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Materials Research Innovations

ISSN: 1432-8917 (Print) 1433-075X (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ymri20

Effect of superfine blast furnace slag powder on


properties of cement-based materials

Q. L. Li, M. Z. Chen, F. Liu, S. P. Wu & Y. Sang

To cite this article: Q. L. Li, M. Z. Chen, F. Liu, S. P. Wu & Y. Sang (2015) Effect of superfine blast
furnace slag powder on properties of cement-based materials, Materials Research Innovations,
19:sup1, S1-168-S1-171, DOI: 10.1179/1432891715Z.0000000001397

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1432891715Z.0000000001397

Published online: 23 Apr 2015.

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Download by: [University of California, San Diego] Date: 04 April 2016, At: 05:16
Effect of superfine blast furnace slag powder
on properties of cement-based materials
Q. L. Li, M. Z. Chen*, F. Liu, S. P. Wu and Y. Sang
Industrial waste-like slag has caused serious problems all over the world. In this paper, blast
furnace slag was ground to be superfine powder and partial replacement of cement. Multiple
contents of slag powder used in cement were studied by cement paste, cement mortar and
cement concrete experiment. Water requirement of normal consistency, setting time, soundness,
fluidity, compressive and flexural strength were chosen to evaluate the performance of cement-
based with different contents of slag powder. The results show that superfine blast furnace slag
Downloaded by [University of California, San Diego] at 05:16 04 April 2016

powder can be effectively used in cement with high contents. The strength of cement mortar
with 70% superfine blast furnace slag powder still can meet the requirements of Portland cement
P•O 32·5. Meanwhile, superfine blast furnace slag powder can improve fluidity of cement-based
materials.
Keywords: Superfine blast furnace slag powder, Cement based, Content, Strength

Introduction the performance. Water requirement of normal consist-


ency, setting time, soundness, and fluidity, compressive
According to the world environmental protection organ- and flexural strength were chosen to evaluate the per-
isation, ‘Greenhouse effect’ caused by carbon dioxide has formance of cement based with different contents of
become a worldwide environmental problem. Currently, SBFSP. The results show that it is feasible to use 70%
the best way to slow down ‘Greenhouse effect’ is reducing slag in cement-based materials.
the emission of carbon dioxide. About 7–10% of emission
of carbon dioxide by the global industrial is from the
cement industries.1–2 Many researches have been carried Experimental
out concerning the application of different wastes in
cement-based materials, which can reduce the production
Materials
of cement clinker to reduce carbon dioxide emissions sig- Portland cement P•O 42·5, according to Chinese
nificantly. Meanwhile, the utilisation of waste is an Standard (GB175-2007), used in this experiment, was
energy-saving measure of green environment protection, from Huaxin Cement Co. Ltd., China. SBFSP was pro-
which has been promoted in China. vided by Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corp., China.
Blast furnace slag is a by-product generated during The Blaine-specific surface area of cement and slag
manufacturing of pig iron and steel. It consists primarily powder (BET) is 1730 and 1610 m2kg−1, respectively.
of silicates, alumina-silicate and calcium–alumina– The main components of these materials are shown in
silicates. Blast furnace slag has been widely used as a Table 1.
cement replacement material because of its hydraulic
properties, but needed to improve its activity.3 Many acti- Cement paste experiment
vation methods, such as mechanical, thermal and chemi- The mass ratios of SBFSP and cement were 0:100, 10:90,
cal activation, have been used to improve the hydration 20:80, 30:70, 40:60, 50:50, 60:40, 70:30, 80:20 and 90:10,
activity of blast furnace slag. Recent researches have and the cement pastes were prepared using different ratios
shown that in general, it is possible to use 30% ground of SBFSP and cement. Based on the Chinese National
slag powder as substitution in cement;4–7 moreover, its Standard (GB/T 1346-2011), water requirement of
ideal content is no more than 30% in cement-based normal consistency, setting time and soundness were
materials. chosen to evaluate the influence of SBFSP on the work-
To make use of slag more effectively, nine contents of ability of cement paste.
superfine blast furnace slag powder (SBFSP) were set
up to replace cement which were carried out to investigate Cement mortar experiment
The mass ratios of SBFSP and cement in cement mortar
experiment were the same as that of cement paste exper-
State Key Laboratory of Silicate Materials for Architectures (Wuhan iment, with the water/binder ratio of 0·5 and the cement/
University of Technology), Wuhan 430070, China sand ratio of 1:3. The size of mortar samples is 4 × 4 ×
*Corresponding author, email chenmzh@wuhan.edu.cn 16 cm. These samples were firstly cured in a fog room

© W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2015


Received 30 October 2014; accepted 28 December 2014
S1-168 DOI 10.1179/1432891715Z.0000000001397 Materials Research Innovations 2015 VOL 19 SUPPL 1
Li et al. Effect of superfine blast furnace slag powder

Table 1 Main components of the raw materials (wt-%)

Chemical composition CaO SiO2 Al2O3 MgO SO3 K2O Na2O Fe2O3

Slag powder 39·86 34·66 13·05 7·8 1·81 0·54 0·33 0·25
Cement 59·1 22·5 6·07 1·59 2·09 0·7 0·17 3·42

Table 2 Mix proportion of concrete

No. Cement/kg Slag powder/kg Fly ash/kg Sand ratio/% Water reducer/% Water/kg

1–1 150 150 40 43 1·2 165


1–2 120 180 40 43 1·2 165
1–3 90 210 40 43 1·2 165

at 20 °C and 95% relative humidity for 1 day, and then


they were stripped from their moulds and placed in
water at 20 °C until testing ages. At the age of 3, 7 and
28 days, the compressive and flexural strength were
tested. Meanwhile, the fluidity of mortars was tested as
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per Chinese National Standard (GB/T 2419-2005).

Cement concrete experiment


C30 concrete were prepared and evaluated by slump and
compressive strength, according to Chinese National
Standard (JGJ55-2011). The size of concrete samples is
2 Setting time of cement paste
15 × 15 × 15 cm. These samples were firstly cured in a
fog room at 20 °C and 95% relative humidity for 1 day,
and then they were stripped from their moulds and hardened cement paste to retain its volume after setting.
cured until testing ages. At the age of 3,7, 28 and 60 Setting and soundness are important indexes of cement.
days, the compressive strength was tested. The mix pro- The influences of different contents of SBFSP on setting
portion of concrete was shown in Table 2. time of cement were shown in Fig. 2. It can be seen that
with the increasing dosage of SBFSP, the initial setting
Results and discussion time was increased, whereas the final setting time was
reduced. So, the application of SBFSP in cement
Cement paste properties mortar and concrete can contribute to the mixing, trans-
Water requirement of normal consistency refers to the portation, casting and hardening.
amount of water used in cement pastes reaching normal Soundness reflects to the deformation of cement due to
consistency. Factors affecting water requirement include uneven volume expansion after hardening. The autoclave
mineral constituents, specific surface of cement, alkali and boiling soundness of all samples tested can meet the
content and additives. Figure 1 shows that the influences requirement of Chinese National Standard (GB/T 1346-
of different contents of SBFSP on water requirements of 2011). It means that SBFSP does not have an adverse
cement. It can be found from Fig. 1 that with the increas- effect on soundness of cement.
ing dosage of SBFSP, water requirement of normal con-
sistency was reduced, which indicates that SBFSP can Cement mortar properties
reduce water requirement of cement and consequently
Fluidity represents the workability of cement mortar.
means that the same dosage of water can make cement
To some extent, it can reflect the workability of concrete.8
paste with slag has better fluidity.
Figure 3 shows that the influences of different contents of
Setting time reflects the speed of the cement setting and
SBFSP on water requirements of cement. It can be found
hardening which describes the stiffening behaviour of the
cement paste and soundness is defined as the ability of a

1 Water requirement of normal consistency 3 Fluidity of cement mortar

Materials Research Innovations 2015 VOL 19 SUPPL 1 S1-169


Li et al. Effect of superfine blast furnace slag powder

4 Flexural strength of cement mortar


6 Compressive strength of concrete

prepared using SBFSP. This result is in accordance with


the result of cement mortar. Therefore, SBFSP is
especially suitable to partially replace cement to
produce some pumping concrete, flow concrete and con-
crete with special requirements.9
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Compressive strength of concrete reflects the physical


properties of concrete that already hydrated. The result
of compressive strength of concrete was shown in
Fig. 6. It can be seen from Fig. 6 that compressive
strength of concrete with different dosages of SBFSP
was able to meet the requirements of C30 concrete.
5 Compressive strength of cement mortar Meanwhile, with the prolonging of curing ages, the com-
pressive strength of concrete with more SBFSP was
from Fig. 3 that with the increasing dosage of SBFSP, the improved faster, which indicates that SBFSP can
fluidity of cement mortar was relatively increased. The improve the long-term strength of concrete.
result means that SBFSP can relatively improve workabil-
ity of cement. Because the construction technology of Conclusions
modern concrete is mainly pumping, SBFSP will have a
better application prospect in the future concrete. 1. The adverse effect on strength of cement is not
The flexural strength and compressive strength of obvious when the superfine blast furnace slag
cement reflect the physical properties of cement that powder content is between 10 and 50%. But when
already hydrated. They are the most important indexes the superfine blast furnace slag powder content is
that decide whether cement can be applied in concrete. over 50%, the strength of cement will decrease signifi-
The influences of different contents of SBFSP on flexural cantly. The strength of cement mortar with 70%
and compressive strength of cement were shown in Figs. 4 superfine blast furnace slag powder still can meet
and 5. It can be seen in Figs. 4 and 5 that with the increas- the requirements of Portland cement P•O 32·5,
ing of the content of SBFSP, the decreasing of strength of according to Chinese National Standard (GB175-
cement became more obvious. From the relationship 2007). It is possible to use more than 30% superfine
between cement strength and SBFSP content, it can be blast furnace slag powder in cement-based materials.
found that when the SBFSP content was between 10 2. Superfine blast furnace slag powder can improve
and 50%, the strength of mortars was close to that of workability of cement-based materials. Therefore,
control sample without SBFSP. When the SBFSP superfine blast furnace slag powder is especially suit-
content was over 50%, the strength of cement mortar able to partially replace cement and produce flow
was decreased significantly. Still, the strength of mortars state concrete such as pumping concrete and self-
with 70% SBFSP can meet the requirements of Portland compacting concrete. Meanwhile, superfine blast
cement P•O 32·5, according to Chinese National furnace slag powder can improve the long-term
Standard (GB175-2007). strength of concrete.

Concrete compressive strength Acknowledgements


The result of slump of concrete was shown in Table 3. It This work was financially supported by National Project
shows that SBFSP can improve workability of cement of Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs funded
concrete and consequently flow state concrete can be by the National High Technology Research and
Development Program of China (‘863’, no.
2013AA031602).
Table 3 Slump of concrete with different contents of SBFSP

No. 1–1 1–2 1–3


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