Research progress on magnesium silicate hydrate phases and future opportunities


  • Ellina Bernard Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology



Magnesium silicate hydrate (M-S-H), structure, surface charges, low pH cements


This short letter summaries the latest research on the structure and thermodynamic modelling of the magnesium silicate hydrates (M-S-H) phases. M-S-H structure is comparable to hydrated clays, with a smaller and rounder microstructures compared to clay platelets. Similar to clay minerals, M-S-H can incorporate ions such as aluminium and hydrated exchangeable cations to compensate the negative surface charge. This fundamental understanding of M-S-H structure allowed to develop structure-based thermodynamic models, which can further help to optimise the conditions for M-S-H formation and its use as cementitious materials. Optimized binders containing M-S-H have the advantages of presenting: i) good mechanical properties, ii) dense microstructure and potentially good resistances to leaching and iii) low pH values. These types of binders could therefore be used for cement products with non-steel reinforcement, for the encapsulation of specific wastes, for products containing natural fibres or for the clay stabilisation, etc.




How to Cite

Bernard, E. Research Progress on Magnesium Silicate Hydrate Phases and Future Opportunities. RILEM Tech Lett 2022, 7, 47-57.