Anda di halaman 1dari 31



1 1

Fly Ash Types and Benefits

Fly ash is the best known, pozzolan in the worldand one of the most commonly used.

he American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines pozzolan as a siliceous or siliceous and aluminous material, which in itself possesses little or no cementitious value, but will, in finely divided form and in the presence of moisture, chemically react with calcium hydroxide at ordinary temperatures to form compounds possessing cementitious properties. Class F and Class C fly ash are products of the combustion of coal in large power plants. Fly ash is collected in electrostatic precipitators or baghouses, then transferred to large silos for shipment. When needed, fly ash is classified by precise particle size requirements, thus assuring a uniform, quality product. Class F fly ash is available in the largest quantities. Class F is generally low in lime, usually under 15 percent, and contains a greater combination of silica, alumina and iron (greater than 70 percent) than Class C fly ash. Class C fly ash normally comes from coals which may produce an ash with higher lime content generally more than 15 percent often as high as 30 percent. Elevated CaO may give Class C unique self-hardening characteristics. Although both types of fly ash impart a wide range of qualities to many types of concrete, they differ chiefly in the following ways: Class F 1. Most effectively moderates heat gain during concrete curing and is therefore considered an ideal cementitious material in mass concrete and high strength mixes. For the same reason, Class F is the solution to a wide range of summer concreting problems. Provides sulfide and sulfate resistance equal or superior to Type V cement. Class F is often recommended for use where concrete may be exposed to sulfate ions in soil and ground water.

1. 2. 3.

Fly ash can compensate for fines not found in some sands and thereby enhance pumpability and concrete finishing. Fly ash will result in a more predictable and consistent finished product that will ensure customer acceptance. Fly ash offers flexibility in mix design providing a greater range of mixes from liquid soil at 100 psi to high strength (8,000 plus psi concrete) produced by the same batch plant without exotic equipment. Fly ash improves the flowability of the concrete, which translates into less wear and tear on all the producers equipment, from batching facilities to trucks. Fly ash enables the producer to customize designs to each customers needs, thus providing the producer a competitive advantage.



Engineers and Architects. Engineers and architects will find that fly ash provides the following benefits: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. It enables engineers and architects to provide the client with a superior and more durable finished concrete. Fly ash produces a high strength concrete that accommodates the design of thinner sections. Fly ash permits design flexibility accommodating curves, arches and other pleasing architectural effects. The addition of fly ash to the mix is a built-in insurance for later-age strength gain in concrete. Fly ash ensures that the concrete will qualify as a durable building material. Fly ash contributes to the aesthetic appearance of the concrete.


Class C 1. 2. Most useful in performance mixes, prestressed applications, and other situations where higher early strengths are important. Especially useful in soil stabilization since Class C may not require the addition of lime.

Developers, Contractors, Owners. Fly ash concrete provides the following advantages to developers, contractors and owners: 1. The workability of fly ash concrete generally ensures that the speed of construction is faster, which translates into a quicker return on investment. Fly ash in the mix accommodates more creative designs. Since fly ash concrete is not as vulnerable to deterioration or disintegration as rapidly as concrete without fly ash, it ensures lowmaintenance buildings that will retain their value over the long-term.

2. Concrete manufacturers, engineers, architects, developers and contractors all have an interest in specifying or using fly ash on a routine basis to improve the quality of their project and to increase their cost effectiveness. Ready Mix Producers. A ready mix producer has several reasons for using fly ash in concrete. 3.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Chemical Comparison of Fly Ash and Portland Cement

The chemical composition of fly ash is very similar to that of portland cement.

he table below shows typical compound analyses for two fly ashes and a natural pozzolan (Class F fly ash, Class C fly ash and Class N - Natural) and ordinary portland cement. A glance at the table reveals: 1. The same compounds exist in fly ash and portland cement. Those of fly ash are amorphous (glassy) due to rapid cooling; those of cement are crystalline, formed by slower cooling. 2. The major difference between fly ash and portland cement is the relative quantity of each of the different compounds. Portland cement is rich in lime (CaO) while fly ash is low. Fly ash is high in reactive silicates while portland cement has smaller amounts. TYPICAL CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS IN POZZOIANS AND PORTLAND CEMENT CHEMICAL COMPOUND CLASS F POZZOLAN TYPE CLASS C CLASS N CEMENT

A review of the chemistry of both materials makes it apparent that a blend of the two will enhance the concrete product and efficiently utilize the properties of both. HYDRATION PRODUCTS OF CEMENTING BINDERS

(CaOH) (FA)

Calcium Silicate (CSH) Hydrate Free Lime (CaOH)

Water Soluable

Calcium Silicate Hydrate


SiO A12O3 Fe2O3 CaO MgO SO3 Na2O & K2O

54.90 25.80 6.90 8.70 1.80 0.60 0.60

39.90 16.70 5.80 24.30 4.60 3.30 1.30

58.20 18.40 9.30 3.30 3.90 1.10 1.10

22.60 4.30 2.40 64.40 2.10 2.30 0.60

Through pozzolanic activity, fly ash combines with free lime to produce the same cementious compounds formed by the hydration of portland cement.

The table illustrates the basic chemical difference. Portland cement is manufactured with CaO, some of which is released in a free state during hydration. As much as 20 pounds of free lime is released during hydration of 100 pounds of cement. This liberated lime forms the necessary ingredient for reaction with fly ash silicates to form strong and durable cementing compounds no different from those formed during hydration of ordinary portland cement.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Strength of Fly Ash Concrete

Fly ash concrete can be designed to achieve any level of strength obtainable by concrete containing only portland cement.
ompressive Strength. Strength gain contributed by portland cement occurs very rapidly at early ages up to about seven days, after which it slows markedly. Strength development contributed by fly ash occurs through chemical combination of reactive fly ash glass with calcium hydroxide generated by hydration of portland cement. This process is called pozzolanic activity. A fly ash concrete mix, designed for equivalent performance to conventional concrete at normal ages, will generally gain strength more slowly at early ages. After about seven days, the rate of strength gain of fly ash concrete exceeds that of conventional concrete, enabling equivalence at the desired age. This higher rate of strength gain continues over time, enabling fly ash concrete to produce significantly higher ultimate strength than can be achieved with conventional concrete.

Fly ash concrete designed for equivalent performance at seven days or earlier will yield practically the same strength gain prior to the design age. At all ages thereafter, fly ash concrete will exhibit much higher strength gain than conventional concrete. Concrete made with Class C fly ash (as opposed to Class F) has higher early strengths because it contains its own lime. This allows pozzolanic activity to begin earlier. At later ages, Class C behaves very much like Class F, yielding higher strengths than conventional concrete at 56 and 90 days. Uniformity. Statistical analyses of compression tests have shown that the use of fly ash often lowers the variability of strengths (lower coefficient of variation). This can result in a reduction in overdesign, yielding a direct cost savings to the concrete producer. Flexural Strength. In general, a relationship exists between the compressive and flexural strengths of concrete. Concrete which has a higher compressive strength will have a correspondingly higher flexural strength. This holds true for fly ash concrete. However, in many cases, fly ash concrete has demonstrated flexural strength exceeding that of conventional concrete when compressive strengths were roughly equal. High Strength Concrete. In instances where high strength concrete has been specified (above 7,000 psi), fly ash has consistently proven its usefulness. After a certain amount of cement has been added to a mix (usually about 700 pounds), the addition of fly ash usually results in higher strengths than an equal amount of added cement. This is especially true for 56 and 90 day strengths. Production of high strength concrete requires the use of high quality fly ash at a minimum of 15 percent by weight of total cementitious materials.

Fly Ash Concrete

Compressive Strength

Plain Concrete

Age (Days)


For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Proportioning Fly Ash Concrete Mixes

Proportioning fly ash concrete mixtures is only slightly more complicated than proportioning plain cement concrete mixtures. The same solid volume proportioning techniques described in ACI 211 are employed as are used with conventional concrete mixtures.
ACI 211 gives the proportioner a series of steps through which values are selected for: cementitious materials content air content water content coarse aggregate size and content These ingredients are converted into solid volumes. The difference between the sum of the total volumes and 27 cubic feet will determine the necessary volume of sand. Sand weight is then calculated to complete the trial mix proportions. The accuracy of this mix must be checked by physically preparing a sample of the proportioned ingredients and testing the mixture for yield. While fly ash is a cementitious material that greatly benefits concrete, the proportioning of concrete containing fly ash requires adjustments because of the physical properties of the ash. Viewed microscopically, fly ash particles are spherical in shape. Because of this and other physical attributes of fly ash, one can expect the following: The ball bearing shape significantly aids the workability of concrete. This allows for lower sand content than conventional mixes while handling remains similar. As the proportion of sand is reduced, all performance aspects of the concrete are enhanced. Again, because of fly ashs spherical particle shape, less water is required to achieve the same level of slump as in the control concrete. The addition of fly ash in conventional mixtures typically reduces the water needed by 5% to 10% over plain concrete (depending upon the quantity of fly ash), and this reduction can be further increased where high levels of fly ash are used. The specific gravity of fly ash is much lower than that of portland cement; therefore, 100# of fly ash has a much greater solid volume than the same weight of portland cement. Past practice has dictated a cement reduction when water-reducing admixtures are used; however, in fly ash concrete, the cementitious materials (cement and fly ash) volume is higher, not lower. This higher quantity of cementitious materials greatly assists in the finishing process. Air entrainment is not affected adversely with high quality fly ash supplied by Headwaters. Headwaters has developed a proprietary foam index test that allows us to control fly ash quality with respect to air entrainment in concrete. A slight increase in admixture dosage can be expected because of the increased solid volume of cementitious fines, but performance should be uniform. This increase in dosage typically amounts to less than 0.25 ounces per 100# of cementitious materials. The use of water-reducing admixtures is encouraged with fly ash concrete mixtures; however, certain factors must be considered: 1. During warm temperatures, a normal dosage of water-reducing admixture is calculated on the combined weight of cement plus fly ash. 2. During periods of low temperatures, it is advisable to use a conservative dosage of normal set time water-reducing admixture calculating the dosage based only on the weight of cement. Under cool temperatures, normal setting water-reducing admixtures may cause retarded concrete set. Reducing the dosage utilized during cool conditions can help maintain proper concrete set times.


Several methods exist for the selection of the fly ash content in a mixture. Specification. The specifications for a particular project may define a required fly ash content. The percentage of fly ash required may range from as little as 10% to as high as 50% or 60%, depending upon the intention of the engineer. Failure to adhere to the specified level of fly ash may result in concrete of substandard properties and may not be suitable for the intended purpose. Optimum Ash Curves. In this method, a control curve is first generated by testing mixes with cement contents which vary from a low of 300# to a high of 700# per cubic yard in increments of 100#. All mixes should be of identical lump and yield. Plot cement contents on the abscissa (X axis), plot comprehensive strength on the ordinate (Y axis). A separate curve will be generated for each age of test. A family of optimum ash curves will be generated for each age of test. A family of optimum ash curves is then derived in the following manner: For each point on the control curve, a series of mixes should be tested with fly ash contents varying between 10% and 30% of total cementitious material (by weight) in increments of 10%. Plot these results on the same charts as the control mixture. These curves can then be utilized to choose the appropriate proportions of cementitious materials for any requirements. Water/Cementitious Materials Ratio Curves. In this method, the Abrams law of water to cement ratio is utilized. As this law is applicable to plain cement concrete, so is it applicable to fly ash concrete. The objective is to construct a family of curves which are plotted together, with each curve indicating a specific percentage of fly ash by weight of total cementitious materials (typically 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, etc.). This method is particularly useful where specifications require a maximum water/cementitious materials ratio.* Do not be surprised to find that for a fly ash mixture to be equivalent in strength to a plain cement mixture, the W/(C+FA) must be lower than the W/C. This is acceptable due to the fact that fly ash acts like a water reducer. Where cement is replaced by an equivalent weight of fly ash and the strengths are equal, they both have the same weight of cementitious materials but the fly ash mix will have a lower water demand. Replacement Method. Another successful method of designing fly ash concrete is by replacement. This involves selecting a conventional mix which has demonstrated an adequate performance level. Replacement tests should be run on a series of mixes containing fly ash in amounts ranging from 10% to 30% or more. To obtain 28-day strengths equal to the straight cement mix, it may be necessary to replace cement at a ratio exceeding 1:1. This can be determined by experimenting with mixes designed with replacement ratios of 1:1, 1:1.1, 1:1.2, etc. As in the other methods, specification factors will influence the selection of the optimum replacement percentage and ratio.

*Note - The American Concrete Institute now defines that water to cement ratio is equivalent to water to cementitious materials ratio. This means that fly ash is counted by weight the same as portland cement in this calculation. The importance of this to the concrete designer is the water reducing capability of fly ash. Where plain cement concrete may require 300# of water to provide the necessary degree of workability, fly ash concrete will use significantly less water, and may only require 90% of this, or 270# of water. If a max W/C of 0.5 is specified, the plain mix would need 600# of cement, while the fly ash mix would only need 540# of cementitious materials. The economic benefits are obvious.

For detailed explanations of the testing programs mentioned above, the following references are available: 1. Cannon, R. W., Proportioning Fly Ash Concrete Mixes For Strength And Economy, Journal of The American Concrete Institute; V. 65; No. 11; November 1968. 2. Lovewell, C. E. and Hyland, Edward J., Proportioning Concrete Mixes - A Method of Proportioning Structural Concrete Mixtures With Fly Ash And Other Pozzolans, American Concrete Institute Publications SP-46-8. 3. Lovewell, C. E. and Washa, G. W., Proportioning Concrete Mixes Using Fly Ash, Journal of The American Concrete Institute; V. 54; No. 12; June 1958.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash Improves Workability

Though it is never specified, workability is one of the most critical characteristics of concrete. Workability refers to the ease of handling, placing and finishing of fresh or plastic concrete. Slump is the general indicator of workability, yet different concretes can have greatly different levels of workability with the same slump measurement. Use of fly ash in concrete can greatly enhance workability.

lemishes in concrete, typically called rock pockets, are indicative of concrete without suitable workability, even though the slump may be judged to be acceptable. Rock pockets indicate a separation of the paste from the coarse aggregate in the concrete mix. Concrete must be cohesive even at high slumps to maintain its homogeneous character and avoid segregation and costly rock pockets. Fly ash offers this feature without extra cost.

Great benefits can be obtained when using more completely consolidating fly ash concrete in areas of difficult placement where rock pockets and other placing defects often occur. Engineers understand the effectiveness of using fly ash concrete in tall thin walls, such as those used in water tanks. They know they have a better chance of getting the dense, void free concrete they have specified when fly ash is included in the mix. Paste Volume Increases. The specific gravity of fly ash is lighter than cement. When replacing fly ash on a pound for pound basis, the result is a greater solid volume of cementitious fines. Proportioning concrete mixtures with only water-reducing admixtures results in a greatly diminished volume of cementitious fines. In effect, this amounts to taking cement out of the mix and replacing it with sand and gravel. The strengths may be acceptable, but the workability may not be. Proportioning performance concrete with fly ash virtually guarantees a greater solid volume of cementitious materials, which in itself helps promote cohesiveness and workability. Cementitious fines are very important to the contractor who finishes flatwork. These fines are necessary to allow proper leveling, sealing, and densification of the surface. Fly ash spheres help ease the contractors job by lubricating the surface, making it much easier and faster to finish the job. In lean mixes, or where aggregates are deficient in fines, an increase in the volume of paste and an improvement in consistency will be advantageous for workability and may also increase strength by allowing more complete compaction.2 Economical Mixture. Pound for pound, no other solid material improves the workability, strength, and other properties of a concrete mix like fly ash can, resulting in the most economical of mixtures. Placing and finishing concrete becomes easier because of the improved workability from the spherically shaped fly ash particles. Lower slump concrete can be placed more easily (and at lower water content) because of the plasticity provided by fly ash spheres. Segregation and bleeding are reduced because of to the increased cohesiveness of fly ash concrete, so form finish and sharpness of detail are enhanced. And coarse, clean sands can be used in concretes utilizing fly ash and still have good workability.

Reduced Water of Convenience. Approximately 25 pounds (three gallons) of water are normally required to hydrate 100 pounds of cement1. A normal concrete mix will generally contain twice the required amount of water to hydrate the cement enough to facilitate handling and placing of the concrete. This additional water, called water of convenience, increases slump but at the cost of decreased cohesiveness. Water of convenience is reduced when fly ash is added to the mix because the plasticizing action results in a 2% to 10% water reduction in the plastic concrete to produce the same level of slump as plain concrete. Reduced water of convenience at the same level of slump makes for more cohesive concrete and decreases the occurrence of costly segregation. Greater Consolidation. Fly ash concrete is actually more workable than plain cement concrete at equivalent slump. The VEBE test measures the time and energy necessary for consolidation of concrete under vibration. Figure 1 shows the remarkable difference in time and energy required for consolidation of plain and fly ash concretes. TYPICAL VEBE TIME vs SLUMP

20 VEBE TIME sec.




1. 2.

0 0 1 2 3 SLUMP - in. 4 5

Highway Research Board, Bulletin 284, Fly Ash in Concrete, January 1960, p. 27. Central Electricity Generating Board, Application of PFA in Concrete and Cement, RIBA Products Data, Lonon, March 1982.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash Decreases the Permeability of Concrete

Permeability of concrete and the resulting level of durability are matters of great concern to designers of concrete structures. Fly ash can be a valuable tool in reducing permeability.
ermeability is defined as the coefficient representing the rate at which water is transmitted through a saturated specimen of concrete under an externally maintained hydraulic gradient.1 Permeability is inversely linked to durability in that the lower the permeability, the higher the durability of concrete. Permeability is most frequently described by the chloride-ion permeability test, which measures the passage of electrical current through a concrete specimen exposed to a batch of sodium chloride.2 Limits of acceptability are as shown in the table below.3

FLY ASH HELPS FIVE WAYS Using fly ash in the concrete mix greatly aids permeability and durability in five ways: 1. Through pozzolanic activity, fly ash chemically combines with water and calcium hydroxide forming additional cementitious compounds which result in denser, higher strength concrete. The calcium hydroxide chemically combined with fly ash is not subject to leaching, thereby helping to maintain high density. The conversion of soluble calcium hydroxide to cementitious compounds decreases bleed channels, capillary channels and void spaces and thereby reduces permeability. At the same time, the above chemical reaction reduces the amount of calcium hydroxide susceptible to attack by weak acids, salts or other sulfates.4 Concrete density is also increased by the small, finely divided particles of fly ash which act like micro-aggregates to help fill in the tiniest voids in the concrete. Fly ash provides a dramatic lubricating effect which greatly reduces water demand (2% to 10%). This water reduction reduces internal voids and bleed channels and keeps harmful compounds out of the concrete.
10 4 x 35
(10.7) 30 (9.1) cu ft / sq ft - yr (cu m / sq m - yr)




Charge Passed
(coulombs) >4,000 2,000 - 4,000 1,000 - 2,000 100 - 1,000 <100

Chloride Permeability
High Moderate Low Very Low Negligible

Typical of
High water/cement ratio (>0.6), PCC Moderate water/cement ratio (0.4 to 0.5), PCC Low water/cement ratio (<0.4), PCC Latex-modified concrete, silca-fume concrete Polymer impregnated concrete, Polymer concrete


100% Portland Cement


Recent testing has shown that properly proportioned concretes using a combination of fly ash, normal or high-range water reducing admixtures, and air entraining admixtures have the ability to produce the same low levels of permeability as latex modified and silica-fume concretes. Fly ash increases the cementitious compounds, minimizes water demand, and reduces bleed channels all of which increase concrete density. These factors yield concrete of low permeability with low internal voids. Durability is increased with regard to freeze-thaw damage and disintegration from attack by acids, salts or sulfates.

25 (7.6) 20 (6.1)

15 (4.6) 10 (3.0) 5 (1.5) 0 200 (119) 250 (148) 300 (178) 350 (208) 400 (237) 70% Portland Cement 30% Fly Ash

1. 2.

3. 4.

Admixtures for Concrete, American Concrete Institute, Journal of ACI Proceedings, Vol. 60, No. 11, November 1963, p. 1512. Standard Method of Test for Rapid Determination of the Chloride Permeability of Concrete, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AASHTO T277-89, Washington, DC. Suprenant, Bruce A., Testing for Chloride Permeability of Concrete, Concrete Construction, July 1991. Fly Ash Increases Resistance to Sulfate Attack, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Research Report No. 23, 1970, p.5.


lb. / cu yd (kg / cu m) Permeability of concrete with and without pozzolan. Elfert, R.J. Bureau of Reclamation Experiences with Fly Ash and Other Pozzolans in Concrete, Third International Ash Utilization Symposium, 1973, p. 14.

For more information or answers to specific questions about concrete permeability, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Class F Fly Ash Increases Resistance to Sulfate Attack

Soluble sulfates in soils, ground waters, and sewage can destroy portland cement concrete unless it is produced with fly ash to provide sulfate resistance commensurate with the severity of the attack.
ulfate attack is a two-phased process. Sulfates combine with calcium hydroxide generated during cement hydration to form calcium sulfate (gypsum). The volume of this gypsum is greater than the sum of its components causing internal pressure and expansion, which fractures the concrete. Then aluminate compounds from portland cement react chemically with sulfates and calcium to form a compound called ettringite (calcium sulphoaluminate). Ettringite formation destroys the concrete in the same manner as gypsum formation. Fly ash effectively reduces this sulfate deterioration in three important ways: 1) Fly ash chemically binds free lime in cementitious compounds, rendering it unavailable for sulfate reaction. 2) Fly ash activity reduces concrete permeability, keeping sulfates from penetrating concrete. 3) Replacing a portion of portland cement with fly ash reduces the amount of reactive aluminates (tricalcium aluminate) available for sulfate reaction. Studies by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) show that properly proportioned concrete utilizing up to 35 percent Class F fly ash will withstand sulfate attack far better than conventional portland cement. Plain and fly ash concrete mixes using Type I, moderate sulfate resisting Type II, and sulfate resisting Type V cements were compared under standardized conditions of exposure to sodium sulfate. In all instances, Class F fly ash concrete dramatically outperformed conventional portland cement concrete.4,5 These tests clearly demonstrate that Type II cement with Class F fly ash was more resistant to sulfate attack than Type V cement alone. Further USBR work correlates the chemistry of a given fly ash with its ability to resist sulfate attack through a mathematical equation called the R factor, formulated below:2,3
Average Expansion at 10,000 Days, pct

As CaO calcium oxide increases and Fe2O3 decreases, sulfate resistance decreases due to fly ash chemistry.



Percent Expansion



High C Low C Control Class F


0 200 -0.001 400 600 800 1000 1200

Von Fay, Kurt and Pierce, James S., Sulfate Resistance of Concrete with Various Fly Ashes, ASTM Standardization News, Dec. 1989.

R factor requirements are currently used in USBR concrete specifications. The limits established by the USBR requiring progressively lower R values as sulfate attack severity increases are as follows:

R Limits* <0.75 0.75 to 1.5 1.5 to 3.0 >3.0

* ** ***

Sulfate Resistance*** Greatly improved Moderately improved No significant change** Reduced

(values extrapolated from expansions obtained to date)

R = (CaO-5)/ Fe2O3 percentage from fly ash oxide analysis; for very severe cyclic conditions of wetting and drying or for MgSO4 reduce the R value by 0.50. Slightly improved to slightly reduced. Compared to a Type II cement control at 0.45 w/c2.


The Portland Cement Association (PCA) reports the use of Class F fly ash improves sulfate resistance, while Class C fly ash is less effective and may even accelerate deterioration.4 ACI 232.2R-96 (Use of Fly Ash in Concrete) reports that fly ash with CaO content less than 15% will generally improve sulfate resistance. Fly ash with greater CaO content should be evaluated for use per ASTM C1012 or USBR test 4908.
Expansion to failure



To ensure the most durable concrete possible, Class F fly ash is an essential ingredient when the project will be vulnerable to attack by sulfates or other aggressive compounds.
Type V Type V Type II Type II Type I Type I
+ Fly Ash Cement + Fly Ash Cement + Fly Ash Cement

0 Type V Type V Type II Type II Type I Type I

+ Fly Ash Cement + Fly Ash Cement + Fly Ash Cement

Reduced expansion of concrete containing 30 percent fly ash illustrates improved sulfate resistance afforded by fly ash use.1


CaO-5 Fe2O3

1. Dikeou, J.T., Fly Ash Increases Resistance of Concrete to Sulfate Attack, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Research Report No. 23, US Government Printing Office, 1975. 2. Dunstan, E. R., A Spec Odyssey-Sulfate Resistant Concrete for the 80s, United States Department of the Interior, Water and Power Resources Service, March 1980. 3. Dunstan, E. R., Fly Ash and Fly Ash Concrete, US Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1984. 4. Helmuth, R. Fly Ash in Cement and Concrete, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL, 1987.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash for resistance to sulfate attack, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash Decreases Alkali/Silica Reaction

The unique properties of Class F fly ash make it not only beneficial, but absolutely essential in some cases for decreasing reaction between cement and aggregates during the concreting process.
nder certain conditions and in certain areas, reactive silica in aggregates will react with soluble alkalis from any available source, causing excessive and deleterious expansion.1 A volume change will occur over a period of time which causes the concrete to spall at the surface. In addition to resulting surface ruptures, interior stresses may occur which cause cracking and seriously impair structural integrity of the concrete.

.5 .4 .3 .2 .1 0

Including Class F fly ash in the mix design invariably reduces this reaction, protecting the concrete (and the steel reinforcement) from the deterioration which follows expansion. Larger quantities of Class C fly ash may be required to control expansion. Dunstan notes that CaO content may be a useful parameter to indicate the effectiveness of an ash to combat alkali/silica reaction3. ASTM C-618 provides for evaluation of pozzolans to be used where alkali/silica expansion is expected. Supplementary optional physical requirements provide for expansion limits for the C-441 expansion test with Pyrex glass aggregate.

a High-alkali cement (1.20 pct Na2O, 0.04 pct Ks), no pozzolan replacement b 25 pct pumicite replacement, by weight (Class N) c 32 pct fly ash replacement, by weight (Class F) d 20 pct calcined opaline shale replacement, by weight (Class N)


4 1 2 3


b c
1 2

(14 days age, ASTM C441)


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


AGE, months The use of low alkali (LA) cement (<0.6% alkalis) has become standard for combating reactive aggregates, although it may by itself prove ineffective over time. ASTM C-227 limits expansion at six months to 0.01%. While a mixture may prove acceptable in the test, it may well undergo destructive expansion later. Alkalis from other sources, including the aggregate, can fuel the expansion reaction. Some aggregates may also be so reactive that they expand to failure before six months with low alkali cement. Stark reported failure of a mixture containing cement with as little as .35% total alkalies.2
1.2 ALKALI CONTENT OF CEMENT (PERCENT) (0.92) .8 (0.57) .6



.1 0







TOTAL CaO PERCENT The decrease in alkali/silica reaction comes from the fact that Class F fly ash reacts chemically with and absorbs alkalis in the cement, thus making them unavailable for reaction later with the reactive aggregate. One example of fly ashs unique propensity to reduce alkali/silica reactions was documented by the State of Alabama. In 1960, the Alabama Highway Department specified that Class F fly ash be utilized in all concrete pavement, bridges and culverts. Time-tested results in hundreds of lanemiles of fly ash concrete placed since then have been positive, according to department representatives. Bridges more than 20 years old have exhibited improved resistance to alkali/silica reaction. In addition to the use of pozzolanic material, it is recommended that lowalkali cement (less than 0.6%) and acceptable aggregates be used in order to prevent alkali/silica reaction.4



.4 (0.48) .2 ASTM C 227 6-MONTH LIMIT 0 0 4 8 12 16 20 24

TIME, months
1. 2. 3. 4. Elfert, R. J., Bureau of Reclamation Experiences with Fly Ash and Other Pozzolans in Concrete, Third International Ash Utilization Symposium, 1973, p. 14. Stark, D. C., Alkali-Silica Reactivity: Some Reconsiderations, Research Development Bulletin RD076.OIT, Portland Cement Association, 1981. Dunstan, E. R., Fly Ash and Fly Ash Concrete, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado, May 1984 Graham. D. E., Fly Ash and Its Use in Concrete, NRMCA Publication No. 138, 1972, p. 10.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash to decrease alkali/silica reactions, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash Increases Resistance to Freezing and Thawing

Concrete deterioration from freeze/thaw cycles has been and continues to be a major problem in cooler areas of the country. Use of fly ash concrete mixes can help reduce exposure to damage.
reeze/thaw deterioration begins when water enters voids in concrete. Leaching of calcium hydroxide, producing the hydration of portland cement, provides greater voids for water to occupy, thereby aggravating the rate of deterioration. Upon freezing, this water expands in volume 9%, generating pressures of 30,000 psi. This tremendous pressure greatly exceeds the capacity of concrete to resist it, and the concrete is forced apart from within. Deterioration provides ever easier paths for water to penetrate into the concrete, resulting in greater disintegration as freeze/thaw cycles continue. Entrained air voids have been found to be particularly useful in resisting the destructive action of freeze/thaw cycles. Theory has it that each of the microscopic air voids purposefully put into the concrete acts as a pressure release vessel. The pressure exerted as water turns to ice finds a point of release in these numerous small air voids.

FLY ASH VALUABLE AID High quality fly ash can be a concrete producers most valuable asset in achieving all five objectives stated. High quality fly ash works as follows: 1. Fly ash combines with calcium hydroxide to produce additional cementitious materials, thereby reducing the amount of calcium hydroxide that may be leached out of the concrete. Leaching of the calcium hydroxide increases concrete voids which can accelerate freeze/thaw damage. As a result, permeability and porosity are reduced. 2. Fly ash fills the minute voids that no other part of the mix can fill, thus creating a more dense and less absorptive concrete. 3. Fly ash reduces the amount of water required in the mix by approximately 2% to 10%, because the spherical shape of the fly ash particles reduces bleed channels and void spaces. Reducing bleed channels limits the entrance of water; fewer void spaces mean less space for water to accumulate. 4. Fly ash helps maintain an even distribution of entrained air through the plasticizing effect that fly ash particles have on the concrete mix. High quality fly ash also produces more cohesive concrete which holds entrained air inside the concrete. 5. Fly ash helps produce higher compressive strengths long term that provide a strong concrete which resists the forces generated during the freezing of water in the voids. Fly ash concrete is more stable, uniform, dense, less absorptive and less permeableall factors which improve freeze/thaw durability.

ACI RECOMMENDATIONS Even though entrained air is put into concrete, certain conditions must accompany it in order for the concrete to successfully resist deterioration. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) recommends that the concrete producer take steps to: 1. Introduce the proper percentage of suitably sized and spaced air bubbles into the concrete. 2. Provide a minimum level of compressive strength (typically 4,000 psi). 3. Proportion the mix for low concrete absorption. 4. Design the concrete for high density and low permeability. 5. Assure that the concrete be properly cured, then dehydrated, prior to exposure to freeze/thaw.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash to increase resistance to freezing and thawing, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Structural Concrete

A major use for fly ash in the construction industry is in the production of high quality structural concrete. Fly ash contributes beneficial properties to the concrete while helping to maintain economy. These properties include compressive strength, lubrication and increased durability.


ompressive Strength. Specifications for normal strength concrete generally require a given level of strength in 28 days. Fly ash concrete is easily proportioned to meet strength requirements at this age or any other age desired. Fly ash concrete designed to be equivalent in strength to ordinary concrete at 28 days will normally exhibit slightly lower strength at early ages. This slight early age strength reduction does not adversely affect job sequencing due to construction loading. (See strength gain curves in Fig. 1).

Lubrication. Fly ash spheres impart a ball bearing lubrication to plastic concrete, enhancing workability at the same slump as ordinary concrete while reducing water convenience. Enhanced workability contributes increased quality to structural concrete in several ways: 1. Concrete pumping is made easier. Flow rate may be increased without increasing line pressure, and line blockages are reduced. Record pumping time is achieved as a result of the use of fly ash. The technique of injecting concrete into the bottom of the form from the pump hose is made possible by the workability of the fly ash mix. Form filling becomes easier. Fly ash concrete is more responsive to vibration, enabling forms to be fully filled more quickly and with less effort. Segregation, voids, rock pockets and other defects are reduced because of increased cohesiveness and workability. (Cost savings from reduced corrective action required on defects alone can be significant.)






Increased Durability. The pozzolanic activity which contributes cementitious value to concrete also yields increased density and reduced permeability. As a result, penetration of aggressive media is slowed or eliminated, thereby increasing concrete durability. Fly ash is especially effective in the effort to restrict chloride ion penetration and the accompanying disintegration it causes. Concrete for parking structures, highway structures or any other structures likely to be subject to chlorides should require fly ash. Pozzolanic activity also chemically binds with cement alkalis, keeping them from combining with reactive aggregates, and also acts to reduce internal expansion. Reduced cement content in fly ash concrete lowers the heat of hydration, which is especially beneficial in mass concrete applications. Reduced temperature gain results in reduced thermal shrinkage and less possibility of thermal cracking. Concrete structures subject to high wind loading are often designed for stiffness. Concrete for use in these structures contains fly ash to help develop the high modulus of elasticity required. Evaluations performed on concretes of normal strength levels shows that fly ash concrete has a higher modulus of elasticity than plain concrete at the same strength level. Internal pressures generated during freeze/thaw cycles can rapidly destroy structural concrete. Fly ash concrete mixes exhibit lower permeability, greater density, and higher strength, enabling them to better resist freeze/thaw cycles. Concrete mixes containing fly ash perform as well as or better than ordinary mixes provided that comparable strength and air-entrainment factors are maintained in both mixes.2 Mix Selection. As with plant concrete mixes, sound laboratory methods or good field history of performance should be used to select fly ash concrete with the proper proportions for the needs of the project. It is recommended that optimum fly ash curves be developed through testing local materials if the maximum benefits of fly ash in structural concrete are to be achieved.


1 3



Typical age-strength relationships (mixes designed for equal 28 day strengths)

Fly ash concrete can be easily proportioned to meet strength specifications at early ages (3 to 7 days). Economics, although still attractive, will not be as great as when proportioning for 28 days of age or later. Fly ash has been utilized in many early strength projects because of many beneficial features other than economy. Later age strength gain after 28 days can prove to be valuable. It may be used to obtain required strengths at lower cost. It may be relied upon in deciding structural acceptability where compressive strength tests indicate lower than specified strengths. It also plays a key role in producing high strength concrete. High compressive strengths from 6,000 psi to 14,000 psi are often required in structural concrete. High quality fly ash complying with ASTM C-618 is most advantageous in achieving these strength levels. The strength gain derived from 10 to 25% fly ash (by weight of cementitious materials) cannot be equaled by adding cement.1 It has also been found to produce the same high strength levels in concrete as silicafume without the high cost.

1. 2.

Buck, Ronald L., Petersen, C. F. and Winter, M. E., Proportioning and Controlling High Strength Concrete, Proportioning Concrete Mixes, SP-46, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, pp. 142, 145, (1964). Meilenz, Richard C., Specifications and Methods of Using Fly Ash in Portland Cement Concrete, Ash Utilization, United States Department of the Interior, IC 8640, pp. 63-64, (1973).

For assistance in conducting these tests or for more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in structural concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash for Pumped Concrete

Pumped concrete must be designed so that it can be easily conveyed by pressure through a rigid pipe or flexible hose for discharge directly into the desired area. Fly ash use can greatly improve pumpability while enhancing the quality of the concrete and controlling costs.
ix Homogeneity. The designer must be aware of the need to improve gradation and maintain uniformity of the various materials used in the pumped mix in order to achieve greater homogeneity of the total mix.1 Three mix proportioning methods frequently used to produce pumpable concrete are: Maximum Density of Combined Materials Maximum Density Least Voids Minimum Voids Minimum Area Mixes must be designed with several factors in mind: 1. 2. Pumped concrete must be more fluid, with enough fine material and water to fill internal voids. Since the surface area and void content of fine material below 300 microns control the liquid under pressure, there must be more of these sizes than in a normal mix. Generally speaking, the finer the material, the greater the control. The coarse aggregate grading should be continuous and often the sand content must be increased by up to five percent at the expense of the coarser aggregate so as to balance the 500 micron - 5mm fraction against the finer solids.

Pozzolanic Activity. This chemical reaction combines the fly ash particles with the calcium hydroxide liberated through the hydration of cement to form additional cementitious compounds, which increase concrete strength. Water Requirement. Excess water in pumped mixes resulting in over six inch slumps will often cause material segregation and result in line blockage. As in conventionally placed mixes, pumped concrete mixes with excessive water also contribute to lower strength, increased bleeding and shrinkage. The use of fly ash in pumped or conventionally placed mixes can reduce the water requirement by 2% to 10% for any given slump.3 Sand/Coarse Aggregate Ratio. In pumped mixes, the inclusion of liberal quantities of coarse aggregate can be very beneficial because it reduces the total aggregate surface area, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the available cementitious paste. This approach is in keeping with the minimum voids, minimum area proportioning method. As aggregate size increases, so does the optimum quantity of coarse aggregate. Unfortunately, this process frequently is reversed in pump mixes, and sand will be substituted for coarse aggregate to make pumping easier. When that happens, there is a need to increase costly cementitious material to compensate for strength loss. However, if fly ash is utilized, its unique workability and pumpability properties permit a better balance of sand to coarse aggregate, resulting in a more economical, pumpable concrete.


Fly Ash Effective. Unfortunately, adding extra water and fine aggregate leads to a weaker concrete. The usual remedies for this are either to increase the cement content, which is costly, or to use chemical admixtures, which also can be costly and may lead to segregation in marginal mixes. There is another and far more effective alternative: fly ash. There are many advantages to including fly ash in concrete mixes to be pumped. Among them are: 1. Particle Size. Fly ash meeting ASTM Specification 618 must have 66 percent passing the 325 (45-micron) sieve, and these fine particles are ideal for void filling. Just a small deficiency in the mix fines can often prevent successful pumping. Particle Shape. Microscopic examination shows most fly ash particles are spherical and act like miniature ball bearings, aiding the movement of the concrete by reducing frictional losses in the pump and piping. Studies have shown that fly ash can be twice as effective as cement in improving workability and, therefore, pumpability.2


1. 2. 3.

Proportioning Concrete Mixes - ACI Publications SP-46, p. 27. Missner, H.S., Effect of Inert Mineral Additives on Workability, Significance of Tests and Properties of Concrete and Concrete Making Materials, STP 169-A American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 404-414.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash for pumped concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Controlled Density Fill

The materials and methodology used for void filling have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. The filling process has involved compacting granular materials into voids to provide stabilized fill. Modern technology has only provided for mechanized compaction versus the use of manual labor. Now available is an engineered product designed to eliminate failures inherent in the traditional method. This product is called Controlled Density Fill (CDF).


DF, also known as flowable fill, is an engineered, controlled, fill material which is self placing, self leveling, self compacting and nonsettling. It is easily proportioned to suit almost any application while using conventional materials found in almost every concrete production facility. REASONS TO USE CDF The first reason to use CDF was likely the need to be able to do a difficult job well. Since that time, the list of reasons for its use has grown greatly and continues to grow. A few of those reasons to use CDF are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. CDF perfectly encapsulates whatever has been installed in the trench and protects it against damage. There is no damage to installed utilities as no mechanical force is needed to place or compact CDF. CDF does not settle after consolidation so there is complete longterm protection for encapsulated utilities. The job can be done once and forgotten because CDF eliminates costly repairs due to settlement. CDF consolidates rapidly to allow placement of a permanentpavement patch. Usually allowed to harden overnight, the filled trench can be plated until the following day and then paved. Placing of CDF fills can be accomplished with reduced personnel and expensive equipment. Future access to the fill is assured by designing in excavatability of the CDF. CDF protects utilities in fills against loss of support during adjacent excavation operations. Loose pea gravel fill can flow out if exposed by excavation, causing a loss of support. Should this occur, however, refilling is made easy with CDF. Traffic accidents (and accompanying litigation) resulting from settled fills are eliminated. The public safety is maintained with non-settling CDF.

13. CDF can be placed in any weather at any time. It will even displace standing water, which reduces dewatering costs. 14. The speed of construction with CDF minimizes pavement downtime and helps keep traffic moving. 15. CDF requires no storage or dumping area as it is delivered fresh from the ready-mix concrete truck directly into the void. 16. CDF is the perfect fill material for remote locations where access is difficult. Simply pump CDF in place with a concrete pump. Proportioning for pumpability is simple. 17. CDF is the most versatile of materials. It can be easily adjusted to meet requirements for greater flowability, lower unit weight and higher strength. MATERIALS FOR CDF PRODUCTION The materials used in the production of CDF are the very same utilized in the production of portland cement concrete. These materials include: Portland Cement used to provide a light degree of cementing action to the mixture. Control of the degree of cementing action is necessary to provide excavatability for future work. Cement contents typically range for 30#/cy for normal excavatable fill up to 200#/cy where structural, non-excavatable fill is required. Cement type is not important. Fly Ash used as a workability agent to provide mixes that can flow great distances without segregation. It also provides a slight cementing action. Fly ash contents typically range from 200#/cy where limited flowability is necessary, up to 1,000#/cy where long-range flow-ability/pumpability is necessary. Aggregate the same as is currently used in concrete or others not of concrete quality. Almost any aggregate can be used, provided it is free of plastic fines. Admixtures usually restricted to air-entraining agents but can include the use of water-reducers. Physical Properties A typical CDF mixture will have the following approximate characteristics: 1 day strength: 28 day strength: Angle of internal friction: Permeability: 10-20 psi 50-100+ psi 30-55 degrees 10-5 to 10-7 cm/sec

6. 7. 8.


10. CDF improves worker safety as no one need enter the excavation for placing or consolidation. 11. Field inspection is eliminated as CDF can be depended upon to perform, whereas conventional fill materials must be tested for density in each lift. 12. Excavation costs are reduced because excavations can be made narrower, reducing the volume of spoils and fills needed.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in controlled density fill, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Pavement Concrete

Fly ash has been used in road paving for more than 2,000 years.


he Romans used naturally occurring volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius to cement the paving stones in their roadways. Many miles of this ancient roadway although rough by our standards still exist as useable highway. Today in Europe, paving stones have been replaced by modern day pavement but a product almost identical to volcanic ash is still used. In fact, most European highways have been constructed with fly ash in all levels, including the wearing course. On this side of the Atlantic, it has been only in relatively recent years that we have begun to recognize the value of fly ash in concrete pavements. Many States Use Ash. Roadways and interstate highways in Alabama, California, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Utah and approximately 20 other states and Canadian provinces have been successfully constructed with fly ash, many dating back to the early 50s and 60s. These roads are found in every type of climate from virtually subtropical to sub-zero. In January of 1974, the Federal Highway Administration encouraged the use of fly ash in concrete pavement with its Notice N 5080.4, which urged states to allow partial substitution of fly ash for cement whenever feasible. The FHWA indicated that the replacement of cement with fly ash of the order of 10% to 25% can be made giving equal or better concrete strength and durability.1 In addition, in January 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency published federal procurement guidelines for cement and concrete containing fly ash which encourage the utilization of fly ash and establish compliance deadlines. Compressive Strengths. Highway departments frequently specify a minimum 14-day flexural strength. These requirements can readily be met through the utilization of proper mix designs incorporating specification fly ash. Equal compressive strengths at all ages can be readily attained provided specification fly ash, properly proportioned, is substituted for up to 25% of the cementitous material.

Some of the reasons that fly ash is used in concrete paving have more to do with the physical characteristics of fly ash than the chemical and strength gain characteristics. With modern construction techniques such as paving trains using slipform equipment the fly ash facilitates placement of the concrete at lower slumps while maintaining excellent workability. This means less hand work for the paving contractor and better surface texture and edge characteristics for the design engineers. Denser Concrete. Using fly ash also results in a denser concrete one that will have much greater ultimate strength and durability. Paving contractors are increasingly asking that fly ash be used in their concrete because they are able to place the pavement or curb with less tearing; thus, a smaller finishing crew is required. These are other advantages to using fly ash that result in a stronger and more durable pavement: Fly ash concrete pavement will improve the resistance of the concrete to sulfate attack. The concrete will be more resistant to road salts and freeze/thaw action as well as reduced alkali/silica reaction. In many areas of the country, fly ash also can help keep the initial cost of concrete pavement competitive with asphalt pavements.

1. Use of Fly Ash in Portland Cement Concrete and Stabilized Base Construction, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Notice N 5080.4, p. 6, January 17, 1974.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in concrete pavement, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Pipe Manufacturing

Class F fly ash has been used successfully in the manufacturing of concrete pipe for more than 30 years. It has become an almost indispensable ingredient to the dry, harsh mixes typically used in modern pipe manufacturing.


Dry cast concrete pipe is produced utilizing mechanical and/or vibratory compaction to consolidate dry concrete into a form. The form is removed from the pipe as soon as the casting is finished. With removal of the form, the green pipe is carefully transported to its place of curing. Atmospheric pressure curing at elevated temperature is typically used to obtain early age performance. Wet cast pipe uses plastic concrete placed and compacted in a form, which remains around the pipe until certain levels of performance are achieved. Although declining in popularity, wet cast pipe may be manufactured by the spinning process (centrifugal) to remove excess water and air to produce great density and low permeability. Fly ash has found widespread use as a cementitious material and as an aggregate mineral filler to enhance quality and economy in the manufacturing of concrete pipe. The major reasons for the use of fly ash in concrete pipe are: Hostile Conditions. Pipe is inevitably subject to hostile conditions. It is most often used to convey sewage to and through sewage treatment plants where hydrogen sulfide gas attack may reduce portland cement concrete to rubble. Sulfate attack from soluble sulfates is also of concern. Fly ash makes concrete less permeable, and pipe containing it may be more resistant to weak acids and sulfates (Davis 1954; K. Mather 1982). Factors pertaining to the life of concrete pipe exposed to sulfate attack include the type of cement, chemistry of fly ash, quality of concrete, bedding and backfill used, groundwater, sulfate concentration and severity of exposure. Reduced Cement. Dry cast concrete pipe mixes without fly ash typically use more cement than necessary for strength to obtain the required workability. In a packerhead pipe casting operation, concrete with a very dry consistency is compacted into a vertical pipe form using a revolving compaction tool. Vibratory pipe casting uses mechanical vibration to compact dry mix concrete into a form. Fly ash allows the producer to remove excess cement from the concrete without sacrificing strength, while at the same time reducing the amount of water in the mix. Fly ash is used as cementitious material and aggregate mineral filler to provide strength and added workability and plasticity.

oncrete pipe is made by essentially two different processes, one using extremely dry concrete mixtures and the other using plastic concrete mixtures.

Workability. Pipe manufacturers throughout the world recognize that the spherical shape of fly ash makes dry harsh mixes, as used in packerhead and vibratory machines, extremely workable. This added workability reduces cycle time, wear on moving parts and forms, and makes a denser, less permeable and more airtight pipe. Increased workability translates into more complete form filling in less time, with less effort and at lower cost. Equipment used in pipe production may last longer due to the lubricating effect of the fly ash. Fly ash increases the cohesiveness of the no-slump, freshly placed concrete, facilitating early form stripping and movement of the product for curing. Fewer Rejects. Dry cast concrete pipe benefits from fly ash by obtaining more complete form filling with fewer voids and reduced collapse. Wet cast and centrifugal pipe also benefit from the workability and densification that fly ash contributes to each mix. Most manufacturers using fly ash in their mix have less pipe rejected because of voids and crazing. Other benefits attributed to the use of fly ash include a reduction in the heat of hydration of concrete mixtures containing fly ash, which can reduce the number of hairline cracks on the inside surface of stored pipe sections (Cain 1979). Concrete mixtures containing fly ash also tend to bleed less, which is particularly beneficial in wet cast pipe. The combined benefits: fewer rejects, lower cement requirements, reduced wear on machinery and lowered cycle times, add up to reduced manufacturing costs. ASTM Specifications. Current ASTM specifications for the production of concrete pipe address the use of fly ash meeting the conditions of ASTM C618 Class F or C in concrete pipe. These specifications allow for the use of portland-pozzolan cement per ASTM C595 containing a maximum of 25% fly ash by weight. Where fly ash is used separately, it is limited to between 5% and 25% of total cementitious material. The cementitious materials content for concrete for pipe production shall not be less than 470 pounds per cubic yard. The concrete mixture shall also have a maximum water/cementitious materials ratio of 0.53.

Suggested additional reading: How Fly Ash Improves Concrete Block, Ready-Mixed Concrete, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Industries Year Book 1976-1977, pp. 1-6. Cain, Craig J., Fly Ash in Concrete Pipe, Concrete Pipe News, Vol. 31, No. 6, Dec., pp.116-119. Davis, Raymond E. Pozzolanic Materials - With Special Reference to Their Use in Concrete Pipe, Technical Memorandum, American Concrete Pipe Association, Vienna, pp. 14-15, 1954. Mather, Katherine, 1982 Current Research in Sulfate Resistance at the Waterways Experiment Station, George Verbeck Symposium on Sulfate Resistance of Concrete, SP-77, ACI, Detroit, pp. 63-74.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash for pipe manufacturing, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Precast/Prestressed Concrete Products

Production of precast concrete products involves intricate, difficult patterns. Fly ash concrete mixes can help precasters solve challenges in many areas of production.


recast concrete products can be produced with or without reinforcement, but units typically consist of narrow, deep sections which are heavily reinforced, making concrete placement very difficult. Reinforcement typically includes the use of fibers, conventional reinforcing steel, and prestressing steel tendons, either pretensioned or post-tensioned or combinations thereof. Mixtures must have enough workability to flow well under vibration and totally fill the form without segregation. Hand finishing is often required, necessitating a mixture workable enough to allow for this kind of manipulation.

destructive attack from numerous environmental factors.5 Fly ash is seen as a major ingredient utilized in the production of durable concrete and as such should be included in any concrete subject to severe environments. Responding to a questionnaire presented in August 1986, 77 members of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) answered questions about their use of fly ash in prestressed concrete products.6 Of the total respondents, 32 percent indicated that they were currently using fly ash in their products, 9 percent had used fly ash but had stopped, and 58 percent had never used fly ash. Of those that were using fly ash, the average cement replacement was 19%, with the lowest being 12% and the highest being 30%. Of the respondents using fly ash, 42 percent stated cost savings and 40 percent stated increased workability of the mix as major reasons they used fly ash. Other reasons for use of fly ash were: 1) increased 28 day strength, 2) achieved 3,500 psi overnight, 3) better filling of voids, 4) reduction in permeability, and 5) minimization of shrinkage. Concerns as to the performance of Class F fly ash in prestressed concrete were addressed in a study by Dhir, Munday, and Ho in 1988.7 Concrete specimens were investigated at ages from 18 hours to 1 year into the areas of strength development (compressive and tensile) and deformation behavior (elastic, creep and shrinkage). With various replacement rates evaluated, it was concluded that concretes containing fly ash perform as well as, or better than, concretes containing only rapid hardening cement. The small amount of alkalis, sulfates, unburned carbon and chlorides present in fly ash do not result in problems with regard to corrosion of the reinforcement.8 Fly ash may also be valuable as a mineral admixture to enhance product quality. Fly ash used in precast concrete products improves workability, resulting in products with sharp, distinctive corners and edges. Fly ash can also provide improved flowability, resulting in products with better surface appearance. Better flowability and workability properties achieved by using fly ash are particularly desirable for products with intricate shapes and surface patterns and for those that are heavily reinforced. Reduced costs associated with repair of surface defects can be attributed to the use of fly ash.

By definition, precast concrete products are cast and cured in other than their final position.1 This enables the use of reusable forms which, due to economic concerns, are cycled as rapidly as possible. For this reason, these concrete products generally achieve their competitive position in the marketplace by using a limited number of forms with a short production cycle. Normal production schedules allow for one usage of forms per day; however, 10 to 12 hour schedules are common. Accelerated curing, typically employed to enhance early age concrete strength for handling, shipping, and product utilization, accelerates the pozzolanic reaction of fly ash to help develop the necessary early strengths. Concrete mixtures for these products are proportioned for high levels of performance at early ages. Compressive strengths of 3,500 to 5,000 psi (24 to 28 MPa) are typically required at the time of form removal or stripping. These early concrete strengths are generally achieved with cementitious material contents of 600 to 750 lb/cy (355 to 445 kg/cm). Conventional and high-range water reducing agents are often employed to attain workability at very low water content. Non-chloride accelerating admixtures are also used when necessary. While the early strength gain characteristics of fly ash have generally been considered too slow for use in these mixtures, perceptions are changing toward the use of fly ash in these applications. As is true of all mixtures used in precast concrete work, mixture proportioning and curing procedures used must produce adequate early strength, or the turnaround time on forms or molds will be increased.2 While early age strength levels are required for stripping and handling, higher strength levels are required for the ultimate use of the products. The use of quality fly ash meeting ASTM C618 specifications is a must in the production of high strength concrete of 6,000 psi and higher.3 The strength gain achieved from the use of 10% to 15% fly ash cannot be readily attained through the addition of a proportionate amount of cement. Pretensioned hollow-core structural slabs are produced with no-slump concrete. It is consolidated and shaped as it passes through an extrusion machine. The particle shape of the coarse aggregate and the amount of fine aggregate are very important to workability. Fly ash is widely considered to be a beneficial ingredient to increase the workability of these dry, harsh mixes.4 Early strength performance of thesemixtures using Class F fly ash closely parallels mixtures without fly ash in terms of early compressive strength. No early strength reduction is apparent. Although most concern is directed at obtaining desired early compressive strengths, these concrete products must possess durability to resist

1. Cement and Concrete Terminology, American Concrete Institute Committee 116R-90, p. 46. 2. Ravina, Dan, Efficient Utilization of Coarse and Fine Fly Ash in Precast Concrete by Incorporating Thermal Curing, American Concrete Institute Journal, Proceedings V.78 No. 3, May-June 1981 pp. 194-200. 3. Blick, Ronald L., Peterson, C.F., Winter, M. E., Proportioning and Controlling High Strength Concrete, Proportioning Concrete Mixes, American Concrete Institute, SP-46, pp. 142, 145, 1974. 4. Juvas, Klaus, The Workability of No-Slump Concrete for Use in Hollow Core Slabs, Nordic Concrete Research, Publication No. 6, pp. 121-130, 1987. 5. Gerwick, Ben C., Jr., Practical Methods of Ensuring Durability of Prestressed Concrete Ocean Structures, Durability of Concrete, American Concrete Institute, SP-47, p. 318, 1975. 6. Shaikh, A.F., and Feely, J.P. 1986, Summary of Responses to a Questionnaire and the Use of Fly Ash in The Precast and Prestressed Concrete Industry, PCI Journal, pp. 126-128, 1986. 7. Dhir, R.K., Munday, J.G. L., and Ho, N. Y., PFA in Structural Precast Concrete: Engineering Properties, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 18, pp. 852-862, 1988. 8. Visvesvaraya, H.C., Incidence of Corrosion of Steel Reinforcement in Fly Ash Concrete, Cement Research Institute of India, Report RB-3-74, P. 2, 1974.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in precast and prestressed concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Block Manufacturing

The manufacturing of concrete masonry units uses a dry, harsh concrete mixture compacted into molds with great mechanical energy. When demolded, these units maintain their shape during handling and transportation into a curing environment. Curing methods consist of the high pressure, high temperature autoclave, or the atmospheric pressure, high temperature kiln. The use of high quality fly ash has become accepted practice in the industry.
ly ash improves block manufacturing in two basic ways. It gives producers the strength required and, at the same time, the added plasticity that fly ash contributes (reported by Belot, 1976) to the relatively harsh block mixes assures improved finish and texture; better mold life, and better, sharper corners. Additional benefits of fly ash in block include reduced permeability and shrinkage, increased durability and virtual elimination of efflorescence. Fly Ash Chemical Activity. Fly ash is produced by burning powdered coal to generate electricity. Fly ash is a chemically active, finely divided mineral product high in silica, alumina and iron. Fly ash that has been burned in the process of manufacturing (in the same sense that portland cement clinker is burned) seeks lime. One hundred pounds of portland cement usually liberates from 12 to 20 pounds or more of free lime (calcium hydroxide) during hydration. Fly ash then chemically reacts with this free lime to form additional stable cementitious compounds. The formation of insoluble cementing compounds is accelerated and can be secured in a matter of hours in the steam curing cycle of the concrete products plant (autoclave or atmospheric). Steam Curing. Autoclave curing, though not as common as in the past, is still used to manufacture high quality masonry units. Concrete masonry units cured in high-pressure autoclaves show early strength equivalent to that of 28-day moist-cured strength and reduction in volume change in drying (Hope 1981). The process uses temperatures of 275 to 375F (135 to 275C) and pressures of 75 to 170 psi (0.52 to 1.17MPa). These conditions allow for the use of fly ash as a cement replacement up to 35 percent for Class C and 30 percent for Class F fly ashes. Particular care should be taken to insure that the fly ash meets the soundness requirement of ASTM C618, indicated in Note C, Table 2 especially where the fly ash will constitute more than 20 percent of the total cementitious material. Low-pressure steam curing is usually performed in insulated kilns at elevated temperatures, the exact temperature used being a function of the materials and operation of the specific plant. This process allows for the use of fly ash as a cement replacement up to 35 percent for Class C and 25 percent for Class F fly ash. Tests with 25 percent Class F fly ash were successful with a curing temperature above 160F (71C) and indicate that drying shrinkage of low pressure steam-cured concrete units can be reduced by the addition of fly ash. Accelerated curing techniques allow for a period of preset before the concrete products are subjected to elevated temperatures. The preset period may lengthen slightly where cement is replaced with fly ash and if so, it must be allowed for.


Tests for resistance to freezing and thawing of concrete masonry units containing fly ash indicate that such units, in general, could be expected to perform well in vertical wall construction. For the more severe condition of horizontal exposure, a minimum compressive strength of 3,000 psi (21MPa) based upon the net area of the unit is recommended when normal weight aggregates are used. This is true whether fly ash is used or not. Air-entrainment is not practical at the extremely low or zero slumps used for concrete block. It could be applicable to slump block or quarry tile. To provide adequate freezing and thawing durability for units made with slump concrete, air-entrainment is needed (Redmond 1969). Acceptance by the engineering profession and most code bodies to use concrete masonry units for high-strength, high-rise, load-bearing construction is increasing. To meet this demand, block producers find it necessary to produce both light and normal weight units testing 3,500 psi net area (1,860 gross area assuming 53 percent solid units) and 5,000 psi net area (2,650 gross area), respectively. The 1,860 psi gross area strength units are known as high strength block and those of 2,650 psi gross area strength are known as extra high strength block. Trial Mixes. Proportioning mixtures for the manufacture of concrete masonry units is not an exact science. Conditions may vary widely from plant to plant. When proportioning mixtures, concrete producers should check the grading and types of aggregates, cements, equipment, and kiln temperatures, and then adjust trial batches with various amounts of fly ash to achieve specific technical or economic objectives (Valore 1970). For assistance in this regard, the reader is referred to Siliceous Fines in the Cementing Medium of Steam Cured Concrete Masonry Units, a 1967 publication by the National Concrete Masonry Association.
Suggested Reading: Concrete Block, Ready-Mix Concrete and Concrete Pipe, Concrete Industries Yearbook, 1974-75. How Fly Ash Improves Concrete Block, Ready-Mix Concrete, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Industries Yearbook 1976-77. Grant, William, Manufacture of Concrete Masonry Units, Concrete Publishing Corporation, Chicago, 1959. American Concrete Institute Committee 517, Low Pressure Steam Curing of Concrete, Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Aug. 1969. Recommended Practice for Atmospheric Pressure Steam Curing of Concrete, Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Aug. 1965. American Concrete Institute Committee 516, High Pressure Steam Curing: Modern Practice and Properties of Autoclaved Products, Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Aug. 1965. Belot, J.R., Jr., Fly Ash in Concrete and Concrete Block Manufacturing, Proceedings, 1st Fly Ash Utilization Symposium (Pittsburgh, Mar.) Information Circular No. 8348, Bureau of Mines, Washington D.C., 1967. Hope, Brian B., Autoclaved Concrete Containing Fly Ash, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 227233, Mar. 1981. Redmond, T. B., Jr., Freezing and Thawing Tests of Concrete Masonry Units with Cement and Cement-Fly Ash as Cementitious Materials, National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Oct. 1969. Valore, R. C., Jr., Laboratory Evaluation of Fly Ash and Other Pozzolans for Use in Concrete Products, Proceedings, 2nd Ash Utilization Symposium (Pittsburgh, Mar.), Information Circular No. 8488, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C., 1970.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash for concrete block manufacturing contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash for Architectural Concrete

Decorative and architectural concrete dates back centuries. Clay moldings from prehistoric caves illustrate mans desire to enhance the beauty of his surroundings with art, color and architecture. Early Greek and Roman artists used volcanic ash mixed with sand and lime to create statues and decorative moldings. Many believe that the longevity of early structures, some still standing today, can be attributed to the pozzolanic activity of volcanic fly ash.

odern fly ash production and use is an integral part of concrete construction. Architects and structural engineers routinely design concrete mixes with fly ash for a wide range of structures, roadways, marine and high strength applications. Proven improvements in durability, permeability, shrinkage and long term strength gain yield better quality concrete. Traditional concrete for integrally colored, color hardened, stained or textured architectural applications often suffers from the following flaws: Poor Aesthetics: Straight portland cement mixtures produce significant amounts of calcium hydroxide in the paste. This leaches out of hardened concrete in the form of free lime (efflorescence) and can overshadow integral color pigment, causing a bleached, streaking effect. It may take several years before efflorescence diminishes. Lack Surface Integrity: The crystalline structure of calcium hydroxide is expansive. Decorative surface treatments like stains, penetrating colored sealers and acidic stains can be ruined by the leaching effect of efflorescence. In the case of stains, the acidic reaction that produces color variation actually softens the matrix of the surface paste, allowing for greater moisture penetration, yielding more efflorescence. Shrinkage and Permeability: Integral color pigments increase paste volume and require additional water. This increases shrinkage and surface cracking potential. Higher water demand mixes are more permeable, allowing for greater moisture absorption, which then increases the production of efflorescence.

Benefits of fly ash in colored architectural concrete: 1. Fly ash chemically and physically combines with calcium hydroxide (efflorescence) to form additional binder glue (calcium silicate hydrate). This additional glue yields greater paste strength with fewer voids. Efflorescence is greatly reduced. 2. The water demand of fly ash mixes is lower, creating a dense, highly impermeable matrix. This increases durability and reduces the effects of carbonation. The potential for plastic shrinkage cracking is also reduced. 3. Architectural form finishes and textures are improved with fly ash. The small, spherical fly ash particles aid in concrete mobility and pattern transfer. 4. Surface treatments easily adhere to fly ash concrete mixes and last longer because of the reduction of efflorescence blooms. Suggested mix design criteria: 1. Choose the compressive strength criteria and design mixes based on water / cement + fly ash (W/Cp) ratio. Do not factor color pigment loading as part of this ratio. 2. Fly ash should be factored at 15-20% replacement of cement. Stay within the limits of state or local codes. 3. Avoid fly ash sources with excessive L.O.I. (loss on ignition) specifications. 4. Use a Type A water reducer or midrange water reducer to aid in placement slumps. Place concrete at moderate slumps (3-6) and avoid temper water on the jobsite. 5. Do not use calcium chloride or chloride based products with colored concrete. 6. Specify a single source for cement, fly ash and aggregates for the duration of the job. With proper controls, placement and finishing of colored fly ash concrete is no different than straight cement concrete.

Major sources of color variations in architectural concrete: Change in cement, fly ash or aggregates source. Change in mix design proportions. No slump control. Water added to temper loads at the wash rack or on the job. Change in placement or finishing techniques. Insufficient or improper curing schedule.

Utilizing fly ash can reduce or eliminate efflorescence which detracts from the beauty of concrete finishes.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in architectural concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Fly Ash for Stone Matrix Asphalt

Best known for its use as an ingredient in concrete mixes, fly ash also has physical properties that make it a valuable component in the production of stone matrix asphalt.

tone matrix asphalt (SMA) is a durable, stable, rut-resistant hot mix asphalt (HMA) consisting of two parts: a coarse aggregate skeleton and an asphalt rich binder mortar.

rutting measurements less than 4mm. Approximately 25% of the projects had no measurable rutting. The resistance to rutting appears to be excellent considering the high traffic volume on most of the SMA mixtures.1 The crushed aggregate gradations for SMA are more gap-graded than HMA or Superpave dense-graded mixtures, with approximately 75% of the aggregates retained on a No. 4 sieve for SMA versus 50% for Superpave. The gap-graduation of SMA will require a higher asphalt binder content in the range of 6.0%, versus a Superpave asphalt binder content of 4.5%. Mineral filler such as fly ash is required to stiffen the asphalt. A stabilizing additive is used to create mastic consistency, and to prevent draindown where the asphalt binder drains from the coarse aggregate during transportation and laydown. In all cases the stabilizer has taken the form of either a fiber (cellulose or mineral) or a polymer. The mineral filler content [portion of the aggregate passing the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve] in SMA can range up to 10% of the total aggregate. This filler content is greater than that found in conventional HMA and is twice that of most Superpave mixes. The NCAT report concluded that of the 140 SMA projects SMA mixtures were produced approximately 80 percent of the time with 7-11 percent of the material passing the 0.075 mm sieve. The high percentage of material passing the 200-mesh sieve is typically not available as a residue from aggregate crushing and must be added in some other form to the SMA mix at the batch plant. The uniform, well-graded nature of fly ash provides the high quality mineral filler required for SMA.

The coarse aggregate provides stone-on-stone contact for bearing and rut resistance. The asphalt rich binder provides sufficient mortar of the desired consistency for durability, requiring a large amount of mineral filler such as fly ash to convert the fluid asphalt into asphalt mastic. SMA has been used in Europe for 20 years and was originally designed to resist the abrasive nature of studded tires. The added benefit of resistance to general rutting was also observed, leading to the installation of SMA in general use highways. Because of the European success, five states constructed SMA demonstration projects in 1991. Since that time, the use of SMA within the United States has increased significantly. In 1997, the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) completed a performance evaluation of SMA pavements that was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. For this evaluation, more than 100 SMA mixtures from 140 SMA projects in more than 19 states were evaluated. The report concluded, Over 90% of the SMA projects had
SMA and Superpave Gradations

100 90 80 70 Percent Passing 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

SMA Superpave

#200 #50 #30 #16







Performance of Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) Mixtures in the United States, NCAT Report No. 97-1, National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn University, AL, 36849-5354, January 1997.

For more information or specific questions about the use of fly ash for stone matrix asphalt, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative,call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Permeability of High Reactivity Metakaolin Concrete

Permeability of concrete and the resulting level of durability are matters of great concern to designers of concrete structures. High Reactivity Metakaolin (HRM) can be a superior tool in reducing permeability.

igh Reactivity Metakaolin is an engineered, high strength, pozzolanic material. It is an economical alternative to silica fume and can be utilized in high performance concrete.

Permeability is most frequently described by the chloride-ion permeability test that measures the passage of electrical current through a concrete specimen exposed to a solution of sodium chloride. Limits of acceptability are as shown in the table below.3 Recent testing has shown that properly proportioned concretes using HRM as a direct replacement for silica-fume, along with a combination of highrange water reducing and air-entraining admixtures have the ability to produce the same low levels of permeability as latex modified and silicafume concrete. Using HRM in the concrete mix greatly aids permeability and durability in the following ways: 1 Through pozzolanic activity, HRM chemically combines with water and calcium hydroxide, forming additional cementitious compounds that result in denser, higher strength concrete. The calcium hydroxide chemically combined with HRM is not subject to leaching, thereby helping to maintain high density. The conversion of soluble calcium hydroxide to cementitious compounds decreases bleed channels and void spaces and thereby reduces permeability. At the same time, the above chemical reaction reduces the amount of calcium hydroxide susceptible to attack by weak acids and salts. Concrete density is also increased by the small, finely divided particles of HRM that act like micro-aggregates to help fill in the tiniest voids in the concrete. Alkali-silica reactivity (ASR) in concrete can induce expansion and cracking, increasing the concrete permeability. The expansion caused by ASR can be mitigated if a portion of the portland cement is replaced by a suitable metakaolin.5

Permeability is defined as the coefficient representing the rate at which water is transmitted through a saturated specimen of concrete under an externally maintained hydraulic gradient.1 Permeability is inversely linked to durability in that the lower the permeability, the higher the durability of concrete and, the permeability of concrete to water and chloride is the major factor affecting the process of corrosion of embedded metals.2

Chloride Permeability Based on Charge Passed Charge Passed (coulombus) > 4,000 2,000-4,000 1,000-2,000 100-1,000 <100 Chloride Permeability High Moderate Low Very Low Negligible Typical of
High water-cement ratio (0.6). PCC Moderate water-cement ratio (0.4 to 0.5), PCC Low water-cement ratio (<0.4), PCC Latex-modified concrete, Silica-fume concrete Polymer impregnated concrete, Polymer concrete

Rapid Chloride Permeability Results (ASTM C 1202), Average of two cylinders after 56 days of moist-curing Chloride ion permeability, coulom 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 CONTROL 754 878 10% HRM 10% SILICA FUME 4832

M.A. Caldarone; K.A. Gruber and R.G. Burg, High Reactivity Metakaolin: A New Generation Mineral Admixture, American Concrete Institute, Concrete International, November 1994.

Admixtures for Concrete, American Concrete Institute, Journal of ACI Proceedings, Vol. 60, No. 11, November 1963, p. 1512. Guide to Durable Concrete, ACI 201.2R-92, American Concrete Institute, Section 4.4.2, April 1992. Suprenant, Bruce A., Testing for Chloride Permeability of Concrete, Concrete Construction, July 1991. M.A. Caldarone, K.A. Gruber, and R.G. Burg, High Reactivity Metakaolin: A New Generation Mineral Admixture, American Concrete Institute, Concrete International, November 1994. 5 G.V. Walters and T.R. Jones, Effect of Metakaolin on Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) in Concrete Manufactured with Reactive Aggregate, American Concrete Institute, SP-132, Durability of Concrete: Second International Conference Montreal Canada, 1991.

1 2 3 4

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of HRM in structural concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Strength of High Reactivity Metakaolin Concrete

High Reactivity Metakaolin (HRM) concrete can be designed to achieve strength levels unattainable with conventional concrete containing only portland cement or portland cement and fly ash or slag blends.

esigners of concrete structures are often concerned with achieving high strengths. HRM concrete allows designers substantial flexibility in determining how high strengths are to be achieved.

Flexural Strength. In general, a relationship exists between the compressive and flexural strengths of concrete. Conventional concrete that has a higher compressive strength will have a correspondingly higher flexural strength. This generally holds true for HRM concrete. High Strength Concrete. When high strength is specified (typically above 7,000 psi) the strength benefit of additional portland cement can diminish. Typically added to concrete at rates of 5% to 10% by weight of portland cement, HRM addition consistently results in higher strengths than an equal amount of portland cement. Conventional Strength Concrete. A variety of concrete performance conditions, including field performance and long term durability, can arise where the portland cement content in a concrete mix needs to be reduced, but where the strength performance of conventional concrete must be maintained. Moderate to high replacement rates of portland cement with HRM can be utilized to achieve concrete with comparable strengths to conventional concrete. Other Advantages. The addition of HRM to concrete requires less water demand than silica fume; it is also less expensive and provides an aesthetically pleasing lighter color.

Compressive strength. Strength gain contributed by portland cement occurs rapidly at early ages up to about seven days, after which the rate of strength gain slows markedly. Strength contribution of High Reactivity Metakaolin in concrete occurs through a chemical reaction of a purified calcined kaolinite with calcium hydroxide generated by the hydration of portland cement. This is called pozzolanic activity.

Compressive Strength

High-Reactivity Metakaolin Concrete Conventional Concrete

Age (Days)


HRM concrete can be designed for equivalent strengths to conventional concrete, or to the high-early strengths associated with silica fume modified concrete.1 The pozzolanic reaction of HRM begins immediately (thus the term high reactivity) and continues to react over time to produce significantly higher strengths than can be achieved with conventional concrete at all ages.

1 High Reactivity Metakaolin: A New Generation Mineral Admixture, American Concrete Institute, Concrete International, November 1994.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of HRM in structural concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




High Reactivity Metakaolin Pozzolan

High Reactivity Metakaolin (HRM) is an engineered pozzolanic admixture for use in cement and concrete that is manufactured by calcining kaolinite clay. Controlled blending of the kaolinite, processing and calcinations provides a consistent, high purity, quality controlled product with excellent physical and chemical properties.

RM is a highly reactive pozzolan that reacts with calcium hydroxide produced from free lime during the hydration of portland cement, forming calcium silicate and aluminosilicate hydrates. These cementitious products supplement the binding action in concrete. This formulation provides increased density, resulting in reduced porosity and permeability and increased chemical resistance. In many ways, the pozzolanic reaction of HRM is similar to that with fly ash, but with HRM the finer particle size and higher surface area enables the pozzolan to react much faster and more frequently. Benefits of HRM include: Increased compressive and flexural strength Reduced permeability, efflorescence and drying shrinkage Improved durability through increased chemical resistance Reduced degradation caused by sulfate attack or the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) Improved light color and texture in architectural concrete HRM is available in two forms: 1. HRM Clinker: A metakaolin clinker (3/4 to 1) with good handling ability and resistance to deterioration. This product can be shipped in bulk and is ideal for intergrinding with portland cement clinker for the production of ASTM C 150 Type IP blended cement. HRM Powder: Produced by fine grinding the clinker. Sold in packages, supersacks, or in bulk as ASTM C 618 Type N pozzolan.

Chemical Composition: HRM is an amorphous aluminosilicate with the following typical analysis (wt%, dry calcined basis):
(All numbers as % by weight)


51.1 (48 - 53) 45.5 (45 - 50) <1.2 <0.1 <0.1


<0.1 <0.3 <2.2 <0.1 <2.0

AI2O3 Fe2O3 CaO MgO

Physical Properties: Specific Gravity: 2.5 (H2O = 1) Physical Form: Clinker (HRM/C) or powder (HRM/F) Color: Off white, 80 82 Hunter L Brightness Loose Pack Density (clinker): 59 61.5 pcf Particle Size (powder): Medium 6


For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of HRM, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05



Higher Volume Fly Ash for Concrete Paving

Government agencies are using higher volumes of fly ash to improve the durability of roads.

istorically, fly ash from coal combustion power plants has been utilized for reasons of economy and to maintain workability in warm climates. Experience from coast to coast illustrates how fly ash, in addition to reducing the cubic yard cost of concrete by replacing a portion of the higher priced portland cement, is further reducing the lifecycle cost of roads and bridges by improving concrete durability and longevity. Beginning with the construction of the Skyway Bridge in 1982, the Florida Department of Transportation began requiring that cementitious materials like fly ash be included at rates of 18% to 50% in concrete subjected to moderately and extremely aggressive environments. Research by the Florida DOT in the 1970s indicated that the addition of fly ash greatly improved the ability of concrete to protect rebar from corrosion and to resist damage from sulfates found in sea water and some soils. Additional testing indicates that the DOTs concrete for bridge superstructures and decks containing 20% fly ash will likely provide a 75year service life in a marine environment. At the Point Mugu Naval Air Station in Southern California, the Navy chose a concrete mix with 30% Class F fly ash for a high durability runway used to simulate aircraft carrier landings. Reducing the portland cement and replacing it with fly ash accomplished improved economy, durability, reduced cracking and high strength. This approach provided the added benefit of meeting environmental/recycling goals by replacing as much cement as possible with fly ash. The high fly ash contents improved the concrete durability by mitigating the damaging

effects of potentially expansive concrete aggregates in the region. The mix performance contributed to controlling shrinkage cracking to a single hairline crack in the 565-foot long, non-jointed runway. The Washington State Department of Transportation allows the use of a mix with 30% fly ash to provide a protective overlay for bridge decks. This mix was developed to provide an alternative to existing temperature and weather sensitive systems that were prone to cracking and delamination. The fly ash overlay mix achieves high early strengths to allow for traffic in 3 to 4 days, reduces cracking of the concrete surface, meets the low permeability criteria for protective concrete overlays, and maintains a high level of workability for the contractor allowing for improved concrete quality and durability. The use of fly ash to improve concrete durability and longevity has proven itself in some of the most aggressive environments that any federal, state or local municipality may encounter. Using fly ash at rates ranging from 20% to 35% or more can provide low cost durable concrete for any municipality and ultimately the public. Headwaters Resources actively promotes fly ash use and is continually educating government and state agencies about the benefits of allowing/requiring fly ash in local and federal government projects. Several states are acting to allow or mandate increased volumes of fly ash in concrete. The Utah and Nevada DOTs recently mandated 20% fly ash usage in all concrete work. Previously, these states allowed only an option to use up to 15%.

Point Mugu Naval Air Station required a 565-foot long, non-jointed pour of 30% Class F fly ash concrete.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of high volume fly ash in concrete pavement, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




HVFA For Concrete Structures

HVFA concrete can be used in a variety of structural applications. It has been proven as a technology that can accommodate sustainable development and improve the lifespan and performance of structures

n 1981, long before using high volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete in structural applications was an accepted practice, EHDD architects used concrete with 40% fly ash in the seawater holding tanks in the Monterrey Bay Aquarium for durability considerations. Since then, concrete throughout the country has regularly utilized 20% to 35% fly ash. The desire from the environmentally conscious community to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has resulted in a movement to allow higher fly ash contents than would have been thought possible a few short years ago. In fact, specifiers are now regularly asking for higher fly ash content for performance and environmental reasons. This movement is forcing the concrete industry to research the nature and performance of local materials that allow HVFA concrete to perform as needed. Performance of HVFA concrete is directly related to performance of local materials. Because of this, proportions of HVFA concrete vary from location to location. As with all concrete utilized in construction, field verification testing and trial placements should be used to make sure HVFA concrete performance meets project needs. HVFA Concrete Timeline Initially, HVFA projects utilized concrete with very low water contents achieved by the use of high dosages of high-range water reducing admixtures. A few of the early projects are listed below:
1987 1988 1990 1992 Satellite Communication Facility Ottawa, Canada Park Lane Hotel/Office Complex Halifax, Canada Purdys Warf Development Halifax, Canada Slope Protection Project Nova Scotia, Canada 50% fly ash concrete used in high durability concrete 55% fly ash concrete used in columns, beams, and floor slabs 55% fly ash concrete used in 62 large caissons 60% ash used in shotcrete slope protection


GAP Headquarters Building San Francisco, CA

50% fly ash concrete in pile caps and slab-on- grade work; 30% used in column and slab-on- metal deck work


Island Wood Environmental Learning Center Whidbey Island, WA 50% fly ash concrete in footings, stem-walls, and slab-on-grade Liu Centre for Global Studies Vancouver, Canada Artist Live/Work Studios Vancouver, Canada University of California Berkeley Berkeley, CA 50% ash for foundation and structural elements 50% fly ash concrete for architectural color and finish considerations 50% fly ash concrete used in Wurster Hall and Barker Hall seismic retrofits

2000 2001 2001

Many other structures are either underway or in planning as the sustainable building movement develops. Admixtures Aggregate proportioning techniques that take advantage of the workability offered by HVFA generate a least voids condition in concrete, which complements the water reducing action of fly ash. Concurrent with the demand for higher fly ash contents, mid-range and high-range chemical admixtures have been developed to further enhance water-reducing action without causing an unacceptable delay in setting time. Non-chloride set accelerating admixtures have proven useful for controlling set time within contractor requirements for finishing time. Much of the set time retardation experienced with older HVFA mixtures resulted from past practices using high dosages of older Type A water reducing admixtures on total cementitious materials. Type A admixtures can still be used in moderate dosages based on cement content, but set time can be improved if Type A admixtures are used in conjunction with mid-range and high-range chemical admixtures. Appropriate Applications HVFA concrete can be used in a variety of structural applications. Fly ash has not only been used regularly in massive concrete applications, but has been used in columns, shear walls, and floor slabs as well. Even though technology has improved HVFA concrete performance, some mixtures may be inappropriate for certain applications requiring very early age performance. Mixtures with 25% to 55% fly ash may be acceptable, depending upon conditions, for mass concrete and foundation applications. Where higher percentages of ash are used, the age of strength acceptance may need to be extended to 56 or 90 days. Column and shearwall work can generally accept 30% to 35% fly ash, especially when time of form-stripping is of concern. Higher cement content (20% to 30% depending on circumstances) may be required to provide appropriate finishing time for slab on metal deck exposed to cool temperatures and for achieving strength of 3000 psi at three days of age for post-tensioned concrete applications.

Further research into proportioning HVFA concrete mixtures revealed that higher water content could be used while maintaining acceptable performance. This opened the door for the use of mid-range water reducing admixtures and more user-friendly concrete. The following HVFA concrete products were built with the new mix ideology.

For more information or answers to specific questions about HVFA for concrete structures, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical sales representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Ternary Concrete Mixes with Cement, Slag, and Fly Ash

Concrete produced with a combination of fly ash, slag, and portland cement has proven to enhance concrete performance by producing higher long-term strengths, improving workability while requiring less water, and reducing efflorescence and permeability.
or many concrete producers, meeting the engineers concrete performance standards, the contractors and finishers field performance needs and the owners budgetary limitations generates the need to utilize cementitious materials in addition to portland cement. Historically, the two materials typically considered have been either ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) from iron ore blast furnaces or fly ash from coal combustion power plants. A new trend in the market is the combination of both slag and fly ash with portland cement to create economically attractive performance concrete mixes for everyday concrete. Three-way mixes have been utilized in the past, but typically for specialty high strength concrete where higher reactivity silica fume or metakaolin have been combined with either fly ash or slag to generate very high early strengths. Both fly ash and slag rely on the excess lime/calcium hydroxide from portland cement that is found in hardened concrete. This non-durable, water-soluble material called efflorescence is visible as a white chalky deposit on the surface of concrete. Fly ash and slag combine with the calcium hydroxide to create the same durable calcium-silica-hydrate (CSH) glue as portland cement. This reaction is a slower, long-term reaction that will increase long-term concrete strength and reduce concrete permeability, thereby increasing the durability of concrete. Fly ash is a reactive spherical particle, typically finer than cement, that provides workability to concrete because of its shape, and typically allows for strength and durability enhancing lower water contents. Strength and durability results may vary based on the fly ash chemistry. Low oxide/high calcium Class C fly ash may provide higher early concrete strengths than a high oxide/low calcium Class F fly ash. Class F fly ash is typically superior to a Class C fly ash in mitigating damage from both sulfate and alkalisilica damage to concrete. Slag requires grinding to develop the fineness and reactivity to meet the market demand. Slag can typically replace more cement than fly ash for the same strength levels, depending on the fineness of the grind, but because of its angular shape, may not provide any improvements in workability and water reduction.

Fly ash has been used to replace in excess of 35% of the cement in concrete, and slag has been used to replace in excess of 50% of the cement in similar applications. In reality, cement is typically replaced by fly ash at 15% to 25%, and by slag at 40%.1 Coincidentally, in many markets, the combined cost for cement and 20% fly ash is equivalent to a mix with cement and 40% slag. At greater rates of cement replacement for either material, the early strength and setting for flat work can be delayed, and in some cases, the 28 day design strength may have to be extended to 56 days or more. In either case, construction needs and schedules will impact the cement replacement percentage. By combining the reactivity, workability and water reduction of the lower priced fly ash with the reactivity of slag that allows for greater portland cement replacement, more economical, high quality concrete can be produced. The typical percentages for both fly ash and slag are around 15% to 17%, for a combined replacement of cement of 30% to 35%.
Comprehensive Strength psi 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 470 / 0 / 0 0.46 400 / 70 / 0 0.41 306 / 82 / 82 0.41
1 day 7 day 28 day

# Cement / Fly Ash / Slag with (c+fa+s)

The strength graph depicts the strength and water reduction of a Class C fly ash compared to a portland cement control mix and in combination with slag, with the cost of cementitious materials decreasing while 28 day strengths increase. When silo space allows, blends of cement, fly ash and slag can be the most economical choice for the ready mix producer to meet the engineers, contractors, and finishers needs in the field.

1 Fly Ash, Slag, Silica Fume and Natural Pozzolans, Portland Cement Association, 2002.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash and/or slag, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash in Hot Weather Concrete

Fly ash helps minimize the effects of hot weather on the placing of concrete by reducing heat of hydration and increasing workability.
hen the mercury goes above 80F and as-placed concrete temperatures rise above 85, a complex set of problems must be dealt with. The good news is, simple adjustments to the concrete mix or to construction practices may prevent these potential problems. Hot weather has been defined as any period of high temperature in which special precautions need to be taken to ensure proper handling, placing, finishing and curing of concrete. Environmental factors that contribute to change in concrete properties include high ambient temperature, high concrete temperature, low relative humidity, high wind velocity, and solar radiation.
deg C 5 15 25 35

Early plastic shrinkage or drying shrinkage cracking, which increases the potential for rebar corrosion. SOLUTIONS Adjust Concrete Mix Reduce heat of hydration. During the critical first 24 hours, replacement of 100 lbs. of cement with the same amount of fly ash can reduce the heat of hydration by 19 percent, but does not sacrifice any strength or durability features. Replacing large percentages of cement with fly ash, which generates only 15 to 35 percent as much heat compared to cement at early ages, can reduce the damaging effects of the increased rate of hydration. Recommended Concrete Temperatures at Placing Section Thickness Min. Temp. Max. Temp. <1 ft 50F 90F 86F 1-3.3 ft 50F 3.3-6.6 ft 41F 77F >6.6 ft 41F 64F

Relative Humidity 100 percent 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 40

Co nc ret em eT pe rat ure 10 0 F( 38 ) C ) C (32 F 90 ) C (21 F 70 ) C (27 ) F C 80 (16 F C) 60 (10 C) F (4 50 F 40

/h) km

To achieve a 1-degree reduction in concrete temperature (C. or F.), the temperature of the concrete ingredients must be reduced by the following amounts: 1. Cement temperature by 8.8 degrees. 2. Water temperature by 3.9 degrees. 3. Aggregate temperature by 1.6 degrees Reduce water requirements. Adding fly ash to the mix reduces water requirements by 2 to 10 percent, while maintaining the same slump. Fly ash also reduces add-water needed to maintain workability, so strengths can be maintained or even increased.

50 60 70 80 90 100 Air temperature, deg F 0.8



Rate of evaporation, lb/sq. ft/h.


1. Enter with the air temperature; move up to relative humidity. 2. Move right to concrete temperature. 3. Move down to wind speed. 4. Move left; read approximate rate of evaporation.





To use this chart:



km /h)





0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0



( ph





h) m/

Improve pumpability, placeability and finishability. Fly ash enables the concrete to move more fluidly throughout the placing and finishing processes. Adjust Construction Practices Ready Mixed Concrete Producer: 1. Design mixes for strength using a high volume fly ash to replace cement. 2. Substitute fly ash for some of the fine aggregate, thus further capitalizing on the pozzolanic activity between cement and fly ash. 3. Use a chemical retarder in a prescribed dosage to slow initial heat buildup. 4. Spray or shade coarse aggregate pile to reduce aggregate temperature. 5. Substitute chilled water or shaved ice in the mix in place of regular water. 6. Reschedule to night pours. Contractor: 1. Soak subsurface for a minimum of two hours before placing concrete. 2. Keep spray on rebar until time of pour. 3. Erect a windscreen and/or a shade covering to protect fresh concrete. 4. Keep R/M trucks out of the sun. 5. Refrain from overworking the concrete. Spray on surface evaporation retardant if needed. 6. Immediately after finishing, apply a curing compound (white pigmented) or pond the concrete.


m 10

ph (8 5m ) (3km/h m 2 ph

h) km/


Effect of concrete and air temperatures, relative humidity, and wind velocity on the rate of evaporation of surface moisture from concrete. (Lerch, William, 1957, Plastic Shrinkage, ACI Journal, Proceedings, V. 53, No. 8, Feb., 797-802.) PROBLEMS Accelerated slump loss because of the increased rate of hydration and evaporation. Hydration of cement becomes an issue as the temperature rises. Because cement generates 120 BTUs per pound, it is important to reduce the amount of cementgenerated heat. Increased water demand, which leads to the reduction of both short- and long-term concrete strength. Accelerated set time, which requires more rapid finishing and normally results in a loss of entrained air.

For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in hot weather concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash in Cold Weather Concrete

Fly ash concrete can be used successfully in cold weather, provided that certain mix adjustments and precautions are taken to retain acceptable performance characteristics.
old weather can have detrimental effects on concrete construction unless adjustments are made and precautions are taken to ensure acceptable performance. However, placing concrete in cold weather provides an opportunity for better quality, as cooler initial concrete temperatures will typically result in higher ultimate strengths. Fly ash in conjuntion with liquid admixtures such as calcium chloride, non-chloride accelerators, and mid-range water reducers will further enhance the strength of concrete in cooler weather. The ACI defines cold weather as any time three consecutive days exhibit average daily temperature less than 40 F, or if the temperature is less than 50 F for more than half of any 24-hour period. ACI prescribes minimum temperatures for fresh concrete as placed and maintained. 55 F 50 F 45 F 40 F Most slabs, pavements, sections less than 12 in. thick. Most beams, columns, walls, sections 12 to 36 in. thick Large columns, footings, pedestals, mats, sections 36 to 72 in. thick. Sections over 72 in. thick

Improve Performance. The use of fly ash in cold weather concreting has been successfully accomplished by adjusting the mix. Those mixes that perform too slowly can be adjusted further with liquid admixtures. Methods for improving performance of fly ash concrete in cold weather include: 1. Use air entrained concrete when exposure to moisture, freezing and thawing are expected. 2. Require a lowered slump, which is easier to attain when using fly ash because its spherical shape increases workability. Lower slump also reduceds bleed water. 3. Increase portland cement content up to 100 lbs. per cubic yard to help develop early strength. 4. Heat the mix by: a. Using hot water in the concrete mix. b. Providing a heated enclosure for concrete. c. Heating subgrades before placing concrete. d. Heating concrete formwork. 5. Replace normal portland cement with rapid setting Type III portland cement. 6. Add chemical accelerators such as calcium chloride (as approved) at a maximum of two percent by weight of cement, or add proprietary nonchloride accelerators as allowed by specification. Protect Fresh Concrete. Concrete gains very little strength at low temperatures. Fresh concrete must be protected against the disruptive effects of freezing until the concrete attains a compressive strength of about 500 psi. A minimum of two days of protection should be provided. Methods used to protect concrete include: 1. Provide insulation blankets and plastic to help the curing process. Leave for approx. 7-10 days. 2. Provide triple insulation thickness at corners and edges of walls and slabs. 3. Do not expose concrete surfaces to a sudden temperature drop; gradually reduce insulation or enclosure temperature to control concrete cooling (no more than a 50 F drop in 24 hours). 4. Allow concrete to air dry before exposing it to freezing temperatures. These methods may be used alone or in combination to reach the setting and strength gain characteristics required. The appropriate decision will afford an economically viable solution with the least impact on the ultimate concrete properties.

PROBLEMS The primary concern of cold weather concreting is the reduced rate of cement hydration. As the temperature drops, the rate of hydration drops, which in turn leads to decreased strength gain and increased setting times. Both conventional and fly ash concrete that performs well at normal temperatures may perform unacceptably in cold conditions because of the decreased rate of hydration. SOLUTIONS The key to using fly ash in cold weather concrete is adjusting the mix to improve performance and protecting the concrete until it has fully matured. When using the following methods, the typical benefits of using fly ash can be realized in cold weather. Reduce Water/Cement Ratio. Reducing the water/cement ratio can reduce the effects of decreased hydration. Increased strength and faster setting times are achieved by requiring a lower slump, a higher cement content, or less water. Using fly ash to replace a percentage of the portland cement content reduces water requirements, so the concrete can be placed at a lowered slump.

For more information or answers to specific questions regarding the use of fly ash in cold weather concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash for Insulating Concrete Form Construction

Building with Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) offers many advantages over standard wood frame construction. ICF construction is a superior earthquake, flood, fire, and hurricane resistant building system. Using fly ash in the cement mix that fills the forms can further increase strength and durability of this construction.

nsulating Concrete Forms, which became popular in residential construction in the 1990s, are steadily gaining acceptance in the commercial market, as well. ICFs combine framing, insulation, sheeting and shearwall strength into one superior building system that uses concrete as the main structural member from foundation to roof top. ICFs are hollow, Lego-like building blocks made of expanded or extruded polystyrene capable of withstanding lateral pressures from plastic concrete. The blocks stack on top of each other, and plastic or metal web ties brace the interior and exterior foam walls to form a hollow cavity. Openings in the walls for doors, windows and services are provided as the block layers are erected. Bracing and plugs for the hollow blocks are fitted to make a tight forming system for the concrete structure. Once the blocks are installed with reinforcing bars, the window and door penetrations are properly framed out with wood or vinyl buck, and the walls are braced, the blocks are filled with concrete. The concrete provides structural integrity to resist hurricane force winds, floods, and fire while providing energy conservation, sound proofing, pest control, and mold and mildew deterrent. ICF construction offers many advantages, including: Lower utility bills Reduced insurance premiums Improved resale value Solid state of the art construction Low maintenance

Fly Ash Can Improve ICF Construction. 1. Environmental Benefits. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal combustion, and is a 100% post-industrial recovered product. Fly ash used in concrete is diverted from landfills. As a component of concrete, fly ash also reduces greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the production of portland cement. 2. Strength. Increased usage of fly ash can reduce the early strength (7-28 days) of concrete, however, it would still meet or exceed strength requirements of conventional cement block walls. Long-term strength (+56 days) is typically higher than straight cement mixes. Fly ash is an ideal addition because ICFs retain the heat from hydration of cement, which accelerates strength gain. Thus, higher percentages of fly ash can be used, yielding early strength typical of lower volume fly ash mixes. 3. Reduced Water Requirements. The inclusion of fly ash in concrete mixes reduces water requirements, which in turn results in a stronger finished concrete. 4. Minimal Cracking and Shrinkage. Fly ash in concrete helps reduce cracking. The two thick layers of insulating foam provide an ideal curing environment for concrete. Fly ash concrete cured within the confines of an ICF wall will achieve higher ultimate strength with a minimum of cracks and shrinkage. Reduced water needs also aid in reducing drying shrinkage and cracking. 5. Improved Workability. Despite the reduction in water content, fly ash concrete maintains its integrity better, keeping aggregates, cement, fly ash, water and other materials in optimum suspension. The spherical shape of fly ash particles fills spaces between angular cement particles. Fly ash concrete is more cohesive, which results in reduced segregation and more homogeneous concrete. Fly ash concrete mixtures move more easily through pump lines, which creates stronger walls without pockets of aggregate. How Much Fly Ash? Many ready mixed concrete producers use fly ash at levels between 15 and 20 percent of total cementitious materials in ICF mixes. Some innovative producers, however, have reported success with 30 to 50 percent fly ash mixes. In fact, a 50 percent fly ash mix used within a U.S. Green Building Council LEED structure may count as an innovative practice toward LEED certification.

A worker installs the insulated concrete forms and reinforcement for the foundation walls of a water tank in Angoon, Alaska.
(Photo courtesy ECO-Block, LLC)

For more information on ICFs, visit, or For more information or answers to specific questions about the use of fly ash in ICFs, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash and Concrete in LEED 2.1

Building with concrete that contains fly ash, a post-industrial recovered material, can contribute significantly to earning points in the U.S. Green Building Councils (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Recently updated, LEED 2.1 is designed to simplify the certification process and make the program more attractive for general use.

he LEED program is a point system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise buildings. It recognizes responsible use of materials, land, energy, ergonomics, and design considerations. To become a LEED certified project, a building must score at least 26 points. The enhanced levels of Silver, Gold, and Platinum require 33, 39, and 52+ points, respectively, with a maximum of 69 points.
AVAILABLE POINTS 14 (20%) 5 (7%) 17 (25%) 13 (19%) 15 (22%) 5 (7%) 69

(MR) Credit 5.2 Local Regional Materials Extracted or Harvested (50% of the 20% in Credit 5.1) (1 point) This credit applies to raw materials harvested or extracted within a 500mile radius of the project. This requirement applies to all components of a concrete mixture. Most cities have sources of fly ash, cement, and aggregate within 500 miles, so concrete should quality for this point.

CATEGORY Sustainable Sites (SS) Water Efficiency (WE) Energy and Atmosphere (EA) Materials and Resources (MR) Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) Innovation and Design Process (ID) Total Points Available

(MR) Credits 4.1 & 4.2 Recycled Content (1-2 points) Post-consumer (PC) and post-industrial (PI) recovered materials are the source of these points. Reinforcing steel contributes to the post consumer content, while supplementary cementitious materials (fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag and silica fume), which are 100% recovered materials, contribute to the post industrial content. To maximize points by using fly ash, high volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete mixes should be specified. PC greater than 5% or PC plus PI greater than 10% earns 1 point. PC greater than 10% or PC plus PI greater than 20% earns 2 points.

Participating in LEED offers the following benefits: Prestige associated with sustainable development practices for building owners. Lower life cycle costs because design is not constricted to first cost, yielding increased profitability to owners. Enhanced habitability, occupancy and productivity because of ergonomic design. Increased worker productivity and satisfaction. Possible energy tax rebates.* (ID) Credit 1.1 Innovation (1 point) This point involves reducing CO2 emissions associated with the production of portland cement. Concrete mixtures utilizing 50% fly ash by weight of total cementitious materials may be awarded this point because using fly ash to replace portland cement reduces cement production. CONCRETE IN LEED Concrete can earn up to 25 points (36% of total) in the LEED program, depending upon circumstances, conditions, and design. The key to maximizing points is for the project team (Architect, Engineer, Contractor and Concrete Supplier) to work together as early in the construction process as possible. The desires of the owner must be known early so team members can provide input on ways to achieve them. To learn more about green building practices and LEED visit or

FLY ASH IN LEED A total of 5 points are possible when combining fly ash use with all recycled materials. The only way fly ash itself earns a point is through innovation when using 50% fly ash concrete mixes, which contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation. (MR) Credit 5.1 Local Regional Materials Locally Manufactured (1 point) This credit applies to 20% or more of building materials manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the project. Manufactured refers to the final assembly of components into the building product, furnished to and installed by tradesmen. Source of the raw materials making up the manufactured product is immaterial. Concrete, a mix of cement, fly ash, aggregate, etc., should easily fulfill this requirement.

*Tax rebates not available in all states.

For more information or answers to specific questions about using fly ash or concrete in LEED, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash in Pervious Concrete

Including fly ash in pervious concrete creates a better quality alternative to basic parking lot technology, and provides economic and environmental benefits to the community.

ervious concrete is a zero-slump, no-fines, open graded material consisting of portland cement, fly ash, coarse aggregate, admixtures and water. The right configuration of these materials produces a product that allows water to pass though it at the rate of 12-18 gallons per minute per square foot. The void structure of pervious concrete is typically between 18% -25%. Pervious concrete is very durable. It has the same structural integrity as conventional concrete, but is, by far, the lowest initial cost solution. It is also the lowest life cycle cost option available for paving because it can last over 30 years with minimal maintenance, does not require extensive grading before placing, and no storm water system tie-ins are required. Pervious concrete has been around for over 50 years, but has only recently been put into use because of its environmental benefits and because of U.S. EPA recommendations. With todays movement towards sustainable and reclaimed building products, fly ash and pervious concrete pavement parking lots are a match made in green heaven.

Not only does it create a better final product, using fly ash in pervious concrete is an environmentally prudent way to control the pollution. Fly ash, otherwise slated for landfills, is used as a mineral admixture to enhance the overall performance of the pervious concrete. When fly ash is used, the use of landfill space is drastically reduced, and by replacing a portion of cement in concrete with fly ash, CO2 emissions created during cement production are greatly reduced, lessening the negative impact on our atmosphere. MATERIALS AND MIX DESIGN Pervious pavement can handle 100-year storms easily if properly designed. Specific concrete mix design and qualified permeable concrete contractors are essential for a successful project. The Southern California Ready Mix Concrete Association has provided the following guidelines and recommendations for pervious concrete mix designs: Compacted Voids Cement ASTM C-618 Fly Ash Total Cementitious Materials Aggregate Per Cubic Yard Minimum 10% At least 580 lbs. 50-116 lbs. 630-696 lbs. 27 cu. ft.

GREEN BUILDING ALTERNATIVE Pervious concrete is considered a sustainable building alternative for concrete and/or asphalt pavement parking lots because it provides pollution mitigation and storm water management. Pervious concrete acts as a filtration device for storm water and turns the entire parking area, pathway, or other paved surface into a retention treatment basin. Storm water can flow through the pavement to the subgrade underneath, taking with it pollutants that would typically end up in municipal storm water systems. Naturally occurring soil microbes then store and break down the pollutants, preventing aquifer pollution. Californias first pervious concrete parking lot was completed in January 2003 near Fair Oaks Park in Sacramento. This project demonstrates the effectiveness of pervious concrete parking lots for urban heat island effect mitigation and storm water runoff. Through its Cool Community Program (a spin-off of the Heat Island Reduction Initiative), the U.S. Department of Energy has shown that cities with hot climates experience 3-10 degrees hotter temperatures due to heat absorption of typical black asphalt. The high reflectivity of pervious concrete reduces urban heat island effect and provides better air and water quality. Its lower density reduces its heat storing capacity and allows the porous paving systems to approach natural ground cover in lessened heat absorption.

Mix water included should make the cement paste display a wet metallic sheen without causing the paste to flow from the aggregate. Insufficient or high water content can be detrimental to the final quality of the concrete.

FLY ASH IN PERVIOUS CONCRETE Fly ash can replace a portion of portland cement (up to 20%) in pervious concrete. It provides improved placing and finishing characteristics including improved workability of the low slump mix. This is a major benefit, particularly when surface texture and design concerns are of high priority. Because of its ability to enhance concrete products, fly ash has become a necessity in pervious concrete technology.

For more information or answers to specific questions about using fly ash in previous concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 3/05




Fly Ash in Colored Concrete

Colored concretes best insurance policy against premature deterioration, aggressive chemical attack and efflorescence is the addition of fly ash, whether using dry or liquid pigments.
olored concrete generally sells for a significant premium, depending on the desired color (or colors), and is subject to damage from aggressive chemicals, corrosion, salts, sulfates and exposure to harsh environments. Protecting the concrete by including fly ash can yield better, longer lasting colored concrete. Quality fly ash, which is similar to quality cement, does not impact the appearance of the colored concrete in a properly designed mix. Fly ash helps maintain the integrity, serviceability and durability of the initial concrete/color investment while having little, if any, effect on desired color. Soloman and Ellementis have both done in house QA/QC evaluations indicating fly ash in the light tan to light gray color spectrum does not affect final color of dust-on or integrally colored concrete. However, trialbatching mixes with desired concrete color (or colors) and fly ash is a good practice. Regardless of the ashs color, excellent colored concrete can be produced. Pre-cast colored architectural concrete can also benefit dramatically from the inclusion of fly ash. Todays design community is interested in defined detail and quality materials that withstand the ravages of time. A mix with fly ash helps the design professional meet these needs because it easily flows into intricately detailed forms and is more durable over time. In architectural pre-cast work, fly ash helps provide a cohesive mix that fills forms more quickly with less effort, and reduces rock-pockets, voids and other visual defects. It has been said that because of all the wonderful benefits it lends to concrete, the industry would have to invent fly ash if it didnt exist. Manufacturers and distributors of colored concrete pigments recommend quality fly ash for a dense, durable mix and to lower the permeability of the concrete by reducing the amount of water needed while achieving the same level of workability. Fly ash also greatly reduces alkali silica reaction by combining chemically with naturally occurring alkalis in portland cement to keep reactive aggregates from causing internal expansion in the concrete. Fly ash continues to chemically react with the cement to produce increased strength in the concrete after typical acceptance (28 to 42 days) for up to one year. In colored flat-work where structural integrity is of less importance, mixes with fly ash replacing 20% to 30% of the cement content can be designed to achieve desired strength in 35 to 56 days, and, with proper curing, will produce concrete of exceptional quality.

Fly ash aids the concrete producer and design professional by providing: A better, easier finish with no added expense to workmanship or placing Sharper detail in stamped or formed applications and jointing Color value maintenance Reduced water content Easier pumping that goes farther with a minimum of water

No substitute exists in concrete flatwork for proper water to cementitious materials ratio, workmanship, curing and material selection. Changes in any of these areas can affect the final hydrated hue (true color) and the value (lightness/darkness of the hue). Design professionals, developers and owners should insist on colored concrete being produced and finished with the best available practices in the concrete industry, and this clearly includes fly ash for a better mix.

For more information or answers to specific questions about using fly ash in colored concrete, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 12/03




Fly Ash Reduces Vapor Transmission in Concrete Floors

Fly ash can play a role in reducing vapor transmission in concrete floors and can help prevent mold growth, warping and delamination of flooring materials.
lthough it appears solid, concrete is actually a maze of capillaries and channels formed by bleed water escaping the concrete after placement. These capillaries and channels provide an avenue for internal and external moisture to be drawn through the concrete to the slab surface. The moisture reacts chemically with alkali hydroxides deposited on the surface of the concrete during hydration, and can destroy water-based adhesives (most VOC-based adhesives have been eliminated due to health concerns), which bond vinyl or carpeting floor coverings to concrete. The moisture can also warp wood surfaces like basketball courts, and cause blistering and complete delamination of flooring materials. Moisture accumulated under flooring also fosters the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus, which contributes to sick building syndrome. Hospitals, schools and office buildings are prime environments for this occurrence, because of the large floor area and the artificial heating systems that keep the building warm during the day, but are turned down or off after hours. When the lower temperature reaches the dew point at the adhesive/concrete interface, condensed water is generated, creating a perfect environment for mold growth. Molds release toxins that can be harmful to other living organisms, including people and animals. This detrimental side effect makes it common for the flooring supplier or contractor to specify how dry a concrete surface must be before applying flooring materials. Most solid vinyl sheeting, vinyl backed carpeting, and non-porous backed carpeting manufactures require the maximum vapor transmission rate from the surface of a concrete slab to fall to 3 pounds of moisture over a 1000 square foot area during a 24 hour period before installation of flooring materials. Concrete cracks and joints provide pathways for intrusion of moisture, so it is important to note that no additive will eliminate vapor transmission. However, testing indicates that using fly ash does reduce vapor transmission, because of reduced permeability. ASTM F 1869, Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride, shows that moisture transmission is reduced as fly ash content is increased. Therefore, fly ash can play a role in making concrete dry out faster, allowing placement of flooring materials sooner.

There are three major ways fly ash helps reduce vapor transmission. 1. Fly ash concrete bleeds less, which creates fewer bleed channels and lowers permeability. 2. Pozzolanic action seals off capillary channels to further reduce permeability. Lower permeability concrete dries out more quickly. 3. Pozzolanic action consumes alkali hydroxides, which makes them unavailable for adhesive destruction. Headwaters Resources, in cooperation with CSI Share Group in Portland, OR, conducted tests to determine the effect of fly ash content on vapor transmission on five concrete mixes containing zero to 50 percent Class F fly ash. Two slabs of each mix were cast. One set of samples was placed on a perfect vapor barrier so that moisture from surrounding sources could not supply water vapor to affect the test. The second set of samples was placed on wet sand to reflect real world site conditions where a vapor barrier is damaged or non-existent. Results show that in both cases, the transmission of water vapor is reduced as fly ash content is increased. The tests were carried out up to 28 days, and although none of the specimens reached the target of 3 pounds per 1000 square feet in 24 hours, the data indicates the concrete mixtures with higher ash content will reach the target more quickly than straight cement concrete. As the fly ash quantity was increased, drying shrinkage was also reduced and the water required for workability was decreased due to the ball bearing action of the fly ash particles. The amount of water used in the mix is directly linked to moisture transmission in the concrete slab, so the less water used, the lower the moisture transmission. Additional research is needed in order to reach the industry standard of 3 pounds per 1000 square feet in 24 hours; however, since it has been shown that the vapor transmission is reduced by the addition of fly ash, that should be enough to convince specifiers to include it in slab specifications where previously it has not been allowed.

For more information or specific questions about using fly ash in concrete floors to reduce moisture transmission, or for information on testing performed related to moisture vapor transmission, contact your nearest Headwaters Resources technical representative, call 1-888-236-6236, or visit us online at
Rev. 8/04