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Properties of Heavyweight Concrete for

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DOI: 10.1007/s13369-015-1868-6


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DOI 10.1007/s13369-015-1868-6


Properties of Heavyweight Concrete for Structural and Radiation

Shielding Purposes
Süleyman Özen1 · Cengiz Şengül2 · Teoman Erenoğlu3 · Üner Çolak4 ·
İskender Atilla Reyhancan4 · Mehmet Ali Taşdemi̇r2

Received: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 5 October 2015

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2015

Abstract In applications of concrete for shielding against properties, the best performances were obtained when iron
hazardous radiation or for being used as counterweight, as ore was used, while the highest fracture energy values were
well as in various other applications that involve the use of reached in concretes with steel mill scale, magnetite, or with
heavyweight concrete, the most significant method of mix the combination of steel slag, iron ore, and crushed sand.
design involves the use of heavyweight aggregates. Concrete Another important objective of this research was to evaluate
mixes that were produced for this work contained iron ore, the radiation shielding properties of heavyweight concretes
steel mill scale, two types of barite, and steel slag, which containing iron ore, steel mill scale, two types of barite, or
are the heavyweight aggregates available in Turkey. An addi- steel slag as aggregates. The experimental results showed that
tional heavyweight concrete mixture was also produced using the attenuation coefficient varied from 0.224 to 0.265 1/cm,
magnetite as a natural mineral heavyweight aggregate. In all while the unit weight of heavyweight concrete was increased
concrete mixes produced, water/cement ratio, cement con- from 3012 to 3820 kg/m3 . On the other hand, there is reason-
tent, and the maximum aggregate size of the aggregates ably good agreement between theoretical and experimental
used were kept constant. In terms of the main mechanical results of linear attenuation coefficients. It can be concluded
that the dominant factor in the determination of attenuation
B Süleyman Özen coefficient is the unit weight of heavyweight concrete and that the value of the coefficient is independent of the type of
Cengiz Şengül heavyweight aggregate used.
Teoman Erenoğlu Keywords Heavyweight concrete · High-density aggre- gate · Counterweight concrete · Shielding radiation
Üner Çolak
İskender Atilla Reyhancan 1 Introduction
Mehmet Ali Taşdemi̇r Nowadays, the use of radiation-emitting devices which threaten human health has become widespread with the
1 Civil Engineering Department, Engineering Faculty, Uludag recent developments in technology. For structures which
University, 16059 Nilufer, Bursa, Turkey accommodate such devices, design requirements should take
2 Civil Engineering Department, Civil Engineering Faculty, into account not only the strength properties, but also the
Istanbul Technical University, Maslak, Sarıyer, 34469 adequate shielding properties against radiation. In the design
Istanbul, Turkey of these structures, the source of radiation should be prop-
Akçansa Cement Factory Technological Center, erly isolated and appropriate shielding should be done in
Büyükçekmece, Istanbul, Turkey order to protect the inhabitants from the adverse effects of
4 Energy Institute, Istanbul Technical University, Maslak, harmful rays. Therefore, a protected area against the harm-
Sarıyer, 34469 Istanbul, Turkey ful effects should be created. The best method for generating

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such a field is placing a shielding member between the radi- weight concrete. When barite aggregate and recycled funnel
ation source and the medium exposed to the radiation [1]. glass were used instead of natural coarse and fine aggre-
Nowadays, materials having high specific gravity and radia- gates, density of concrete increased significantly. However,
tion shielding properties are used for this purpose. Lead and compressive strength and tensile splitting strength of con-
heavyweight concrete having these characteristics are widely crete were reduced, and using barite in concrete mixture also
used, among which heavyweight concrete is more preferable decreased the elastic modulus.
especially in terms of cost. Heavyweight concrete is a type Ling and Poon [6] made a concrete design to investigate
of concrete having the property of high radiation shielding, high-temperature effects on heavyweight concrete contain-
owing to its unit weight which is more than 2600 kg/m3 . ing barite and cathode ray tube funnel glass. They obtained
As the unit weight of the concrete increases, the shielding the mechanical properties of heavyweight concrete after
performance against radiation increases. exposure to high temperature (25, 300, 500, 600, and 800 ◦ C).
Various aspects of heavyweight concretes have been inves- At 25 ◦ C, barite concrete had higher density than granite
tigated according to the needs and application areas of the concrete (normal), but compressive strength was decreased
industry in the past. These investigations mostly focus on slightly. At 300 ◦ C, both density and strength were decreased
how the mechanical and shielding properties of heavyweight significantly compared to granite concrete. After 600 ◦ C,
concretes change depending on the type of aggregate used. explosive spalling occurred on surface of concrete speci-
Akyüz [2] made a design for concretes produced with barite mens.
aggregate for shielding against gamma rays, and he car- Gonzales-Ortega et al. [7] evaluated behavior of concrete
ried out a comprehensive study on these concretes. While mixtures including electric arc furnace (EAF) slags as aggre-
the amount of barite increased, strength did not improve, gates. They produced six concrete mixtures, four of which
but the shrinkage decreased. Substantial increase in barite were made using EAF slags, one was produced as conven-
causes a rise in the linear attenuation coefficient. Coşkun [3] tional concrete and the last one was designed as heavyweight
also investigated properties of concretes produced by using concrete with barite aggregates. Concrete produced with
barite and the corresponding effects of this type of aggregate EAF slag had compressive strength similar to that of con-
on radiation shielding. He studied the physical properties of ventional concrete and higher compressive strength than that
concretes containing barite that have been designed to reach of concrete with barite. Highest attenuation coefficient for
both an adequate workability and the theoretically calculated gamma rays was obtained for barite concrete, whereas the
target radiation shielding. Kılınçarslan et al. [1] produced lowest value was obtained for conventional concrete.
concretes of three different strength classes C20, C30, and Monte and Gambarova [8] investigated the high-
C40 by using barite and conventional aggregate. Physical temperature behavior of heavyweight concrete containing
and mechanical properties of these concrete samples were barite. After a curing period of 3 years, they investigated the
investigated, and radiation attenuation coefficients were cal- compressive and tensile strength, modulus of elasticity after
culated. heating and cooling, thermal diffusivity, and the porosity up
Oudo [4] aimed at producing high-performance heavy- to 750 ◦ C. Barite concrete had favorable heat insulation prop-
weight concrete providing radiological protection, structural erties, a slightly better compressive strength above 500 ◦ C,
integrity, and durability. He prepared 15 concrete mixtures similar splitting tensile strength, and lower elastic modulus
using barite, magnetite, goethite, and serpentine as coarse compared to ordinary concrete.
aggregate and added 10 % silica fume, 20 % fly ash, and Alwaeli and Nadziakiewicz [9] studied using waste of iron
30 % blast-furnace slag in proportion to cement in each and steel industry such as steel chips and scale in concrete.
mixture. He determined compressive strength for each mix- These waste materials were used as aggregate instead of sand
ture at 7, 28, and 90 days. Radiation transmission tests in different proportions (25, 50, 75, and 100 %). The com-
were performed by using gamma ray sources such as 137 Cs pressive strength and properties of gamma radiation shielding
and 60 Co radioactive elements, and linear attenuation coef- of concrete containing steel chips and scale were investigated
ficients were obtained for mixtures. Experimental results and compared with conventional concrete. Result showed
showed that high-performance heavyweight concrete includ- that the compressive strength of concrete including steel
ing magnetite coarse aggregate with 10 % silica fume had the chips was higher than that of conventional concrete, but con-
highest compressive strength and that the shielding efficiency crete containing over 25 % of scale had lower strength. Also,
enhanced with increasing ratio of fine magnetite aggregate. addition of scale and steel chips waste improved the gamma
Ling and Poon [5] investigated potential use of recycled radiation absorption performance.
cathode ray tube (CRT) funnel glass in concrete. Due to its Gencel et al. [10] investigated gamma ray and neutron
high density, it can be considered for use in the production shielding performance and mechanical strength of concrete
of heavyweight concrete. They used recycled CRT funnel containing hematite. The compressive strength and gamma
glass, both treated and untreated, and barite to produce heavy- ray attenuation performance of concrete increased with

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addition of hematite. On the other hand, neutron shield- The same type of cement (CEM I 42.5) was used in all mix-
ing performance did not change and was not affected with tures, and water/cement ratio was kept constant. In addition,
increasing hematite content in concrete. superplasticizer was added to the mixtures to ensure worka-
Ochbelagh et al. [11] investigated shielding properties and bility.
compressive strength of concrete containing lead powder and In Turkey, steel mill scale, iron ore, and steel slag are
silica fume. With the addition of silica fume into concrete widely used in the production of counterweights for washing
mixtures instead of lead powder, the compressive strength machines. However, the magnetite is not common in the pro-
of concrete was increased, while the gamma ray shielding duction of these elements. The magnetite used in this study
properties were reduced. was provided by the help of Metacore Co. importing from the
Apart from the shielding applications, heavyweight con- Netherlands. Two characteristics of the heavyweight aggre-
cretes are also used in the production of counterweight gates are of extreme importance. These are: (i) structural
members as catenary support in devices such as washing characteristics: mechanical strength, non-mechanical char-
machines. In addition, heavyweight concrete is utilized for acteristics (density, grain shape, particle size distribution)
increasing the weight of immersed tubes constructed on the and surface characteristics; (ii) non-structural characteristics:
seafloor. manufacturing characteristics and appearance.
This work aims at determining both the mechanical prop-
erties and the radiation shielding properties of heavyweight 3.1.1 Steel Mill Scale
concretes. The investigated mechanical properties include
compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, tensile strength, Steel mill scale is formed during continuous casting and hot
bending strength, and fracture energy. Understanding these rolling process of long products. It is an iron oxide-based
properties plays a crucial role for ensuring safe and reliable shell formed on steel surfaces in oxidizing conditions at
use of heavyweight concretes in the construction of load- high temperatures. Shell thickness increases with increasing
carrying structural elements. temperature and time. Shell contains the oxides of elements
found in the composition of steel. As carbon in steel would
give off carbon dioxide gas during oxidation, carbon content
2 Research Significance of steel mill scale is practically zero. Therefore, steel mill
scale is expected to contain roughly 1.0–2.0 % MnO, 0.5–
Heavyweight aggregates such as magnetite, barite, iron ore, 1.0 % SiO2 , and 95–98 % Fe2 O3 . The amount of steel mill
steel mill scale, and steel slag were used in concretes scale obtained from an iron and steel plant may reach up to
produced for this experimental study. Following the inves- 3 % of its steel production. There are two processes where
tigation of physical properties of the aggregates, concrete steel mill scale is created within a steel production site. These
mixtures were produced for preliminary experiments. Design by-products may be briefly summarized as follows.
properties and workabilities of the concretes were investi-
gated. Finally, concrete productions were carried out based
on the selected mixture proportions. Physical and mechanical Steel mill scale at the steel mill Scales that form
experiments were performed on concrete samples produced on the surface of the ingots produced in continuous cast-
with six different heavyweight aggregates, i.e., magnetite, ing machines are steel mill scales. These scales are pulled
iron ore, steel mill scale, two types of barite, and steel slag. In away from the surface of the steel due to the “expan-
order to investigate the shielding properties, all concrete sam- sion/contraction” differences during cooling of the ingots and
ples except those produced with magnetite aggregate were by friction and shocks that occur during transportation of the
irradiated by γ-ray emitted from a point source of cesium ingots. Steel mill scales that aggregate within the site before
(Cs-137) (at 662 KeV) and the corresponding linear attenu- the furnace process are clean as they are not contaminated
ations were found both theoretically and experimentally. with other materials. In other words, these scales are free
from oil, dust, and particles from the environment.

3 Materials and Methods Steel mill scale at the rolling mill A second process
where scales are formed is the rolling mill. Ingots are heated
3.1 Materials to milling temperatures in furnaces before rolling. Steel mill
scales form on steel surfaces during this process. Ingots
In this study, magnetite, iron ore, steel slag, steel mill scale, are then transferred from the furnace to the milling line
and two types of barite (barite 1 and barite 2) were used in for milling. At the start of milling process, the scales are
the production of different types of heavyweight concretes. cleaned/scrapped from steel surfaces using pressurized water.
Crushed sand was also used in concretes including steel slag. These are the steel mill scales. These steel mill scales col-

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Table 1 Chemical properties of the aggregates

Composition (%) Steel mill scale Iron ore Steel slag Crushed sand Barite 1 Barite 2 Magnetite

CaO – 26.25 3.74 52.59 – – –

SiO2 1.56 16.18 4.03 1.12 – – –
Al2 O3 – 2.33 2.17 – – – –
Fe2 O3 97.52 42.28 75.60 2.67 – – –
MgO – 4.28 2.13 0.25 – – –
K2 O 0.06 0.29 0.08 0.10 – – –
Na2 O 0.04 0.25 0.07 0.05 – – –
SO3 0.32 – – 0.45 – – –
BaSO4 – – – – 92.4 61.64 -
CaCO3 – – – – 1.5 19.38 -
Fe3 O4 – – – – – – 97.7
Loss on Ignition 5.14 6.13 11.48 42.74 6.1 18.98 2.3

lected at this site may be oily and dirty depending on the of heavyweight concrete: (i) specific gravity and porosity, (ii)
environmental conditions. strength, and (iii) maximum particle size and size distribu-
Oil-free scales collected at the foundry constitute an tion.
important issue. This is because oil disrupts the adherence The amount of clay and silt contained in the iron ore that
(bond) between the cement paste and aggregate in the con- is smaller than 63 microns is not expected to exceed 3 %
crete. Within a steel factory, the amount of steel mill scale by volume. If 3 % of fine materials exceed 1 % by weight,
that is collected at the rolling mill is much more than the sand equivalent and methylene blue testing are performed,
amount that is collected prior to the annealing furnace. provided that the material fineness is sand particle size. Sand
The amount of steel mill scale that arrives at the counter- equivalent should be at least 70 %, and the methylene blue
weight manufacturing plant consists of a random mixture of value should not exceed 1.5.
mostly rolling mill scale and partially steel mill scale. Scale
undergoes an extra sieving at the counterweight production
3.1.3 Steel Slag
plant. This is because its long, flat, and flaky shape affects
the workability of the fresh concrete and also compressive
Steel slag is a by-product of steel production. Up to the date,
strength of counterweight concrete. However, during sieving
studies performed to utilize this slag as heavy aggregate have
some of the particles that are plate-shaped (penny shape) and
been very limited. Major oxide compounds that may disrupt
are of high quality are retained on the sieve.
the volume stability of counterweight concretes are MgO
These materials that retain on the sieve are considered
and CaO. Undesirable consequences may arise if they are
clean and are of high quality. Mill scale quality is increased
utilized without adequate inspection. The major problem is
as follows: (1) Steel mill scale aggregates within the steel mill
the disruption of volume stability of concrete. Furthermore,
are stored separately. It can be processed with a crusher to a
requirements regarding the physical characteristics should
suitable and functional size. Thus, all clean mill scales can be
also be met. Total amount of MgO in steel slag should not
utilized. (2) Mill scales are collected and stored separately,
exceed 5 %. Steel slag should not contain fractures of refrac-
and non-ferric contaminants are disposed to obtain a suitable
tory bricks. Moreover, secondary steel slag should not be
particle distribution. This would enable the two materials
mixed with the steel slag.
to be mixed in suitable proportions to allow the maximum
The range of the densities of heavyweight aggregates was
particle packing of the concrete aggregate in terms of particle
as follows: steel mill scale (0–2, 2–4, and 4–8 mm): 4800 –
distribution to yield a uniform and clean steel mill scale input
4960 kg/m3 , barite 1 and 2 (0–2, 1–2, 2–4, and 4–8 mm):
for the heavyweight concrete production.
3940 - 4250 kg/m3 , iron ore (0–2, 2–4, and 4–8 mm): 4240-
4390 kg/m3 , magnetite (0–2 and 0–8 mm): 4730-5130 kg/m3 ,
3.1.2 Iron Ore steel slag (0–3 mm): 3600 kg/m3 . Oxide compositions of steel
mill scale, iron ore, steel slag, and crushed sand are given in
The most commonly used iron ore in practice is hematite Table 1.
(Fe2 O3 ) containing a maximum of 70 % Fe. The following Water absorption capacity and density of randomly sam-
physical properties of iron ore are essential for the production pled specimens were measured using ASTM C 128 test

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Table 2 Density and water

Types of aggregate Gradation (mm) Density (kg/m3 ) Water absorption (%)
absorption of aggregates in
mixtures Steel Mill Scale 0–2 4960 0.1
2–4 4800 0.4
4–8 4930 0.4
Barite 1 0–2 4060 0.8
1–2 4120 0.4
2–4 4250 0.3
2–8 4160 0.5
Barite 2 0–2 4080 0.3
2–4 4000 0.2
4–8 3940 0.2
Iron ore 0–2 4240 0.2
2–4 4330 0.1
4–8 4390 0.4
Magnetite 0–2 5130 0.3
0–8 4730 0.2
Steel slag 0–3 3600 0.3
Crushed sand 0–4 2700 1.0

method. Table 2 shows values of water absorption and density In Eq. 1, “D” shows the maximum aggregate size and “d”
of aggregates used in mixtures. Except for crushed limestone refers to any aggregate size between 0.25 and 8 mm. Grada-
sand, water absorptions of all heavyweight aggregates were tion curves for different types of aggregates and the Fuller
less than 0.8 %. parabola are shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

3.2.2 Concrete Mixtures

3.2 Mixtures
In this study, heavyweight concrete mixtures were prepared
3.2.1 Combined Aggregate Grading by using six different heavy aggregates of five different min-
eralogical origins. Crushed sand, as a conventional aggregate,
All aggregates were used as dry surface-saturated condition. was used together with high contents of heavy aggregates
Concretes produced were designated by the mixture codes of (steel slag and iron ore) in the last concrete mixture. A total
CSM, CIO, CB1, CB2, CMA, and CSI. CSM and CIO show of six different concrete mixtures were produced. Cement
the concretes produced with steel mill scale and iron ore, content and effective water/cement ratio were kept constant
respectively. CB1 and CB2 refer to the concretes produced for each concrete mixture. Total water/cement ratios of con-
with the combinations of barite 1 and barite 2, respectively. crete mixtures vary depending on water absorption capacity
CMA expresses the concrete produced with magnetite, and of aggregate. Effective water in concrete mixture is the water
CSI is used to represent the concrete produced with combi- in excess of that absorbed by the aggregates that also help
nation of steel slag, iron ore, and crushed sand. Unlike other achieve the desired workability [13]. Superplasticizer was
concretes, iron ore was added to the last concrete mixture to also added in each mixture at different ratios to improve
ensure the required unit weight, and crushed sand was added workability of concrete. The mixture proportions of the con-
for the sufficient workability of fresh concrete. cretes produced are given in Table 3.
In the small-size prefabricated members, the maximum
aggregate size was kept constant and was limited to 8 mm
3.3 Experiments
because coarse aggregates cause several problems regarding
the homogeneity [12]. For each type of aggregate, grading in
3.3.1 Mechanical and Fracture Properties
concrete mixtures was selected by taking Fuller parabola as
a reference curve. Fuller parabola was calculated as follows:
At 72 days, compressive, splitting tensile and bending
strengths, moduli of elasticity, fracture energies, and linear

d attenuation coefficients of CSM, CIO, CB1, CB2, and CSI
P = 100 × (1) concretes were determined except for concrete CMA. Only

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Fig. 1 Combined grading

curves of aggregate with
maximum particle size of 8 mm,
and B1, and SI are barite 1 and
combination of steel slag, iron
ore, and crushed sand,

Fig. 2 Combined grading

curves of aggregates with
maximum particle size of 8 mm
SM, IO, B2 and MA are steel
mill scale, iron ore, barite 2, and
magnetite, respectively

Table 3 Mix proportions of

concrete mixtures and fresh
concrete properties Cement (kg/m3 ) 551 546 559 550 550 551
Water (kg/m3 ) 154 153 156 154 154 154
Water/cement 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.28
Superplasticizer (kg/m3 ) 16 20 18 15.36 16.5 40.9
Aggregate 0–2 mm (kg/m3 ) 1163 1243 1364 2028 1503 1571
Aggregate 2–4 mm (kg/m3 ) 870 902 696 552 305 228
Aggregate 4–8 mm (kg/m3 ) 1039 927 706 35 751 480
Concrete unit weight (kg/m3 ) 3793 3820 3447 3334 3278 3012
Air content (%) 3.30 4.7 2.26 3.52 3.58 5.62
Flow (cm) 40 50 47 60 60 50

compression and bending tests were carried out on CMA of 200 mm. Modulus of elasticity for each concrete mixture
where compressive and bending strengths, modulus of elas- was calculated according to ASTM C 469 M from the stress–
ticity, and fracture energy were determined. strain curve up to the 35 % of maximum stress. Compressive
For each type of concrete, compression tests were carried strengths and the moduli of elasticity of the different mixtures
out according to ASTM C 39 M using at least three cylin- are presented in Table 4.
drical specimens having a diameter of 100 mm and height

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Table 4 Mechanical and fracture properties of concretes tested

Mixture code Cylinder compressive Modulus of Splitting tensile Bending strength Fracture energy Linear attenuation
strength (MPa) elasticity (GPa) strength (MPa) (MPa) (J/m2 ) coefficient (*) (1/cm)

CSM 78.6 42.0 6.9 9.2 156 0.265

CIO 130.8 60.8 8.4 10.7 101 0.255
CB1 79.1 33.9 4.9 6.0 72 0.244
CB2 57.9 34.5 3.8 5.0 81 0.239
CSI 98.4 51.4 7.2 9.5 159 0.224
CMA 80.7 51.0 – 8.0 156 –
(*) These values were obtained experimentally as explained in Paragraph 3.3.2

Fig. 3 Schematic
load–deflection at mid-span
curve (a), bending test setup (b)

Splitting tensile tests were also carried out according to The tests were performed under displacement control,
ASTM C 496 M using six disk specimens having a diameter using INSTRON 5500R closed-loop testing machine having
of 150 mm and height of 60 mm. Splitting tensile strength of a 100 kN capacity. During the experiment, the deflection was
concretes was calculated using Eq. (2) as follows: obtained from an LVDT placed under the beam and the crack
mouth opening displacement (CMMOD) was measured by a
2×F displacement transducer at the same time.
fct = (2) The bending strength of notched beams for three-point
π ×L × D
bending test was calculated as follows:

In this equation, fct is splitting tensile strength, F is fracture 3×P×L

force, L is loading strip length, and D is cross-sectional size Fnet = (3)
2 × B × (H − a)2
of the concrete sample. Splitting tensile strength values for
different mixtures are also given in Table 4. In this equation P, L, B, H, and a are maximum load span,
Three-point bending tests were carried out on five beams effective span, beam width, beam height, and notch depth,
having 70 x 70 x 280 mm dimensions for each mixture. respectively (Fig. 3).
Before the experiment, 28-mm-deep notches were cut at the Fracture energy (GF ) is the energy required to form a crack
mid-span of each beam. The load-bearing section area was 70 of unit area on a plane parallel to the crack direction [14],
x 42 mm2 , and the distance between supports was 220 mm. and its unit is N/m or Joule/m2 . Values of fracture energy

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Fig. 4 Typical load–crack mouth opening displacement curves for concretes investigated

were calculated from the area under load–deflection curve ln (I0 /I)
μ= (5)
in accordance with the method proposed by RILEM TC 50- x
FMC [14] using Eq. (4) as follows:
In this equation, μ is linear attenuation coefficient, I0 is
W0 + m.g. δ0 counted value when there is no concrete between radioac-
GF = (4) tive source and detector, I is counted value when there
are specimens of concrete with different thickness between
In this equation, W0 is the area under load–deflection curve radioactive source and detector, and x is thickness of con-
(N/m), m is the weight of the span between beam supports crete specimen exposed to radiation. Radiation transmission
(N), g is gravitational acceleration, δ0 is the deflection of experiment is shown in Fig. 5b.
beam at collapse, and Alig is the effective cross-sectional
area of the notched beam (Alig = (H-a).b).
The experimental results obtained from the mechanical 4 Results and Discussion
tests are summarized in Table 4.
The load–crack mouth opening displacement curves 4.1 Mechanical Properties
obtained from testing of different concrete mixtures are pre-
sented in Fig. 4. Table 4 presents the strength properties, moduli of elasticity,
and fracture energies of concretes produced. As seen in this
3.3.2 Radiation Transmission Experiments table, cylinder compressive strengths of concretes with steel
mill scale, barite 1, and magnetite are almost identical, which
Radiation transmission experiments were carried out on con- are slightly lower than that of the concrete with the combina-
crete specimens produced with five different aggregates, and tion of steel slag, iron ore, and crushed limestone. Concrete
linear attenuation coefficients (μ) were investigated. For this mixture CIO which contains iron ore has the highest com-
purpose, 6-, 15-, 21-, and 30-cm-thick specimens were used pressive strength compared to the others (CSM, CMA, and
for each concrete mixture. Radiation transmissions of the CSI) containing Fe2 O3 or Fe3 O4 . Although the amount of
specimens exposed to γ-ray were measured. 137 Cs radioiso- Fe2 O3 in CIO is lower than those of CSM and CSI, clean
tope (cesium-137) was used as the γ-ray source. Cesium-137 interfaces between the hardened cement paste and the aggre-
radioisotope radiates photons having 662 keV energy. γ gate and also the regular shape of iron ore may play positive
spectroscopy analysis was carried out with high-purity ger- roles in high value of compressive strength in CIO. In addi-
manium detector (HpGe) (Fig. 5a). Photons were counted on tion, the irregular shape of Fe3 O4 particles in CMA may play
PC by using Genie 2000 program. Linear attenuation coef- a negative role in its compressive strength, similarly to those
ficients of each concrete mixture were calculated using Eq. of concretes CSM and CSI containing the irregular shape
(5) as follows: of Fe2 O3 particles. As seen in the same table, compressive

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Fig. 5 High-purity germanium

detector (HpGe) (a), radiation
transmission experiment (b)

strength of CB1 is higher than that of CB2 due to the increase also play an important role in the modulus of elasticity of
of BaSO4 in CB1. concretes containing iron ore, magnetite, and combination
Compressive strengths of barite concretes (CB1 and CB2) of steel slag and iron ore.
obtained in this study are higher than the available test results Table 4 shows that concretes (CSM, CIO, and CSI) con-
in the literature [2,3,5,7] for the same type of heavyweight taining Fe2 O3 have higher splitting and bending strengths
aggregates. Main reason in these differences can be attributed compared to those of barite concretes (CB1 and CB2). Sim-
to very low water/cement ratio in concretes of this research. ilarly, the presence of Fe2 O3 in iron ore concrete (CIO) is a
The other factors, such as curing time and quality of the possible reason for the higher bending strength compared to
barite, may play important roles in the differences mentioned. those of concretes with barite (CB1 and CB2).
Compressive strengths of concretes with recycling of scale As seen in the same table, high values of mechanical prop-
and steel chips [9] are also low compared to those of concretes erties such as compressive strength, modulus of elasticity,
with steel mill scale and steel slag in this work. Similarly, splitting tensile and bending strengths, and high fracture
compressive strengths of magnetite concretes in [4] are also energies were obtained in concretes containing steel mill
lower than that of CMA due to the same reasons. scale, magnetite, iron ore, and steel slag compared to espe-
As seen in Table 4, concretes containing Fe2 O3 or Fe3 O4 cially those of concretes with barite 2. Depending on the
aggregates have higher elastic moduli for concretes CSM, BaSO4 content, there is substantial difference between com-
CIO, and CSI. However, concretes with barite (CB1 and pressive strengths of concretes with barite 1 and barite 2;
CB2) have almost identical elastic moduli. In general, the dif- however, there is no significant change in their elastic mod-
ference between the highest (CIO) and lowest (CB1 or CB2) uli.
values of the modulus of elasticity is about 79 %. When the
aggregate and the cement paste are individually subjected to
uniaxial compression, they exhibit an almost linear stress– 4.2 Mechanical Behavior and Fracture Energy
strain relationship up to the peak stress. Concrete, however,
shows an inelastic behavior due to interfaces between the As seen in Fig. 4, in concretes CIO, CSM, CMA, and CSI
hardened cement paste and the aggregate. In concretes CIO containing Fe2 O3 or Fe3 O4 , the softening responses of the
and CB1, reduction in the differences between the highest and load– crack mouth opening displacement curves have longer
lowest values of the modulus of elasticity may be attributed tails than those of barite concretes (CB1 and CB2). Concrete
to the better interfacial zone in CIO. In barite concretes (CB1 CIO, however, has a greater peak load, steeper gradient of the
and CB2), low values of elastic moduli may depend on the softening branch with corresponding lower final displace-
mismatch between the two phases (i.e., hardened cement ment value, and short tail compared to those of the others
paste and the aggregate). containing Fe2 O3 . High reduction in both peak loads and
As seen in Fig. 6, there is an expected relation between the descending branches is typical in concretes with barite (i.e.,
compressive strength and the modulus of elasticity for heavy CB1 and CB2). Similar results were obtained for the load–
weight concretes in this study. Results obtained in this work deflection at mid-span curves for the concretes investigated
show that the higher the compressive strength, the higher the in this work.
modulus of elasticity of concrete depending on the elastic Fracture energies of concretes with steel mill scale, mag-
moduli of aggregates. High elastic modulus of aggregate may netite, iron ore, and steel slag are higher than those of barite
1 and barite 2 concretes. This difference may be due to the

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Fig. 6 Relation between

compressive strength and the
moduli of elasticity of the

Fig. 7 Relation between the

unit weight and the linear
attenuation coefficient of
concrete tested

presence of Fe2 O3 or Fe3 O4 in these concretes. In the litera- 4.3 Linear Attenuation Coefficients
ture, fracture energies of normal and high- strength concretes
(NSC and HSC) vary in the ranges of 100–120 and 100–130 As seen in Fig. 7, the linear attenuation coefficient increases
J/m2 , respectively [15–17]. It is known that there are several with increasing the unit weight of concrete. It is clear that
factors affecting fracture energy of concrete. Some of main most important factor affecting the linear attenuation coeffi-
factors are water/binder ratio, type and content of binder, cient of concrete is the unit weight. Depending on the unit
and type, size, content, and surface properties of aggregate weight and thickness of heavyweight concrete, similar trends
used. The experimental technique used in the determination were obtained by the other researchers [2,4,7,9].
of fracture energy of concrete is also another important para- In this work, the theoretical linear attenuation coefficients
meter. As seen in Table 4, the fracture energy of CIO can of concretes were calculated using XCOM online database
be considered an identical value to those of lower limits of [18]. Calculations were performed based on the chemical
both NSC and HSC. However, fracture energies of CSM, compositions of the constituents for each concrete. The
CSI, and CMA lie between those of NSC and HSC. On experimental and theoretical linear attenuation coefficients
the other hand, fracture energies of barite concretes (CB1 obtained for different mixtures are shown in Fig. 7. They
and CB2) are rather low compared to those of NSC and are in reasonably good agreement. The theoretical values are
HSC. The low value of maximum particle size (i.e., 8 mm) slightly above the experimental results. Slight variations may
in these concretes may be another reason for the low fracture be originated from the use of finite size of slabs in experi-
energy. ments and inhomogeneities and uncertainties associated with
compositions and densities.

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The test results also show that the radiation transmission Concretes produced with steel mill scale and magnetite as
decreases with increasing concrete thickness for all mixtures. well as the concretes containing a combination of steel slag,
Similar results are obtained in reference 4. It can be con- iron ore, and crushed sand have higher fracture energies and
cluded that there is an inverse relation between the linear therefore absorb more energy during their fractures compared
attenuation coefficient and radiation transmission. In other to the other mixtures.
words, as the thickness of concrete increases, the linear atten- The radiation transmission decreases with increasing
uation coefficient increases and the radiation transmission concrete thickness for all concrete mixtures as expected.
decreases. The linear attenuation coefficient increases with increas-
ing unit weight of concrete. There is reasonably a good
agreement between theoretical and experimental attenuation
5 Conclusions coefficients. Therefore, effectiveness of concrete mixtures as
radiation shielding is directly related to the density of con-
Based on the results obtained in this study, the following crete. However, the strength and shielding characteristics are
conclusions can be drawn: not directly correlated. Therefore, an optimum choice must
Cylindrical compressive strength of the concretes contain- be made depending on the specific application.
ing iron ore is significantly higher than those of all the other
mixtures. Compressive strength of the concrete mixture pro- Acknowledgments This research was performed at Istanbul Tech-
nical University (ITU). The first author wishes to acknowledge the
duced with iron ore and steel slag is also high compared to scholarship provided by TCMA (Turkish Cement Manufacturer’s Asso-
the rest of the mixtures except the mixture with only iron ore ciation) during his MS study. Chemical analysis of heavyweight
aggregates. The presence of Fe2 O3 or Fe3 O4 in concretes aggregates used and production of heavyweight concretes were real-
with iron ore, magnetite, steel mill scale, and steel slag may ized in Akçansa-Betonsa Technological Center. Arçelik A. Ş. supported
the related research activities on counterweight concretes made with
play an important role in high values of compressive strength. heavyweight aggregates. The authors acknowledge the materials sup-
Concrete containing barite 2 aggregate gave the lowest com- port given by Mr. Hüseyin Küle (Uğur Beton), Mr. Ulucan Gerçek
pressive strength among all mixtures. (ADO), Mr. Mustafa Erdoğan and Mr. Haldun Lütfullahoğlu (İMECE),
Depending on the type of aggregate, the change in mod- Aydınlar Madencilik Ltd. Şti., and Ms. Arzu Cantekin (METACORE).
The authors also acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Ayda Şafak Ağar
ulus of elasticity has a similar trend as in the compressive Özbek for her valuable suggestions during the preparation of the paper.
strength. Modulus of elasticity of concrete produced with
iron ore was the highest. Moduli of elasticity of concretes
containing barite aggregates were significantly lower than
those of the others. Compressive strength of concrete with References
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