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ISSN 0976 6308
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ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

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ISSN 0976 6308 (Print)


ISSN 0976 6316(Online)
Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95
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IAEME

EFFECTS OF GROUNDNUT HUSK ASH (GHA) IN


CEMENT PASTE AND MORTAR
Egbe-Ngu Ntui Ogork1,
1, 2

Okorie Austine Uche2

(Department of Civil Engineering, Bayero University, PMB 3011 Kano, Nigeria)

ABSTRACT
This paper presents the findings of an investigation on the effects of Groundnut Husk Ash
(GHA) in cement paste and Mortar as a supplementary cementing material. The GHA used was
obtained by controlled burning of groundnut husk to a temperature of 600 oC and sieved through 75
m sieve after allowing cooling, and characterized. The effects of GHA on cement paste and mortar
were investigated at replacement levels of 0, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 %, respectively by weight of
cement. A total of ninety 40 mm x 40 mm x 160 mm GHA-Mortar prisms made with 1 : 3 (cement :
sand) and 0.5 water-cement ratio were tested for flexural and compressive strengths at 3, 7, 28, 60
and 90 days of curing. The results of the investigations showed that GHA was of low reactivity, with
a combined SiO2, Al2O3 and Fe2O3 content of 26.06 %. The drying shrinkage decreased, while
consistency, initial and final setting times of cement paste increased with increase in GHA content,
where as the flexural and compressive strengths of Mortar decreased with increase in GHA content.
However, 10 % GHA replacement was considered as optimum for structural mortar.
Keywords: Cement, Effect, GHA, Mortar, Replacement.
1. INTRODUCTION
The construction industry is heavily reliant on the use of cement-based products (mortar and
concrete) as major materials for buildings and other civil engineering works. The strength of mortar
or concrete depends on the cohesion of the cement paste, its adhesion to the aggregate particles and
to a certain extent on the strength of the aggregates [1]. This therefore indicates the very importance
of cement in mortar or concrete production. However, in many developing countries, ordinary
Portland cement is an expensive and sometimes scarce commodity and this has contributed to limit
the construction of adequate housing in most of these countries. Reference [2] attributed the high
cost of ordinary Portland cement to be largely due to the high cost of plant and high energy required
in the production, and suggested that a viable means of reducing the cost of cement based
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International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

construction is by either reducing the energy costs in the burning of clinker or by increasing the
production of pozzolanic cement and pozzolanas for the partial replacement of cement.
The development of supplementary cementitious materials is fundamental to advancing low
cost construction materials to be used in the production of self-sufficient shelter especially in
developing countries. The use of various ashes as potential replacement of cement in mortar and
concrete production has attracted the attention of researchers because of its potential to reduce or
totally eliminate the classification of ashes as waste materials polluting the environment and also
reduce the quantity and consequently the cost of cement applied in concrete works [3]. According to
[1], apart from the cost benefit of use of pozzolanas with Ordinary Portland cement, they enhance the
properties of mortar and concrete.
Groundnut husk is a waste from agricultural product which is usually burnt, dumped or left to
decay naturally. It constitutes about 25 % of the total pod (husk and seeds) mass [4]. However, [5]
and [6] have earlier reported the use of Groundnut Husk Ash (GHA) as a supplementary cementing
material in concrete. They indicated that GHA has a low silicon dioxide content, and the combined
content of oxides of Silicon, Aluminium and iron was less than the minimum of 70 % required of a
good pozzolana [7]. They also suggested that up to 10 % GHA content could be used as a partial
substitute of cement in structural concrete. It is on this premise that this research sets out to further
investigate the effects of GHA in cement paste and Mortar as a supplementary cementing material.
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1 Materials
Ordinary Portland cement manufactured in Nigeria as Dangote brand, with a specific gravity
of 3.14 was used. The oxide composition of the cement is shown in TABLE 1. Sharp sand from river
Challawa, Kano, Nigeria, with a specific gravity of 2.62, bulk density of 1899.50 kg/m3 and moisture
content of 2.50 % was used. The particle size distribution of the sand shown in Fig. 1, indicate that
the sand used was classified as zone -1 based on [8] grading limits for fine aggregates.
Groundnut husk was sourced from Yakasai village, Kano State, Nigeria. The Groundnut
Husk Ash (GHA) was obtained by a two-step burning method [9], where the groundnut husk was
burnt to ash and further heating the ash to a temperature of about 600 oC in a kiln and controlling the
firing at that temperature for about two hours and the ash was allowed to cool before sieving through
a 75 m sieve. The GHA is of specific gravity of 2.12, bulk density of 835 kg/m3, moisture content
of 1.60 % and grain size distribution is also shown in Fig. 1. A chemical composition analysis of the
GHA was conducted using X-Ray Flouresence (XRF) analytical method and also shown in
TABLE 1.

Oxide (%)

Table 1: Oxide Composition of OPC (Dangote Brand) and GHA


SiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3 CaO MgO K2O Na2O SO3 TiO2 MnO BaO

OPC

18.0

3.10

4.82

68.37

1.48

0.35

0.32

1.82

0.35

0.03

0.16

GHA

20.03

2.00

4.03

13.19

1.82

38.80

1.08

0.68

0.20

0.31

Oxide (%)

V2O5

P2O5

ZnO

Cr2O3

NiO

CuO

SrO

ZrO2

Cl

L.o.I

OPC

0.03

1.27

GHA

0.03

1.90

0.08

0.03

0.01

0.10

0.20

0.22

0.26

8.02

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International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

0.01

0.1

10

100

100
90

Zone 1
UpperLimit
F.A

80

% Passing

70

Fine
Agregates

60
50
40

GHA Passing
0.075mm
Sieve

30
20

Zone 1 Lower
Limit F.A

10
0
Sieve Metric Size (mm)

Figure 1: Particle Size Distribution of GHA and River Sand


2.2 Methods
2.2.1 Tests on Cement Paste.
Six mixes were used for the determination of Consistency, Setting Times and drying linear
shrinkage of GHA-Cement in accordance with [10]. MP-00 is the control mix (0 % GHA) and
MP-05, MP-10, MP-20, MP-30 and MP-40 are mixes containing GHA at replacement levels of 5,
10, 20, 30, and 40 %, respectively. Three readings were taken and an average found. The behavior is
shown in Fig. 2 - 4.
2.2.2 Tests on Groundnut Husk Ash (GHA)-Mortar
Mortar of 1: 3 (GHA-Cement: Sand) mix with a water-cement ratio of 0.5 was used to
prepare 40 mm x 40 mm x 160 mm prism specimens to determine the Flexural and Compressive
Strengths of GHA-Mortar cured in water for 3, 7, 28, 60 and 90 days. Six mixes were used, M-00 is
the control mix and M-05, M-10, M-20, M-30 and M-40 are mixes containing GHA at replacement
levels of 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 %, respectively. The Flexural Strength test was conducted in
accordance with [11]. A total of ninety (90) prisms were cast and three prisms tested for an average
for each curing regime using the Avery Denison Universal Testing Machine of 600 kN load capacity
at a rate of loading of (50 10) N/s.
Samples of 40 mm x 40 mm x 40 mm were prepared from the crushed samples (half prisms)
from the flexural strength test and tested for compressive strength using the Avery Denison
Universal Testing Machine. The flexural strength and compressive strength are shown in Fig. 5 and
6, respectively. The 28 day pozzolanic activity index of GHA-Mortar was determined and a
pozzolanic index of 62.8 % was obtained.

90

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

3. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS


3.1 Groundnut Husk Ash (GHA)
The physical properties of GHA showed that it has a specific gravity of 2.12 and a Loss on
Ignition (LoI) value of 8.02 %, which is within [7] acceptable limit of 10 % for Class N pozzolana.
This therefore indicated that the GHA was properly burnt. However, the chemical composition of
GHA indicate a combined SiO2 Al2O3 and Fe2O3 content of 26.06 %, which is much lower than the
minimum value of 70 % in [7] for a good pozzolana, and would therefore be of low reactivity. This
is further confirmed by the low 28 day pozzolanic index of GHA-Mortar of 62.8 %. The chemical
composition of GHA also indicated a high K2O content of 38.80 %, which is far higher than 1.2 %
limit recommended in cement [12]. The high K2O content may be a source of disruption in GHAMortar and concrete. GHA also showed a CaO content of 13.19 %, which indicates that it has some
self cementing properties.
3.2 Groundnut Husk Ash (GHA)-Cement Paste
The consistency of GHA-Cement Paste shown in Fig. 2 indicated that water requirement
increases with increase in GHA content. The normal consistency of cement paste was 30.0 % while
that of GHA-Cement Pastes ranged from 34.5 39.0 %, depending on GHA content. The increase in
water requirement with increase in GHA content may be due to high porosity as well as high LoI of
GHA, consistent with [13] report on rice husk ash-calcium carbide residue as supplementary
cementing materials. It may also be due to lower specific gravity of GHA than cement, that is, higher
volume of GHA compared to OPC of same weight would require more water to form paste.
45
CONSISTENCY (%)

40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

GHA CONTENT (%)

Figure 2: Consistency of GHA-Cement Paste


The setting times of GHA-Cement pastes shown in Fig. 3 showed increase in setting times
with increase in GHA content. The initial and final setting times of the cement paste were 46 and 554
minutes, respectively, while that of GHA-Cement pastes ranged from 46 and 600 minutes to 81 and
643 minutes, respectively, with the least and longest times occurring in paste with 5 % and 40 %
GHA content, respectively. The results suggested that GHA retards the setting times of cement, and
this would be suitable for use in hot weather concreting, as well as in mass concreting and long
haulage of ready mix concrete. The delay in setting times of GHA-Cement paste was due to the

91

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

dilution of cement with GHA and slower pozzolanic reaction of GHA. This is consistent with early
works by [14] and [15].

SETTING TIME (MINUTES)

650
600
550
500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0

INITIAL SETTING TIME


FINAL SETTING TIME

10

20

30

40

50

GHA CONTENT (%)

Figure 3: Setting times of GHA-Cement Paste

DRYING SHRINKAGE (%)

The drying shrinkage of GHA-Cement Paste shown in Fig. 4 indicated that the shrinkage of
GHA-Cement Paste with GHA content up to 10 % was same as that of control paste, but the
shrinkage of GHA-Cement pastes at replacement levels from 20 % and above decreased with
increase in GHA content. The decrease in shrinkage may be due to high porosity of GHA particles
which absorb more water than cement, leading to reduced shrinkage [16] and [17]. This suggests that
GHA-Cement would not be subject to higher movement when put into use compared with control
paste.
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
MP-00

MP-05

MP-10

MP-20

MP-30

MP-40

MIX NUMBER

Figure 4: Drying Shrinkage of GHA-Cement Paste


3.3 Flexural Strength and Compressive Strength of GHA-Mortar
The flexural strength of GHA-Mortar shown in Fig. 5 indicated that flexural strength of
mortar increased with age of curing but decreased with increase in GHA content. However, the
optimum 28 days flexural strength was obtained at 5 % GHA content, and the flexural strength of
GHA-Mortar at 10 % GHA content was same as that of control at 90 days curing. A similar
92

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

behaviour was observed with compressive strength of GHA-Mortar shown in Fig. 6. However, GHA
content of 10 % cement replacement by weight was considered as optimum for structural mortar.
The increase in strength with age of curing is due to hydration of cement and pozzolanic
reaction of GHA. The decrease in strength with increase in GHA replacement could be due to the
reaction mechanism of GHA, in which dilution of cement and slower strength development from the
pozzolanic reaction would be responsible for the reduction in strength [18]. Furthermore, for
constant water/binder ratio, the reduction in flow of mortar with increase in GHA content reduced
compaction of mortar which may result in reduction in strength of the mortar. However, higher
flexural and compressive strengths of mix containing 5 % GHA over control mix at 28 days curing
and beyond is due to pozzolanic reaction where dilution effect is not significant and the secondary CS-H compliment the strength from the hydration products.
8

Flexural Strength (N/mm2)

7
6
5

0 % GHA
5 % GHA
10 % GHA
20 % GHA
30 % GHA
40 % GHA

4
3
2
1
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Curing Age (Days)

Figure 5: Flexural strength development of GHA- Mortar

Compressive Strength (N/mm2)

40
35
30
25

0 % GHA
5 % GHA
10 % GHA
20 % GHA
30 % GHA
40 % GHA

20
15
10
5
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Curing Age (Days)

Figure 6: Compressive strength of GHA-Mortar


93

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
ISSN 0976 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 88-95 IAEME

4. CONCLUSION
i) The GHA is of low reactivity, with a combined SiO2, Al2O3 and Fe2O3 content of 26.06 %
which indicate that it does not satisfy the minimum value of 70 % (ASTM C618, 2008) for a
good pozzolana.
ii) The drying linear shrinkage decreased, while consistency, initial and final setting times of
cement increased with increase in GHA content. Therefore GHA can be used as a retarder,
suitable for use in hot weather concreting, as well as in mass concreting and long haulage of
ready mix concrete.
iii) The compressive and flexural strengths of GHA-Mortar decreased with increase in GHA
content. However, 10 % GHA is optimum content recommended for production of structural
mortar, while GHA content of 20 % and above is recommended for non structural mortar.
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International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 6308 (Print),
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