The compressibilities of two AFm phases (strätlingite and calcium hemicarboaluminate hydrate) and hydrogarnet were obtained up to 5 GPa by using synchrotron high-pressure X-ray powder diffraction with a diamond anvil cell. The AFm phases show abrupt volume contraction regardless of the molecular size of the pressure-transmitting media. This volume discontinuity could be associated to a structural transition or to the movement of the weakly bound interlayer water molecules in the AFm structure. The experimental results seem to indicate that the pressure-induced dehydration is the dominant mechanism especially with hygroscopic pressure medium. The Birch-Murnaghan equation of state was used to compute the bulk modulus of the minerals. Due to the discontinuity in the pressure-volume diagram, a two stage bulk modulus of each AFm phase was calculated. The abnormal volume compressibility for the AFm phases caused a significant change to their bulk modulus. The reliability of this experiment is verified by comparing the bulk modulus of hydrogarnet with previous studies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.