SEM courses




Portland Cement clinker examination by microscopy - introduction

Microscopic examination of cement clinker has a long tradition, with optical microscopy, and more recently, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) making an invaluable contribution to Portland Cement production. Clinker microscopy is a highly specialised subject for which a cement industry background is almost a prerequisite. WHD has been supplying this service to the cement industry since 1987.

Cement can be analysed in much the same way as clinker, although some information is inevitably lost after grinding. In particular, the nodule microstructure is lost, alite crystal sizes may be hard to determine and most of the interstitial alkali sulfate is lost, although some may remain in the larger clinker particles within the cement. Also, cement contains gypsum obscuring the precise composition of the original clinker.

Experienced in clinker microscopy?

If you are reading this page, there is a good that chance that you manufacture cement or are an experienced clinker microscopist or cement scientist and are familiar with the power of clinker microscopy. Much of what is on these pages will doubtless be very familiar.

If you don't have in-house microscopy facilities, we can help by examining your clinker or cement for you - contact us to discuss your particular requirements.

Maybe you manufacture cement and use optical microscopy regularly but want to try SEM? You probably have a particular application or problem in mind - we would value the opportunity to work with you to help solve your problem.

Or maybe you manufacture cement and already have state-of-the-art in-house optical and SEM facilities? If your SEM operator has just left the company and you need to train a replacement, we'd be happy to help! Probably, though, you are just browsing and don't need our services for now, but please do contact us anyway - we cement microscopists are thin on the ground and it is always good to exchange views!

Clinker: introduction / optical microscopy / scanning electron microscopy / examining your clinker






Optical microscopy


Scanning electron microscopy


Examining your clinker


Concrete petrography


Concrete by SEM




Chromium (VI)


Understanding Cement seminars


UC Seminar details


UC e-book


UC Corporate edition


SEM - intro


SEM basics


EDX training


SEM/EDX of cement












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