcement and Call for Papers CAM2017)

Preliminary Announcement and Call for Papers (PDF flyer download link)

The Third International Conference on CHEMICALLY ACTIVATED MATERIALS (CAM2017)


Gold Coast, Australia, 8-11 August 2017



  • Hao Wang, University of Southern Queensland


  • Caijun Shi, Hunan University, China
  • John Provis, The University of Sheffield, UK
  • Jin Zou, The University of Queensland, Australia


Chemically activated materials as an alternative to traditional cement and concrete have received increasing attention in the recent decades due to the public and regulators’ divers to more environmental friendly construction materials. The first international conference on chemically activated materials (CAM2010) was held in Jinan, China 2010, and the second conference (CAM2014) was held in Changsha, China 2014. Many world-leading experts in this area participated and presented their work. Along the great success of the first two conferences, the 3rd CAM conference is to expend to outside China, and is scheduled at 8-11 August 2017, in the beautiful Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. The aim of the conference is again to bring together leading experts in this field from around the world to present the recent achievements, share the latest development and address the challenges in these innovative and very promising materials. It is also aimed to further promote research, development and applications of chemically activated materials.

MAIN TOPICS (but not limited to)

  • Chemical activation mechanisms
  • Raw material characterization and evaluation
  • Microstructure development and integrity
  • Workability and process controllability
  • Performance and durability
  • Applications and standards
  • Other (than alkali) activated materials


8 August 2017, Registration and Reception

Plenary Speakers:

  • Jannie van Deventer, Zeobond Pty Ltd
  • Caijun Shi, Hunan University, China
  • John Provis, The University of Sheffield, UK
  • Jay Sanjayan, Swinburne University, Australia


Please e-mail your abstract(s) and paper(s) to [email protected] The guidelines for manuscript preparation will be sent out later.

Papers will be published as a RILEM conference proceedings and submitted to ISTP database for indexing. Authors might be contacted by Journal of Sustainable Cement-based Materials, Materials and Structures, and Frontiers in Materials -Structural Materials for full extended paper.


Great China

  • Xiaodong Shen, Nanjing Tech University
  • Yamei Zhang, Southeast University
  • Jueshi Qian, Chongqing University
  • Dongmin Wang, China Univ. of Mining & Technology
  • Qijun Yu, SouthChina University of Technology
  • Qing Wang, Shenyang Construction University
  • Wensheng Zhang, China Building Materials Academy
  • Jinder Jow, National Institute of Clean Energy
  • Xin Cheng, Jinan University
  • Hui Li, Xi’an Uni of Architecture & Tech.
  • Jianguo Dai, Hong Kong Polytech University
  • Chun-Tao Chen, National Taiwan Uni. of Sci & Tech


  • Jay Sanjayan, Swinburne University
  • Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil, CSIRO
  • Frank Collins, Deakin University
  • Arnaud Castel, University of New South Wales


  • Kazuo Ichimiya Oita, National College of Technology


  • Angel Palomo Eduardo Torroja, Institute for Construction Science, Spain
  • Pavel Krivenko Kiev, National University of Civil Eng
  • Frank Winnefeld, ETH Zurich
  • Guillaume Habert, ETH Zurich
  • Marios Soutsos, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Fabien Frizon, CEA Marcoule Bagnols-sur-Ceze
  • Andrzej Cwirzen Luleå, University of Technology
  • Yiannis Pontikes, University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Guang Ye, Delft University of Technology

South America

  • Iván Escalante, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico
  • Ana P Kirchheim, University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Silvio Delvasto, Universidad del Valle, Colombia
  • Yury Villagrán, LEMIT, Argentina


  • Mark Alexander, University of Cape Town


  • Rafat Siddique, Thapar University


  • Moon Ju Hyuk, National University of Singapore

Korea (to be updated)

USA (to be updated)


  • Abstract Submission: 31/03/2017
  • Early registration: 31/05/2017
  • Fully paper submission: 30/06/2017


Conference registration fee include welcome a copy of the proceeding, reception, lunches and dinners, conference banquet, and refreshments served during the conference.



The conference will be held at the beautiful coastal city of the Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise) at Mantra Legends Hotel and Conference Center.

Address: 25 Laycock St, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217, Australia

Conference Website: (to be updated)


  • Ms Linmei Wu (for registration & other matters)
    Tel: +61-426 110 532
    Email: [email protected]
  • Dr Zuhua Zhang (for abstract submission & technical program)
    Tel: +61-420 265 695
    Email: [email protected]
  • Ning Li, Hunan University (for China coordination)
    Tel: 189 7514 5325
    QQ: 1299 024 879


Use Vaseline to cover the surface of alkali activated cement paste during setting test

Setting of cement paste is an important property to be measured. So how to measure it? The most common method is using Vicat needle instrument. The European Standards and ASTM both document the detailed method. One of the deferences of the two methods lies on the treatment of the surface of sample.

The “Methods of testing cement — Part 3: Determination of setting times and soundness” says “Place the filled mould and base-plate in the container, add water so that the surface of the paste is submerged to a depth of at least 5 mm, and store in the temperature controlled enclosure at (20,0 ± 1,0) °C”.

While the ASTM “C191 − 13 Standard Test Methods for Time of Setting of Hydraulic Cement by Vicat Needle” shows that “Immediately after molding, place the test specimen in the moist cabinet or moist room and allow it to remain there except when penetration measurements are being made.”

We could see the point here is trying to keep the constant water to cement ratio of the surface of the sample, otherwise the dried surface would make trouble for the penetrating of the needle and give fake setting time point.

However, it is difficult to apply European Standards to measure the setting of alkali activated cement paste. As the alkali ions dissolve into the water and significantly change the chemistry of the surface layer. If there is no moist curing cabinet, how can we test the setting of alkali activated cement paste?


Here we share the trick that we have been using at our lab with you. Use Vaseline (petroleum jelly)! After pouring the paste into the mould, cover the surface with a thin layer of melting Vaseline (about 100 °C), the Vaseline is then immediately cooled into a layer of gel.

Why choose Vaseline instead of water?

  • The Vaseline is easy to be melted and cover the surface and soon returns to soft gel status.
  • The soft gel functions as the water layer preventing the surface losing water due to drying.
  • What is more, the Vaseline does not have chemical reaction with alkali activated cement, nor do the alkali ions dissolve into Vaseline.
  • And the price of Vaseline is cheap.

So ladies use Vaseline for makeup, we use it for cement research.

The method to measure the plastic viscosity of cement paste

In the previous post, I introduced the protocol to measure the yield stress of cement paste. I would like to share the method how to measure the plastic viscosity of cement paste.

The principle determine the plastic viscosity of cement paste is using the relationship between shear rate and shear stress. Applying a serials of shear rate on the cement paste would result in the corresponding shear stress. After obtaining the set of shear rate and shear stress, the plastic viscosity of the paste is calculated by regression.

The measured shear rate and shear stress of a cement paste, Measuring device: HAAKE™ VT550 (ViscoTester VT550), CR (Controlled shear Rate): 0-100 1/s; t 120.00 s; T 20.00 °C.

The paste should be measured by increasing shear rate and then the decreasing rate. Typical shear rate applied on cement paste is linearly between 0 and 100 1/s. Since the rheological feature of most of cement pastes is a kind of Bingham model, we can choose the liner part of the decreasing shear curve from the date set (shear rate vs. shear stress) for the regression. The slope from the regression equation is the so-called plastic viscosity.

However, if the rheological cure of the paste behaves rather than Bingham model, selecting an appropriate model is necessary.