Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kamyar C. Mahboub


The objective of this research was to develop high performing polymer modified calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement materials for use in applications requiring superior adhesion characteristics. Little information is available describing interactions of CSA cement containing minor phase tri-calcium aluminate (C3A) with commonly used admixtures. Given the scarcity of information, a basic approach for developing cementitious materials was followed. The basic approach consisted of four tasks: cement design, admixture design, polymer design and testing developed materials. The iterative, time consuming process is necessary for understanding the influence of specific constituent components on overall system behavior. Results from the cement design task suggest calcium sulfate type influences microstructural characteristics and strength development for materials based upon the experimental CSA cement. Results from the admixture design task suggest lithium carbonate and tartaric acid are effective accelerating and retarding admixtures for hydration reactions including reactants yeelimite, calcium sulfate and water. Results from the polymer design task suggest vinyl acetate / ethylene (VAE) dispersible polymer powders (DPP) are compatible with systems containing the experimental CSA cement and other commonly used admixtures. Additionally, results from the polymer design task highlight a method for specifying the ductile behavior of materials containing the experimental CSA cement as majority hydraulic binding agent. Finally, results from the testing of developed materials task suggests adhesion performance for materials containing the experimental CSA cement can be influenced by adjusting the ratio of polymer to hydraulic binding agent in material formulations. Polymer modified CSA cement mortars demonstrated bond strength resulting in substrate failure when cast over porous concrete substrates. Developed mortars demonstrated consistent bonding performance when applied to non-porous substrate materials, metal and glass. Select polymer modified mortars displayed adhesion bond performance such that the glass substrate materials fractured during pull off testing.