Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) has been used to study the dehydration characteristics of hydrated calcium aluminates such as CA, CA2 and C12A7 where C and A stand for CaO and Al2O3 respectively. Dehydration of CAH10 and C2AH8 (where H=H2O) occur - at 160-180°C and 200-280°C respectively. These two phases are unstable and ultimately get transformed to AH3 and C3AH6. Dehydration of AH3 and C3AH6 occur between 290 and 350°C and overlap at lower scanning rate. The activation energy for dehydration of the stable AH3 and C2AH6 phases has been found to be 107.16 and 35.58 kJ mol-1 respectively. The compressive strength of the hydrated calcium aluminates has been determined. The result shows that in the case of CA, almost 90% of ultimate strength has been attained in 1 day whereas in CA2, ultimate strength has been attained in 14 days and in C12A7 in 1 day. DSC results have been correlated with the rate of strength developments. © 1996 Akadémiai Kiadó.