QX-202C capsules are used for in-situ SEM imaging of various dynamic hydration processes. They can be used for imaging the hydration process of cement, gypsum and other materials. The unique design of the QX-202C capsules allows extended studies to be performed inside the SEM vacuum chamber - the dynamic process can be followed for up to 24 hours, removing the need for multiple-sample imaging or repetitive venting of the SEM. There is no need for coating, drying or freezing of the samples. Simply place the sample in the capsule, seal it and image. The samples can be visualized directly using a BSE detector.
The following images show the early stages of gypsum hydration; the growth of needle like crystals can be followed in the sequence of micrographs. Images were taken at 8, 16, 24, and 60 minutes. The formation of a network of gypsum crystals is evident within the first hour of observation.