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Vol. 8. Issue 5.
Pages 4940-4955 (September - October 2019)
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Vol. 8. Issue 5.
Pages 4940-4955 (September - October 2019)
Review Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmrt.2019.06.038
Open Access
A synopsis manual about recycling steel slag as a cementitious material
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Alaa M. Rashada,b,
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a Building Materials Research and Quality Control Institute, Housing & Building National Research Center (HBRC), Cairo, Egypt
b Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia
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Table 1. Effect of SS on the compressive strength.
Table 2. Effect of SS on the permeability, porosity and water absorption.
Table 3. Additives/methods to enhance SS properties.
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Abstract

Steel slag (SS) is an industrial product of steel making. It can be produced in either an electric arc furnace (EAF), of which steel is produced by melting scrap steel, or a basic oxygen furnace (BOF), of which iron is converted to steel. SS can be used in many fields such as soil improvement, agricultural fertilizer, asphalt concrete, road construction, as a part of concrete/mortar aggregate and as a part of cement. In the current article, a short review of the previous studies using SS as a part of cement in paste, mortar and concrete is conducted. The effects of SS on the fresh, hardened properties and durability of paste, mortar and concrete have been reviewed and summarized. Additionally, different additives and special curing conditions used to improve some properties of SS matrices have been briefed.

Keywords:
Steel slag
Heat of hydration
Fresh properties
Hardened properties
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1Introduction

Steel slag (SS) is one of the most common types of industrial waste. It is a by-product of steel making. SS is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnace. The production of one tonne of steel tends to produce about 130–200 kg of SS, depending on steel production process and the composition of steel [1,2]. The large unused portion was deposited in areas adjacent to the steel manufacturing plants, occupied a large amount of farms and polluted environment.

The production of steel slag amongst the worldwide was about 150–230 million tonnes in 2012 [3], and about 190–290 million tonnes in 2018 [4]. SS is produced in either an electric arc furnace (EAF), of which steel is produced by melting scrap steel, or a basic oxygen furnace (BOF), of which iron is converted to steel. EAF slag can be classified into two different types: (1) black basic slag, with a lime content lower than 40% and (2) black and white basic slag, with a lime content higher than 40%. The common chemical compositions of SS are 45–60% CaO, 7–20% Fe2O3 (wüstite), 10–15% SiO2, 3–13% MgO (periclase), 1–8% Al2O3, 1–7% Al2O3 and 1–4% P2O5. The common mineral compositions of SS are free-CaO, C2S, C3S, C2F, C4AF, Fe3O4 and RO phase (CaO–FeO–MnO–MgO solid solution). As known that C2S, C3S, C2F and C4AF are common mineral compositions of cement. So that SS has some cementitious properties [5]. The common mineral phases detected by XRD of SS are β-C2S (2CaO·SiO2) α-C2S, (2MgO·2FeO·SiO2), C4AF (4CaO·Al2O3·FeO3), (3CaO·MgO·2SiO2), C2F(2CaO·Fe2O3)·CaO (free lime), MgO, FeO, C3S (3CaO·SiO2), RO phase and CaO–FeO–MgO–MnO [6]. SS contains high amounts of free CaO and MgO which expand when hydrated (converted to Ca(OH)2 and Mg(OH)2) [7] which limited its wide use.

Most of SS consists predominantly of CaO, FeO, SiO2 and MgO. So that, SS can be denoted by CaO–MgO–SiO2–FeO quaternary system. Nevertheless, the proportions of these oxides the other minor components could be variable in one plant depending on furnace conditions, type of steel, raw material, etc. The free lime (CaO) comes from precipitated lime from the molten slag and residual free lime from raw material. The residual lime is mainly responsible for SS volume soundness. MgO in SS comes from MgO refractory used as lining of steel furnace and dolomite used as a flux. The inclusion of MgO in SS also causes a soundness problem [8]. The free CaO and MnO in SS might react at late ages, producing expansive internal stress and affecting the stability of the volume. The specific gravity of free CaO is around 3.34, whilst that of Ca(OH)2 which was produced by the reaction of free CaO and water is around 2.23 [9]. This variation in the specific gravity can be considered as one of the reasons for increasing volume. The hydration of MgO, which generally presents in the form of wüstite such as Fe (Mg, Mn, Ca)O in SS, occurs after long time.

SS can be used in many applications such as an additive to improve physicochemical properties of soil by increasing its pH. SS can be used frequently to decrease the demand for liming on acidic soil. SS can be used in the production of eco-friendly potassium silicate fertilizer. SS has a major application in road making for its high hardness and cementing properties. SS can be replaced clinker in cement manufactures and as a part of aggregate. SS can be used to treat industrial waste water to remove phosphorus, aqueous ammonium nitrogen, phenol and arsenic. The uses of SS in various application in Europe 2016 is presented in Fig.1 [10]. As can be seen from Fig.1, about 46% of SS is used in road construction as a part of aggregate, whilst about 4.4% is used in cement production. About 8.6% is used in internal storage, whilst 11% and 6.6% is used for metallurgical and others, respectively. Finally about 14.1% is disposed in landfill. In fact, in the field of construction, there is a high appeal to replace part of the cement by by-product or waste materials to eliminate cement production and keep raw natural resources. One of these by products is SS. Thus, considerable studies have been accomplished to investigate the opportunity of employing SS as a part of cement in paste, mortar and concrete materials. This article offers an overview of the incorporation of SS in paste, mortar and concrete as a part of cement. The effects of SS on the heat of hydration, workability, setting time, density, mechanical strength, permeability, porosity, water absorption, chemical resistance, carbonation resistance, dimensions stability, fire resistance and thermal conductivity have been reviewed and summarized. In addition different additives and methods used to modify some properties of SS matrices have been briefed. The current article can be applied as a guide to know what are already investigated and what are should be investigated in the future studies.

Fig. 1.

Use of SS in Europe 2016 [10].

(0.48MB).
2Heat of hydration

Zhu et al. [11] reported that the formulation temperature of SS is 1650 °C, which higher than those of cement clinker. Thus, C3S and C2S in SS showed large and compact crystals as well as slow hydration. Wang et al. [12] reported that the hydration rate of SS is much slower than those of cement at early age, whilst at age of 90 days its rate was higher than those of cement. Wang et al. [13] studied the hydration properties of SS under autoclave conditions (2 MPa and 216 °C). The results showed that the morphologies of CH produced by f-CaO were quite different from those produced by C2S and C3S. The CH produced by f-CaO had a greater volume or surface area than those produced by C2S and C3S. The average Ca-Si ratio of CSH gel formed by SS is smaller than those formed by cement. The reaction of f-CaO seemed to cause higher expansion than those of minerals containing magnesium oxide. Wang and Yan [14] claimed that the hydration process of BOF slag (fineness 458 m2/kg) is similar to that of cement, but with much lower rate than cement. The hydration rate of BOF slag at early age can be accelerated by increasing its fineness. Wang et al. [15] claimed that the amount of hydration products of SS is lesser than that of cement. Wang et al. [16] studied the heat of hydration of BOF slag with two different particle sizes: smaller than 20 µm (fine) and larger than 20 µm (coarse). The results showed that the hydration of the fine BOF slag was quite similar to the cement. The endothermic rate of fine BOF slag was smaller than those of cement. For coarse BOF slag, the exothermic rate was much lower than that of fine one. Liu and Wang [17] partially replaced cement in pastes with 20% SS + 20% slag, 22.5% SS + 22.5% slag and 25% SS + 25% slag. The results showed a reduction in the heat of hydration up to 72 h with the incorporation of SS coupled with slag. As the cement replacement increased as the exothermic peak of the composite delayed and the exothermic peak decreased.

Hu [18] found lower heat of hydration of cement paste with the incorporation of 30% SS (fineness 643 m2/kg) as a cement replacement. Liu and Li [5] incorporated 20% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 389 m2/kg) in pastes. The heat of hydration of each mixture up to 72 h was measured. The results showed lower heat of hydration with the incorporation of BOF slag. The incorporation of 20% and 45% BOF slag in the pastes decreased the 3 days heat of hydration by 20.25% and 42.52%, respectively. Wang et al. [19] found lower heat of hydration of cement pastes with the incorporation of 22.5% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 458 m2/kg) as a cement replacement. This reduction increased with increasing BOF slag content. At ages of 90 and 365 days, the incorporation of SS promoted the hydration degree of cement. Han et al. [20] studied the hydration process of BOF slag (fineness 458 m2/kg) and cement containing 20%, 35% and 50% BOF slag. They reported that the hydration process of BOF slag was similar to those of cement. The cumulative hydration heat and hydration heat evolution of cement containing BOF slag increased with increasing BOF slag content in the initial duration period (0–1 h). This could attributed to the low reactivity of BOF slag which resulted in a higher effective water/cement ratio and promoted cement hydration, whilst as the hydration continued, both cumulative hydration heat and hydration rate reduced considerably. The incorporation of BOF slag lowered the concentration of calcium ion, resulted in a longer dormant period and setting time retardation. Wang et al. [21] partially replaced cement with 50% of two types of SS containing high content of Al2O3. The first one has a specific surface area of 453 m2/kg and 5.37% Al2O3, whilst the second has a specific surface area of 461 m2/kg and 7.19% Al2O3, respectively. The results showed higher initial hydration up to 2 h with the incorporation of SS. As the content of Al2O3 increased as the initial hydration increased. This could be relevant to the higher content of Al2O3 which led to higher calcium aluminate mineral content with very low gypsum content. Wang et al. [22] found lower heat of hydration up to 48 h of cement pastes with the incorporation of 20%, 40% and 60% SS (fineness 458 m2/kg). The heat of hydration decreased with increasing SS content. Zhang et al. [23] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 60% SS. The results showed a significant reduction in the rate of heat evaluation with the incorporation of SS due to its low hydraulic activity. Zhao et al. [24] compared the heat of hydration up to 72 h of cement (95% clinker + 5% gypsum) with those binder manufactured from 95% SS (fineness 427 m2/kg) + 5% gypsum. The results showed that the hydration process of SS/gypsum has two exothermic peaks, similar to cement, but with lower hydration exothermic rate and longer early hydration period.

From the above summary, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS in the mixture delayed the heat of hydration. The hydration of SS was decreased as its grain size increased. This could be attributed to the fewer cementitious and more inert composites in coarse SS [16]. In such a way, the heat of hydration decreased as the content of SS increased. This could be relevant to that the cementitious phases of SS crystallize are much better than that of cement. Thus, the activity of SS is much lower than those of cement [19]. The main hydration products of paste containing SS are CSH gel, Ca(OH)2, Fe3O4, C2F (which seemed to be similar to those of cement) and RO, which responsible for lower hydration degree [15]. Whatever, SS can be regarded as a poor-quality cement as well as inert substances. The reduction in the heat of hydration by SS is one advantages or disadvantages of using this by-product. This mainly depending on its applications. SS can be used in concrete for untraditional applications such as deep wall concrete, concrete in hot weather and mass concrete to hinder the formation of cracking.

3Workability and setting time

Liu and Guo [25] found higher fluidity of paste mixtures by partially replacing cement with 5–20% SS. The fluidity increased as the SS content increased. Li [26] found higher workability of concrete mixtures by partially replacing cement with 10–40% SS. Carvalho et al. [27] prepared slag cement from 60% slag, 32% clinker, 5% limestone and 3% gypsum. Slag was partially replaced with 1.8-5.4% BOF slag. The Blaine surface area of the manufactured cement containing 0%, 1.8%, 3.6% and 5.4% BOF slag was 461.8, 459.4, 443.7 and 454.7 m2/kg, respectively. The results showed longer initial and final setting times with the incorporation of 1.8% and 5.4% BOF slag, whilst the incorporation of 3.6% BOF slag decreased the initial and final setting times. The incorporation of 1.8% BOF slag prolonged the initial and final setting times by 20%, and 6%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 5.4% prolonged it by 10% and 4%, respectively. The incorporation of 3.6% decreased the initial and final setting times by 2.5% and 6%, respectively. Magalhães et al. [28] partially replaced cement with 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag (size <478 μm,), by weight. The results showed longer initial and final setting times with the incorporation of EAF slag. As the content of EAF slag increased as the retardation effect increased. The initial setting time of the control was 126 min, whilst it was 503, 725 and 930 min for mixtures containing 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag, respectively. In such a way, the final setting time of the control was 206 min, whilst it was 1007, 1365 and 1485 min for mixtures containing 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag, respectively. They also prepared mortar mixtures containing EAF slag as a cement replacement. The results showed 9%, 18.1% and 20.65% higher flow diameter with the incorporation of 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag, respectively. Kourounis et al. [29] partially replaced cement in mortar mixtures with 15%, 30% and 45% SS (fineness 300 m2/kg). The results showed higher flow diameter of the mixtures with the incorporation of SS. The incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS increased the flow diameter by 5.34%, 8.25% and 10.19%, respectively. They also studied the setting time of pastes containing SS. The results showed that the initial and final setting times were prolonged with the incorporation of SS. The incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS prolonged the initial setting time by 9.68%, 35.48% and 41.94%, respectively, whilst the final setting time was prolonged by 13.5%, 29.73% and 40.54%, respectively. Muhmood et al. [30] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 15% and 30% untreated EAF slag (fineness 312 m2/kg) or treated EAF slag (fineness 228 m2/kg). The results showed longer setting time with the incorporation of EAF slag. The incorporation of 15% untreated EAF slag prolonged the initial and final setting times by 7.14% and 8.7%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 15% treated EAF slag prolonged it by 35.71% and 8%, respectively. The incorporation of 30% untreated EAF slag prolonged the initial and final setting times by 28.57% and 21.74%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 30% treated EAF slag prolonged them by 50% and 30.43%, respectively. Bernardo et al. [31] incorporated 20% EAF slag as a partial replacement of both limestone and clay in limestone cement clinker. It was found that the initial setting time was 140 min with the incorporation of EAF slag, whilst it was 110–160 for common limestone cement.

Wang et al. [21] partially replaced cement with two types of SS containing high content of Al2O3. The first one has a specific surface area of 453 m2/kg and 5.37% Al2O3, whilst the second has a specific surface area of 461 m2/kg and 7.19% Al2O3, respectively. The results showed lower fluidity of the pastes with the incorporation of SS with higher Al2O3 content. Roslan et al. [32] found lower workability of concrete mixture by partially replacing cement with 5–20% EAF slag. The workability decreased with increasing EAF slag content. The reduction in the workability could be related to the surface roughness of EAF slag which might accommodate some mixing water. Tüfekçi et al. [33] found that the incorporation of 10% SS as a cement replacement in mortar prolonged the initial setting time, but decreased the final setting time. Altun and Yılmaz [34] found longer setting time of cement pastes with the incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS (fineness 400 and 470 m2/kg). The setting time increased as the content of SS increased, but SS with fineness of 470 m2/kg exhibited shorter setting time than those with fineness of 400 m2/kg. The incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS with fineness of 400 m2/kg prolonged the final setting time by 27.71%, 46% and 22.9%, whilst the incorporation of SS with fineness of 470 m2/kg prolonged it by 24.1%, 30.6% and 11.84%. Guo et al. [35] prepared pastes from 50% cement coupled with 50% GGBS. GGBS was partially replaced with 20–50% SS (10–25% of total binder). The results showed longer initial and final setting times with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the setting time became longer. Alanyali et al. [36] added 20%, 30% and 50% BOF slag to clinker to prepare concrete specimens. The results showed longer initial and final setting time with the incorporation of BOF slag. The incorporation of 20% BOF slag (fineness 327.4 m2/kg) prolonged the initial and final setting times by 32.91% and 37.23%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 30% BOF slag (fineness 340.2 m2/kg) prolonged them by 50.63% and 50%, respectively. The incorporation of 50% BOF slag (fineness 3598 m2/kg) prolonged the initial and final setting times by 70.25% and 80.85%, respectively. Wang et al. [19] found higher fluidity of mortar mixture with the incorporation of 50% SS (fineness 458, 441, 432 and 473 m2/kg) as a cement replacement.

Ӧzkan [37] prepared cement from 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Cement was partially replaced with 20%, 40% and 60% SS (fineness 310–330 m2/kg). The results showed longer initial and final setting times with the incorporation of SS. As the SS content increased as setting time became longer. The incorporation of 20%, 40% and 60% SS prolonged the initial setting time by 26.98%, 33.33% and 36.51%, respectively, whilst the final setting time was prolonged by 9.75%, 29.27% and 31.71%, respectively. Zhang et al. [38] prepared cement with 95% clicker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replace with 30-60% BOF slag. The results showed prolonged initial and final setting times with the incorporation of BOF slag. The incorporation of 30% BOF slag prolonged the initial and final setting times by 38.95% and 27.15%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 50% BOF slag prolonged them by 31.58% and 12.58%, respectively. The incorporation of 60% BOF slag prolonged the initial and final setting times by 40.81% and 7.28%, respectively. Zhang et al. [23] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 60% SS. The results showed longer setting time with the incorporation of SS. The incorporation of SS prolonged the initial and final setting times by 167.9% and 114.94%, respectively. Calmon et al. [39] found lower amount of water required to initiate flow of paste mixture by replacing cement with BOF slag. Meaningful, higher workability with the incorporation of 100% BOF slag compared to the control.

From the above summary, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS in the mixture increased its workability. The workability increased as the content of SS increased. This could be attributed to the lower reactivity of SS compared to the cement, of which the amount of ettringite was reduced during the early hydration resulted in higher workability [29]. Cakmon et al. [39] attributed the higher workability of the mixture with the incorporation of SS to the low porosity of SS grains and the higher value of SS specific gravity. On the other side, the incorporation of SS containing high content of Al2O3 in the mixture decreased its fluidity. This is because the Al2O3 may contain calcium aluminat mineral which has flake products. These flake products have a negative effect on the fluidity [21]. The incorporation of SS in the mixture prolonged its initial and final setting times. The initial and final setting times increased with increasing SS content [29]. This could be attributed to the low Al2O3 content [34] and the high content of MgO [40,41] in SS. The positive effect of SS in the workability is one advantage of using this by-produce material. It is possible to use SS to produce high performance concrete. It can decrease the water content of the mixture containing SS to reach the same workability of the control. Decreasing water content has a major positive effect on the compressive strength and durability. The prolongation of setting time with the incorporation SS has a positive effect in some applications such as casting concrete for water structures, deep beams and walls. In addition, it can be used as a retarder agent instead of retarder chemical admixture to decrease the cost.

4Density

Rosales et al. [42] partially replaced cement in mortars with SS at levels of 10%, 20% and 30%. There were different conditions of SS named unprocessed (N), crushed to be finer than 125 µm (C) and burnt at 800 °C for 18 h (B). The results showed higher 28 days bulk density with the incorporation of SS. The bulk density was increased by 22.49%, 15.31% and 11.48% with the incorporation of 10% N, C and B SS, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 20% SS increased it by 24.88%, 22% and 19.14%, respectively. The incorporation of 30% N, C and B SS increased the bulk density by 27.75%, 24.88% and 25.84%, respectively. Magalhães et al. [28] found 0.06%, 0.97% and 1.37% increase in the fresh bulk density of mortars by partially replacing cement with 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag (size <478 μm), respectively. The incorporation of 5% and 20% EAF slag increased the dry bulk density by 0.43% and 1.94%, respectively.

From the above two references, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS in the matrix increased its density. The density increased with increasing SS content. This could be attributed to the higher specific gravity of SS compared to cement [28]. Rosales et al. [42] attributed the higher density with the incorporation of SS to the low Al2O3, MgO and MnO2 content in SS compared to cement.

5Mechanical strength5.1Pastes

Carvalho et al. [27] prepared slag cement from 60% slag, 32% clinker, 5% limestone and 3% gypsum. Slag was partially replaced with 1.8–5.4% BOF slag. The Blaine surface area of the manufactured cement containing 0%, 1.8%, 3.6% and 5.4% BOF slag was 461.8, 459.4, 443.7 and 454.7 m2/kg, respectively. The results showed an increase in the 3–91 days compressive strength with increasing BOF slag content up to 5.4%. The incorporation of 5.4% BOF slag increased the 3 and 28 days compressive strength by 35% and 29%, respectively. Lizarazo-Marriaga at al. [43] found a reduction in the 7, 28 and 90 days compressive strength of pastes containing cement and slag with the incorporation of SS (size <600 µm). The compressive strength decreased with increasing SS content. Amin et al. [44] partially replaced cement in pastes with 4%, 6%, 10% and 15% EAF slag (fineness 294.5 m2/kg). The results showed a comparable or a slight higher 1-90 days compressive strength with the incorporation of 6% EAF slag, whilst the incorporation of 4%, 10% and 15% EAF slag reduced it. This reduction was remarkable for 10% and 15% EAF slag. Zhao et al. [45] prepared pastes from 20% cement, 12% lime and 68% FA. FA was partially replaced with 10% and 20% BOF slag (size 0.1–100 µm). The results showed a reduction in the compressive strength with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the BOF slag content increased as the compressive strength decreased. The incorporation of 20% BOF slag decreased the compressive strength by 27.2%. Kourounis et al. [29] partially replaced cement in pastes with 15%, 30% and 45% SS (fineness 300 m2/kg). The results showed a reduction in the 2–90 days compressive strength with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the reduction in the compressive strength increased.

Altun and Yılmaz [34] found lower 2, 7 and 28 days compressive strength and bending strength of cement pastes with the incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS (fineness 400 and 470 m2/kg). The incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS with fineness of 400 kg/m2 decreased the 2 days compressive strength by 24.27%, 37.24% and 57.32%, respectively, whilst those with fineness of 470 m2/kg decreased it by 15.1%, 36.4% and 53.56%, respectively. The reduction in the 28 days compressive strength was 16.9%, 33.62% and 38.45% with the incorporation of 15%, 30% and 45% SS with fineness of 400 m2/kg, respectively, whilst SS with fineness of 470 m2/kg decreased it by 9.3%, 21% and 24.66%, respectively. The same trend of the results was observed for bending strength. Zhu et al. [11] found 38.15–36.13% and 29.55–15.24% reduction in the 7 and 28 days compressive strength of pastes containing 70% SS (fineness 400 m2/kg) with different alkalinities. As the SS alkalinity “CaO/(SiO2 + P2O5)” increased as the activity and compressive strength increased. Zhao et al. [24] manufactured cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. They compared the compressive strength of this cement (the control) with another binder manufactured from 95% SS (fineness 427 m2/kg) coupled with 5% gypsum. The results showed 79.33%, 75.19% and 78.31% reduction in 7, 28 and 90 days compressive strength of SS-gypsum pastes compared the control, respectively. Belhadj et al. [46] prepared BOF slag (size 0–125 µm) pastes. This BOF slag containing 54.9% of C2S. It was found that compressive strength of 37 and 50 MPa at ages of 90 and 180 days can be obtained when curing temperature was 20 °C, respectively.

5.2Mortars

Tüfekçi et al. [33] found that the incorporation of 10% SS as a cement replacement in mortars reduced the 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 12.6%, 10.92% and 9%, respectively. Magalhães et al. [28] partially replaced cement in mortars with 5%, 10% and 20% EAF slag (size <478 μm). The results showed higher compressive strength and flexural strength with the incorporation of 5% EAF slag, whilst 10% and 20% decreased them. The incorporation of 5% EAF slag increased the 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 6.25%, 4.3% and 1.14%, respectively, whilst the flexural strength was enhanced by 1%, 4.26% and 4.7%, respectively. The incorporation of 10% EAF slag decreased the 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 9.39%, 0.47% and 1.97%, respectively, whilst the flexural strength was decreased by 21.46%, 0.63% and 0.57%, respectively. The incorporation of 20% EAF slag decreased the 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 66%, 16.39% and 7.38%, respectively, whilst the flexural strength was decreased by 71.65%, 21.9% and 9.4%, respectively. Guo et al. [35] prepared mortars from 50% cement coupled with 50% GGBS. GGBS was partially replaced with 15–40% SS (7.5–20% of total binder). The results showed a reduction in the 28 and 56 days compressive strength with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the compressive strength decreased. Wang et al. [16] partially replaced cement in mortars with 10%, 20% and 30% BOF slag (size <20 µm). The results showed lower 3-360 days compressive strength and bending strength with the incorporation of BOF slag. At age of 360 days, the 360 days compressive strength was decreased by 1.5%, 4.1% and 10.5% with the incorporation of 10%, 20% and 30% BOF slag, respectively, whilst bending strength was decreased by 1.3%, 6.8% and 10%, respectively. They incorporated 100% BOF slag into mortars. The 360 days compressive strength and bending strength reached 25.3% and 43.5% of the control, respectively. Mladenoviĉ et al. [47] partially replaced cement with 30% SS. The results showed that the incorporation of SS decreased the compressive strength by 44%, 39%, 31% and 31% at ages of 2, 7, 28 and 90 days, respectively. Dongxue et al, [48] prepared binder from 30% slag, 30% SS, 33% clinker, 4% gypsum and 3% admixture. This binder was used to manufacture mortar specimens. Neat cement mortar was used as a control. The specimens containing SS showed 16.75%, 8.17%, 5.93%, 10.21%, 2.62% and 8.54% reduction in the 3, 7, 28, 90, 180 and 360 days compressive strength compared to the control. The reduction in the 3, 7 and 28 days flexural strength was 22.73%, 20.54% and 0%, respectively.

Rosales et al. [42] partially replaced cement in mortars with SS at levels of 10%, 20% and 30%. The specimens containing SS were exposed to different conditions named unprocessed (N), crushed to be finer than 125 µm (C) and burnt at 800 °C for 18 h (B). The results showed that as the content of SS increased as the compressive strength decreased. The 1 day compressive strength was decreased by 7.32%, 37.7% and 73.17% with the incorporation of 10%, 20% and 30% N SS, respectively, whilst the reduction in the 7 days compressive strength was 1.56%, 11.68% and 42.49%, respectively. The incorporation of 10% N, C and B SS increased the 28 days compressive strength by 0.6%, 0.77% and 2.82%, respectively, whilst the 90 days compressive strength was enhanced by 0.32%, 1.19% and 2.68%, respectively. The incorporation of 20% N, C and B SS decreased the 28 days compressive strength by 9.45%, 6.1% and 4.26%, respectively, whilst the reduction in the 90 days compressive strength was 8.95%, 7.54% and 7%, respectively. The incorporation of 30% N, C and B SS reduced the 28 days compressive strength by 41.17%, 26.83% and 16.73% respectively, whilst the 90 days compressive strength was decreased by 37.33%, 24.16% and 18.1%, respectively. The same trend of the results was obtained for flexural strength. Wang et al. [49] partially replaced cement in mortars with SS (fineness 458 m2/kg) at levels of 20% and 40%. The results showed that the incorporation of 20% SS decreased the 3, 28 and 90 days compressive strength by 27.7%, 13.66% and 8.96%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 40% SS decreased it by 59.15%, 41.82% and 29.2%, respectively.

Liu and Li [5] incorporated 20% and 45% of BOF slag with different fineness of 389, 524 and 645 m2/kg in mortars. The 3 and 28 days compressive strength and bending strength decreased with increasing BOF slag content. Wang et al. [50] partially replaced cement in mortars with 50% BOF slag which has specific surface area of either 442 m2/kg (coarse) or 786 m2/kg (fine). The results showed 64%, 41.1%, 36.17%, 24.78% and 18.87% reduction in the 3, 28, 90, 360 and 720 days compressive strength with the incorporation of the coarse BOF slag, whilst the incorporation of the fine BOF slag led to a reduction of 46.82%, 27.18%, 27.67%, 18.92% and 15.43%, respectively. They also partially replaced cement in concretes with 25% and 50% BOF slag. The results showed a reduction in the compressive strength with the incorporation of BOF slag. The reduction in the strength increased with increasing BOF slag content. The reduction in the compressive strength of specimens containing coarse BOF slag was higher than those containing fine BOF slag one. Ӧzkan [37] prepared cement from 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Cement was partially replaced with 20%, 40% and 60% SS (fineness 310–330 m2/kg). These cements were used to manufacture mortars. The results showed a reduction in the compressive strength with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the compressive strength decreased. The incorporation of 20%, 40% and 60% SS decreased the 90 days compressive strength by 14.13%, 16.3% and 24%, respectively. Wang et al. [22] partially replaced cement in mortars with SS (fineness 458 m2/kg) at levels of 22.5%, 45% and 60%, by weight. The results showed a reduction in the 1–360 days compressive strength with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the reduction in the compressive strength increased. The incorporation of 22.5–60% SS reduced the 28 days compressive strength by 87.5–51.9%, whilst the 360 days compressive strength was reduced by 86.4–60.6%. Zhao et al. [24] manufactured cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. This cement was used to manufacture mortars. They compared the compressive strength and flexural strength of these mortars (the control) with other mortars containing 95% SS (fineness 427 m2/kg) coupled with gypsum as a binder material. The results showed 85.57% and 66.85% reduction in the 28 and 90 days compressive strength of mortars with the incorporation of SS, respectively, whilst the flexural strength was reduced by 82.76% and 69.3%, respectively. Reddy et al. [51] found 86.28%, 81.24 and 42.83% reduction in the 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength of mortars with including untreated BOF slag (fineness 300 m2/kg) as a binder material compared to those containing cement, whilst including treated BOF slag (fineness 300 m2/kg) reduced the strength by 67.38%, 47.83% and 17.25%, respectively.

5.3Concretes

Tüfekçi et al. [33] found 16.82%, 27.38%, 18.84%, 21.35% and 21.2% reduction in the 1, 7, 28, 56 and 90 days compressive strength of concretes by partially replacing cement with 5% SS, whilst partially replacing cement with 10% SS decreased the compressive strength by 26.17%, 15.97%, 12.77%, 15.73% and 10.85%, respectively. The incorporation of 15% SS as a cement replacement decreased the 1, 7, 28, 56 and 90 days compressive strength by 31.78%, 27.38%, 18.84%, 19.66% and 20.16%, respectively. Roslan et al. [32] incorporated 5-20% EAF slag as a partial replacement of cement in concretes. The incorporation of 10% EAF slag increased the compressive strength at ages of 3–90 days, whilst 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% EAF slag decreased it at ages of 3–28 days, but the gap between the compressive strength of the control and those containing EAF slag decreased as hydration age increased. At age of 90 days, the compressive strength of the specimens containing 15% and 20% EAF slag exceeded the control. The incorporation of 10% EAF slag increased the 3 days compressive strength by 27%, but this superiority decreased with increasing curing age. The incorporation of 20% EAF slag decreased the 3 days compressive strength by 53%. This reduction decreased with increasing hydration age. At age of 90 days, the incorporation of 15% and 20% EAF slag exhibited slightly higher compressive strength than the control. The tensile strength decreased with the incorporation of EAF slag at ages of 7, 28 and 90 days. The incorporation of 10% EAF slag increased the flexural strength at ages of 7-90 days. The incorporation of 5%, 15% and 20% EAF slag decreased the 7 days flexural strength, but the gap between the flexural strength of the control and those containing 15% and 20% EAF slag decreased at age of 28 days. At age of 90 days, comparable flexural strength of the control with those containing 15% and 20% EAF slag was obtained. Bernardo et al. [31] incorporated 20% EAF slag as a partial replacement of both limestone and clay in limestone cement clinker. It was found that the 2 and 28 days compressive strength was 127.5 and 46.8 MPa with the incorporation of EAF slag, respectively, whilst it was 25–30 MPa and 44.5–48 MPa for common limestone cement, respectively. Guo [25] found comparable 28 days compressive strength of concretes with those containing 5% and 10% SS as a cement replacement, whilst increasing replacement levels to 15% and 20% resulted it. Liu and Wang [17] partially replaced cement in concrete specimens with 25% SS + 25% slag. The results showed a reduction in the 7, 28 and 90 days compressive strength and elastic modulus with the incorporation of SS + slag. The compressive strength gab between the control and those containing SS + slag decreased with increasing hydration time and reached only 3.6% at age of 90 days. Wang et al. [16] partially replaced cement in concrete with 10%, 20% and 30% BOF slag (size <20 µm). The results showed 1% higher 360 days compressive strength with the incorporation of 10% BOF slag, whilst the incorporation of 20% and 30% BOF slag reduced it by 3% and 7%, respectively. Muhmood et al. [30] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 15% and 30% untreated EAF slag (fineness 312 m2/kg) or treated EAF slag (fineness 228 m2/kg). The results showed a reduction in the 1–28 days compressive strength with the incorporation of EAF slag. The rate of reduction in the compressive strength increased with increasing EAF slag content. The incorporation of 15% untreated EAF slag decreased the 1, 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 38.84%, 24.1%, 17.38% and 4.8%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 30% reduced it by 52.68%, 36.97%, 32.52% and 19.7%, respectively. The incorporation of 15% treated EAF slag decreased the 1, 3, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 31.7%, 13.15%, 22.43% and 2.86%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 30% reduced it by 46.43%, 31%, 31.4% and 22.7%, respectively.

Li [26] found a declination in the 2, 6 and 27 days compressive strength of concretes by partially replacing cement with 10-40% SS (fineness 375 m2/kg). Wang et al. [12] partially replaced cement in concretes with 15%, 30% and 45% SS (fineness 610 m2/kg). The results disclosed a reduction in the 3–180 days compressive strength with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the reduction in the compressive strength increased. Han and Zhang [52] found 9.81%, 16.47% and 44.82% reduction in the compressive strength at age of 5 years of concretes by partially replacing cement with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg), respectively, when w/b ratio was 0.5. Wang et al. [53] partially replaced cement in concretes with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg). Two w/b ratios of 0.35 and 0.5 were used. The results showed lower compressive strength with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the content of BOF slag increased as the reduction in the compressive strength increased. The early strength was more sensitive by BOF slag than the later strength. The reduction rate of the compressive strength increased with increasing w/b ratio.

Shi et al. [54] compared the 2–90 days compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of concretes containing 45% SS (fineness 461 m2/kg) as a cement replacement with those containing 45% FA (fineness 358 m2/kg) as a cement replacement. The specimens were cured at temperature match condition. The results showed lower compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of concrete containing SS compared to those containing FA. Alanyali et al. [36] added 20%, 30% and 50% BOF slag to clinker to prepare concrete specimens. The results showed lower 1-28 days compressive strength of concretes with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the content of BOF slag increased as the reduction in the compressive strength increased. The incorporation of 20% BOF slag (fineness 327.2 m2/kg) decreased the 1, 2, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 37.31%, 26.21%, 24.39% and 19.9%, respectively, whilst the incorporation of 30% BOF slag (fineness 340.2 m2/kg) decreased it by 46.27%, 37.5%, 34.72% and 26.69%, respectively. The incorporation of 50% BOF slag (fineness 359.8 m2/kg) decreased the 1, 2, 7 and 28 days compressive strength by 79.1%, 68.95%, 60.44% and 53.37%, respectively. Zhang et al. [23] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 60% SS. The results showed a significant reduction in the 3 and 28 days compressive strength and flexural strength with the incorporation of SS. Wang et al. [55] partially replaced cement in concretes with different types of SS at levels of 40% and 60%. The content of free CaO and free MgO in the SS was 0.35% and 7.68% for type A, 4.96% and 3.46% for type B, 0.21% and 6.54% for type C, 0.51% and 5.98% for type D and 2.09% and 5.15% for type E, respectively. The results showed 27.89%-39.44% reduction in the 28 days compressive strength with the incorporation of 40% SS type A, C, D and E when w/b ratio was 0.5, whilst reduction of 51.99%-59.56% was obtained with the incorporation of 60% slag. At age of 1460 days, the reduction in the compressive strength with the incorporation of 40% SS type A, C, D and E was 26.32%-32.55%, whilst it was 36.9–47% when 60% slag was used. For 40% SS type B, the compressive strength fell to 0 MPa at age of 1460 days, of which cracks occurred in the concrete between ages of 1090 to 1460 days. For 60% SS type B, the compressive strength accounted 0 MPa at age of 360 days, of which cracks occurred in the concrete between ages of 90 to 360 days. At age of 1460 days, some concrete specimens were exposed to autoclave conditions at temperature of 216 °C coupled with pressure of 2 MPa. The results showed that when the content of MgO in SS was around 7.68%, SS has no negative effect on the compressive strength. Table 1 summaries the effect of SS powder on the compressive strength of different matrices.

Table 1.

Effect of SS on the compressive strength.

References  SS content (%)  Type  Age  Enhancement (%)  Reduction (%) 
Carvalho et al. [271.8–5.4  Paste  3–28-d  35–27   
Muhmood et al. [3015 and 30  Paste  1-d    38.84-52.68 
  Untreated    3-d    24.1-36.97 
      7-d    17.38-32.52 
      28-d    4.8-19.7 
Muhmood et al. [3015 and 30  Paste  1-d    31.7-46.43 
  Treated    3-d    13.15-31 
      7-d    22.43-31.4 
      28-d    2.86-22.7 
Altun and Yılmaz [3415–45  Paste  28-d    16.9-38.45 
Zhu et al. [1170  Paste    38.15-36.13 
      28-d    29.55-15.24 
Tüfekçi et al. [3310  Mortar  3-28-d    12.6-9 
Magalhães et al. [28Mortar  3-28-d  6.25-1.14 
  10        9.39-0.47 
  20        66-7.38 
Rosales et al. [4210–30  Mortar  7-d    1.56-42.49 
Wang et al. [1610–30  Mortar  360-d    1.3-10 
Mladenoviĉ et al. [4730  Mortar  2-90-d    44-31 
Dongxue et al. [4833  Mortar  3-360-d    16.75-8.54 
Wang et al. [4920 and 40  Mortar  28-d    13.66-41.82 
Wang et al. [5050  Mortar  3-720-d    64-18.87 
Ӧzkan [3720–60  Mortar  90-d    14.13-24 
Wang et al. [2222.5-60  Mortar  28    12.5-48.1 
      360-d    13.6-39.3 
Reddy et al. [51100  Mortar    86.28- 81.24- 42.83 
  Untreated    28-d     
Reddy et al. [51100 Treated  Mortar  3-7-28-d    67.38- 47.83%- 17.25 
Tüfekçi et al. [335–15  Concrete  3-28-d    31.78-10.85 
Roslan et al. [32Concrete  3-d  27  63 
  10         
  15         
  20    3-d    63 
Wang et al. [1610  Concrete  360-d   
  20       
  30       
Muhmood et al. [3015  Concrete  1-28-d    31.7-2.86 
  30        46.43-22.7 
Han and Zhang [5215–45  Concrete  5-y    9.81-44.82 
Alanyali et al. [3620  Concrete  1-28-d    37.31-19.9 
  30        46.27-26.69 
  50        79.1-53.37 
Wang et al. [5540  Concrete  28-d    27.89-39.44 
  60        51.99-59.56 

From the summary in Section 5, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS in the mixture decreased its mechanical strength. The mechanical strength decreased as the content of SS increased. The strength gab between the specimens containing SS and the control showed its maximum value during early ages, whilst as the hydration time increased as the strength gab decreased. This is because the hydration degree of SS is lower than that of cement as illustrated in Section 2. The C3S content in SS is much lower than that of the cement. Consequently, SS can be classified as a low strength hydraulic material [34] or ‘inferior cement’. Kourounis et al. [29] claimed that the delayed contribution of SS on the strength of cement could be attributed to the crystal size and structure of C2S found in SS. It has a crystal size greater than 70 µm and is categorized by clusters with finger structure with no well-rounded crystals. Amin et al. [44] attributed the reduction of the compressive strength with the incorporation of EAF slag to the reduction in the cement content which led to a reduction in the amount of CSH. Shi et al. [54] claimed that the reaction of SS did not consume Ca(OH)2, but it can produce some of Ca(OH)2. Consequently, the reaction of SS cannot improve the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) of concrete. Wang et al. [22] reported that SS can be divided into two parts: inert part (RO phase and Fe3O4) and cementitious part (C3S, C2S and aluminates). The filling effect is responsible for the significant reduction in the compressive strength at early ages, whilst the cementitious part is responsible for contribution the compressive strength development as the hydration age increased at later age. This cementitious part is responsible for decreasing the gap between the compressive strength of the control and the specimens containing SS. Whatever, the degree of the strength reduction of the matrix with the incorporation of SS depends on several factors such as SS fineness, SS content, SS chemical properties, impurity content, w/b ratio, curing conditions and age of testing. It is remarkable mentioning that most of the previous studies which carried out on the effect of SS on mechanical strength are focused on concrete, whilst mortar and paste came in the second place and last place, respectively (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2.

Percentage of mechanical strength research number for SS in paste, mortar and concrete.

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6Permeability, porosity and water absorption

Liu and Wang [17] partially replaced cement in concrete specimens with 25% SS + 25% slag. The results showed a declination in the 28 and 90 days chloride ion permeability with the incorporation of SS + slag. Zhao et al. [45] prepared pastes from 20% cement, 12% lime and 68% FA. FA was partially replaced with 10% and 20% BOF slag (size 0.1–100 µm). The results showed an increase in the total porosity with the incorporation of BOF slag. The incorporation of 20% BOF slag increased the porosity by 12.48%. Rosales et al. [42] partially replaced cement in mortars with SS at levels of 10%, 20% and 30%. The SS particles were exposed to different conditions named unprocessed (N), crushed to be finer than 125 µm (C) and burnt at 800 °C for 18 h (B). The results showed higher 28 days porosity and water absorption with the incorporation of SS. The porosity and water absorption increased with increasing SS content. The incorporation of 10% N, C and B SS increased the porosity by 1.54%, 1.27% and 1.38%, respectively, whilst the waster absorption was increased by 9.1%, 4.55% and 4.04%, respectively. The incorporation of 20% N, C and B SS increased the porosity by 7.26%, 6.83% and 7.04%, respectively, whilst the water absorption was increased by 19.19%, 17.17% and 14.14%, respectively. The incorporation of 30% N, C and B SS increased the porosity by 10%, 9.22% and 9.8%, respectively, whilst the waster absorption was increased by 32.32%, 27.78% and 25.76%, respectively. Wang et al. [16] partially replaced cement in concretes with 10%, 20% and 30% BOF slag (size <20 µm). The results showed higher 28–360 days chloride permeability with the incorporation of BOF slag, when w/b ratio was 0.45. The chloride permeability increased with increasing BOF slag content. When w/b ratio was 0.3, the specimens containing 10% BOF slag exhibited lower chloride permeability than the control at ages of 90 and 350 days. At age of 28 days, the incorporation of 10% and 20% BOF slag slightly increased the chloride permeability. The specimens containing 30% BOF slag showed a significant increase in the chloride permeability. Dongxue et al. [48] prepared binder from 30% slag, 30% SS, 33% clinker, 4% gypsum and 3% admixture. This binder was used to manufacture mortar specimens. Neat cement mortar was used as a control. The results showed higher 7 and 28 days porosity with the incorporation of SS. At ages of 7 and 28 days the specimens containing SS exhibited porosity of 15.9% and 14.8%, respectively, whilst the control showed porosity of 14.8% and 13.6%, respectively. Han and Zhang [52] found 5.13%, 9.11% and 30.89% increase in the concrete porosity at age of 5 years by partially replacing cement with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg), respectively, when w/b ratio was 0.5. The chloride ion permeability of concretes increased with increasing BOF slag content.

Wang et al. [53] partially replaced cement in concretes with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg). Two w/b ratios of 0.35 and 0.5 were used. At w/b ratio of 0.5, all the specimens exhibited high permeability, whilst at age of 90 days, the control exhibited moderate permeability, but the specimens containing BOF slag exhibited high permeability. At age of 360 days, the control and those containing 15% BOF slag exhibited low permeability, whilst those containing 30% and 45% BOF slag showed moderate permeability. When w/b ratio of 0.35 was used, the control and those containing 15% BOF slag exhibited moderate permeability at age of 28 days, whilst those containing 30% and 45% BOF slag exhibited moderate permeability and high permeability, respectively. At age of 90 days, the control and those containing 15% BOF slag exhibited low permeability, whilst those containing 30% and 45% BOF slag exhibited moderate permeability. At age of 360 days, all concrete specimens exhibited very low permeability. Wang et al. [50] partially replaced cement in concretes by 25% and 45% BOF slag with specific surface area of either 442 m2/kg (coarse) or 786 m2/kg (fine). The results showed higher porosity at ages of 90 and 720 days with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the content of BOF slag increased as the porosity increased. The incorporation of the coarse BOF slag exhibited higher porosity than those fine one. Wang et al. [22] measured the pore size distributions of pastes containing 22.5% and 45% SS (fineness 458 m2/kg) as a cement replacement at ages of 3 and 360 days. The results showed coarser pore structure with the incorporation of SS at early age, but at age of 360 days, the pore structure became finer compared to those at early age. The pores in hardened cement paste were divided into four grades (<4.5 nm, 4.5–50 nm, 50–100 nm and >100 nm). The pores larger than 100 nm are assumed to be closely related to the strength and permeability of the matrix. Therefore, SS is more likely to introduce harmful pores (>100 nm) into the pastes than cement. Shi et al. [54] compared the 28–90 days chloride permeability of concretes containing 45% SS (fineness 461 m2/kg) as a cement replacement with those containing 45% FA (fineness 358 m2/kg) as a cement replacement. The specimens were cured at 20 ± 1 °C with RH more than 95% or at a temperature match condition. The results showed higher chloride permeability with the incorporation of SS compared to those containing FA at all curing conditions. Wang et al. [55] partially replaced cement in concretes with different types of SS at levels of 40% and 60%. The content of free CaO and MgO in the SS was 0.35% and 7.68% for type A, 4.96% and 3.46% for type B, 0.21% and 6.54% for type C, 0.51% and 5.98% for type D and 2.09% and 5.15% for type E, respectively. At ages of 730 and 1460 days, the results showed higher chloride permeability of concrete specimens with the incorporation of SS. As the content of SS increased as the chloride permeability increased. The incorporation of 40% SS type A, B, C, D and E increased the chloride passed by 98.44%, 62.92%, 84.62%, 86.89% and 73.38%, respectively, when w/b ratio was 0.5. When w/b ratio was 0.35, the increment in the charge passed was 45.6%, 54%, 39.56%, 25.82% and 38.1%, respectively. When w/b ratio of 0.35 was used, the incorporation of 60% SS increased the charge passed by 105.8%, 131.68%, 148%, 121.79% and 140.66%, respectively. Table 2 summaries the effect of SS powder on the permeability, porosity and water absorption of different matrices.

Table 2.

Effect of SS on the permeability, porosity and water absorption.

References  SS content (%)  Type  Age  Effect 
Rosales et al. [4210–30  Mortar  28-d  -Increased porosity and water absorption 
Wang et al. [1610–30  Concrete  20-360-d  -Increased chloride permeability 
Dongxue et al. [4830  Mortar  7, 28-d  -Increased porosity 
Han and Zhang [5215–45  Concrete  5-y  -Increased chloride ion permeability 
Wang et al. [5315–45  Concrete  90, 360-d  -Increased permeability 
Wang et al. [5025, 45  Concrete  90, 720-d  -Increased porosity 
Wang et al. [2222.5, 45  Paste  3, 360-d  -Coarser (harmful) pore structure 
Shi et al. [5445  Concrete  28-90-d  -Increased chloride permeability 
Wang et al. [5540, 60  Concrete  730, 1460-d  -Increased chloride permeability 

From the above summary, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS in the mixture increased chloride permeability and porosity. As the content of SS increased as the chloride permeability and porosity increased. This could be attributed to the lower activity of SS compared to those of cement. In addition, the amount of hydration products generated by SS reaction is lower than that generated by cement hydration. Therefore, the SS hydration products cannot densify the skeleton structure of the matrix resulted in higher porosity [52]. At later ages, the matrix containing SS exhibited better resistance of chloride ion permeability in comparison with those at early ages. This could be attributed to the increase of the hydration products of SS which can block the existed formed pores [55]. It is remarkable mentioning that most of the stated studies which carried out on the effect of SS on permeability, porosity and water absorption are focused on concrete, whilst mortar and paste came in the second place (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3.

Percentage of permeability, porosity and water absorption research number for SS in paste, mortar and concrete.

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7Chemical and carbonation resistances

Dongxue et al. [48] exposed mortars specimens containing 30% SS to man-made seawater, 3% MgSO4 and 3% Na2SO4 for 28 days. The results showed that specimens containing SS have good chemical resistance ability. They also studied the effect of SS on the carbonation resistance. Therefore, after 14 days of curing in water, the specimens were dried at 55 °C and carbonized in a box for 10 days followed by air exposure for 42 days. The results showed higher carbonation depth with the incorporation of SS. The specimens containing SS exhibited 3 times greater carbonation depth compared to the control. Zhang et al. [23] prepared mortar specimens from cement prepared with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Clinker was partially replaced with 60% SS. After curing for 28 days, the specimens were immersed in 5% Na2SO4 solution for 90 and 180 days. The results showed a significant reduction in the compressive strength with the incorporation of SS at both ages. Meaningful lower sulfate resistance with the incorporation of SS. Liu and Wang [17] partially replaced cement in concrete specimens with 25% SS + 25% slag. After initial curing, the specimens were immersed in 5% Na2SO4 for 15 h then dried at 80 °C for 6 h. The results showed that after 90 dry–wet cycles, the strength loss rate of the control was 21%, whilst it was 6.5% for specimens containing SS + slag. After 120 dry–wet cycles, the strength loss rate of the control was 37.9%, whilst it was 27.7% for specimens containing SS + slag. Wang et al. [53] partially replaced cement in concretes with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg). Two w/b ratios of 0.35 and 0.5 were used. After initial curing, the specimens were exposed to accelerated carbonation conditions for 28 days. The results showed higher carbonation depth with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the content of BOF slag or/and w/b ratio increased as the carbonation depth increased

From the above summary, it can be noted that the literature has few studies focused on the effect of SS on the sulfate resistance, dry–wet cycles resistance and carbonation resistance. These few studies not enough to obtain clear conclusions and further studies are needed. Thus, these pointes can be used for incoming studies.

8Dimensions stability

Rosales et al. [42] observed that the total shrinkage of mortars specimens containing 10% SS as a cement replacement at age of 90 days was close to the control. On the other side, specimens containing 20% and 30% SS exhibited higher shrinkage than the control. Wang et al. [53] partially replaced cement in concretes with 15%, 30% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 453 m2/kg). Two w/b ratios of 0.35 and 0.5 were used. The results showed higher drying shrinkage at early ages with the incorporation of BOF slag when w/b ratio was 0.5, but at age of 90 days the drying shrinkage of all specimens was very close to each other, but the control was a slightly smaller. When w/b ratio of 0.35 was used, the incorporation of BOF slag exhibited marginal effect on the drying shrinkage. Zhang et al. [23] prepared mortar specimens with cement (95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum). Clinker was partially replaced with 60% SS. The results showed very high drying shrinkage, up to 90 days, with the incorporation of SS compared to the control. Wang et al. [55] partially replaced cement with 40% and 60% SS containing different amounts of free CaO and MgO. They claimed that SS containing 4.96% free CaO (f-CaO) exhibited bad soundness and led to soundness failure of concrete specimens. When f-CaO was within 2.09%, SS exhibited satisfactory soundness. In fact, if SS is used in concrete as a mineral admixture, its soundness is a serious problem. As known, SS containing free CaO (f-CaO) and MgO which could react at later ages producing an expansive internal stress which affect the stability of the volume. The specific gravity of (f-CaO) is 3.34, whist it is 2.23 for calcium hydroxide produced by the reaction of water and (f-CaO). This difference in the specific gravity can be considered as one of the reasons for increasing volume. MgO can be exist in the form of Fe (Mn, Mg, Ca)O (wustite) in SS. The hydration of MgO into Mg(OH)2, occurring in several years, may lead to concrete expansion [55]. Belhadj et al. [46] reported that BOF slag (size 0–125 µm) pastes cured in water exhibited a swelling due to the hydration of CaO. Ӧzkan and Saeibiyik [56] prepared cement with 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Cement was partially replaced with 20–80% BOF slag (fineness 240–250 m2/kg). These blends were used to manufacture mortar bars which exposed to 1N NaOH solution at a temperature of 80 °C for up to 14 days. The results showed an increase in the alkali silica reaction (ASR) expansion with the incorporation of 40%, 60% and 80% BOF slag. The control specimen exhibited ASR expansion of 0.096% after 2 days, whilst those containing 40%, 60% and 80% BOF slag exhibited 0.096%, 0.11% and 0.114%, respectively. The control specimen exhibited ASR expansion of 0.184% after 14 days, whilst those containing 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% BOF slag exhibited 0.184%, 0.208%, 0.222% and 0.212%, respectively.

From the above summary, it can be noted that the incorporation of more than 10% SS in the mixture increased the shrinkage. The shrinkage increased with increasing SS content. The dimensional changes in specimens containing SS could be relevant to its chemical composition which mainly consists of calcium carbonate that expands when absorb water [57]. The drying shrinkage of mortars containing SS can be mitigated by partially replacing a part of SS with slag coupled with FA or slag coupled with FA and waterglass [23]. In such a way, the incorporation of SS in the matrix increased the soundness, ASR expansion and swelling due to the present of free CaO and MgO. The ASR expansion can be hindered by adding slag due to its pozzolanic effect. The pozzolan reduces the Ca(OH)2 content and forms CSH, which reduces the pH value. Thus, the amount of alkali also decreases [56].

9Thermal conductivity and fire resistance

Zhao et al. [45] prepared pastes from 20% cement, 12% lime and 68% FA. FA was partially replaced with 10% and 20% BOF slag (size 0.1–100 µm). The results showed a reduction in the thermal conductivity with the incorporation of BOF slag. As the BOF slag content increased as the thermal conductivity decreased. The incorporation of 20% BOF slag decreased the thermal conductivity by 19.7%. Khurram et al. [58] prepared mortars by partially replacing cement with 20% FA. This mixture was used as a control. Then they added 10% of EAF slag (mean size 4.290 μm). After curing, the specimens were exposed to 200–800 °C for 2 h. The results showed an enhancement in the compressive strength at 200 °C, then the compressive strength decreased with increasing temperatures. The addition of EAF slag improved the compressive strength at room temperature and after exposure to 200 and 400 °C compared to those without EAF slag. Ӧzkan [37] prepared cement from 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Cement was partially replaced with 20%, 40% and 60% SS (fineness 310-330 m2/kg). They used these blends to manufacture mortars. The specimens were exposed to 100–800 °C. The results showed a reduction in the compressive strength with increasing temperatures. The specimens containing SS exhibited lower compressive strength than the control after exposure to elevated temperatures.

From the above limited studies, it can be noted that the incorporation of SS decreased the thermal conductivity. This means that the thermal insulation increased with the incorporation of SS. But more studies are still needed. Regarding to the effect of SS on the fire resistance, it is difficult to obtain general conclusions from the available studies. Indeed, more and more studies still needed.

10Advantages and disadvantages

In general view, incorporating SS as a part of cement in the paste, mortar and concrete showed some advantages, of which some properties are improved, and some disadvantages, of which some properties are deteriorated. The advantage of incorporating SS as a part of cement in paste, mortar and concrete is increasing workability. The most effective advantage of using SS is reducing cement content. Thus, the cement production can be reduced leading to a reduction in the CO2 emission produced during clinker sintering as well as a reduction in the consuming natural raw resource materials. Furthermore, the disposal of extra un-used SS can be eliminated. Subsequently, there are additional advantages of using SS such as lesser releasing pollution into atmosphere, fewer consumption of natural raw resources as well as decreasing the cost. On the contrary, incorporating SS as a part of cement in the matrix showed some disadvantages such as increasing density, decreasing mechanical strength, especially at early ages, increasing permeability, increasing porosity, increasing water absorption and decreasing dimension stability. Prolonging setting time and lowering heat of hydration with the incorporation of SS can be considered as a disadvantage or as an advantage. This mainly depending on it application that the SS matrix used for. Whatever, the following Section containing the strategies used for eliminate some of the recorded disadvantages.

11Additives and methods to modify SS properties

Ӧzkan and Saeibiyik [56] prepared mortars containing 20–80% BOF slag, then BOF slag was partially replaced with 50% slag. They found that the incorporation of slag decreased the ASR expansion. Ӧzkan [37] prepared cement from 95% clinker coupled with 5% gypsum. Cement was partially replaced with 20%, 40% and 60% SS (fineness 310–330 m2/kg). They used these blends to manufacture mortars. To overcome the reduction of the compressive strength caused by SS, SS was partially replaced with 60% slag. The results showed 22.74%, 19.1% and 13.6% enhancement in the 90 days compressive strength, respectively. Wang et al. [22] claimed that compressive strength of mortars containing 50% cement coupled with 50% SS can be enhanced by replacing part of SS (50% or 70%) with slag. Amin et al. [44] prepared cement pastes with 90% cement + 10% EAF slag (fineness 284 m2/kg), then EAF slag was partially replaced with 4% SF. The results showed that the remarkable reduction in the compressive strength caused by 10% EAF slag can be mitigated with including 4% SF. Li et al. [59] claimed that appropriate ratio of BOF slag, EAF slag and coal bottom ash of 85:12.75:2.25 can reduce the free-CaO content and remarkably improve cementitious property.

Zhang et al. [23] prepared blended cement with 35% clinker + 30% SS + 22% BFS + 5% FA. They modified this cement by adding 3% waterglass. The addition of waterglass increased the 3 and 28 days compressive strength and flexural strength. The incorporation of waterglass increased the compressive strength of mortars after exposure to 5% Na2SO4 for 90 and 180 days. The drying shrinkage of mortars up to 90 days decreased with the incorporation of waterglass. Wang et al. [15] incorporated NaOH with different pH values (13, and 13.4) into SS pastes. They found that strong alkaline condition can promote the early hydration of the active components of SS (C2S, C3S and C12A7), but has marginal effect on the late age hydration degree. The hydration degree of non-active components (Fe3O4 and RO) of SS is too low even under strong alkaline condition. The incorporation of NaOH into SS mortars increased the compressive and bending strength.

Zhang et al. [38] reported that to clarify the cementitious activity of BOF slag fractions in BOF slag-cement clinker pastes, the BOF slag fraction was mixed with 0.2 mol/L NaOH solution. They also reported that increasing BOF slag fineness led to an increase in the 3–90 days compressive strength and flexural strength. Lin and Li [5] tried to increase the slow heat of hydration of pastes containing 20% and 45% BOF slag (fineness 389 m2/kg) by increasing the BOF slag fineness to 524 and 645 m2/kg. The incorporation of 20% and 45% BOF slag with fineness of 389 m2/kg decreased the heat of hydration by 20.25% and 42.52%, respectively, whilst those with fineness of 524 m2/kg decreased it by 18.4% and 41.77%, respectively. The incorporation of 20% and 45% BOF slag with fineness of 645 m2/kg decreased the heat of hydration by 16.31% and 42.3%, respectively. They used these cements to manufacture mortars. The results showed higher 3 and 28 days compressive strength and bending strength by increasing BOF slag fineness. Compared to the fineness of BOF slag, there was a marginal increase in the compressive strength and bending strength with increasing BOF slag fineness at age of 3 days, whilst at age of 28 days there was a pronounced enhancement in the compressive strength.

Murphy et al. [60] reported that SS has a limited cementitious properties due to the lack of tricalcium silicate 3CaO·SiO2 (C3S) and the presence of wüstite solid solutions as a predominant mineral phase. The cementitious properties of SS can be improved by suitable thermal treatment. Partially replacing cement with 20% thermally treated SS exhibited equivalent strength to the control. Belhadj et al. [46] reported that the heat of hydration of BOF slag (size 0–125 µm) pastes can be promoted by using temperatures of 40 and 60 °C instead of 20 °C. Han et al. [20] reported that the heat of hydration of cement containing 20%, 35% and 50% BOF slag (fineness 458 m2/kg) can be promoted by using temperatures of 45 and 60 °C instead of 25 °C. Qian et al. [61] claimed that the binding properties of EAF slag (fineness 450–500 m2/kg) can be improved by applying autoclave conditions. Isoo et al. [62] reported that porous SS blocks can be produced by carbonation of SS over a period of 12 days. The carbonation reaction occurred homogeneously. The obtained compressive strength was 18.4 MPa, whilst the density was 2.4 g/cm3. When the blocks were exposed to various weather conditions for 1 year, there was no crack or destruction was observed.

Shao et al. [63] reported that SS after being exposed to CO2 (uptake of 6.8%) coupled with 1.5 bars gas pressure for 2 h can be used as a cementing material in place of Portland cement, of which the early strength can be improved. This could be attributed to the formation of CSH and CaCO3. The precipitation of rhombohedral CaCO3 nanoparticles expressively enhanced packing density and reduced the porosity of the carbonate matrix. Qian et al. [64] partially replaced cement in mortar specimens with BOF slag (fineness 450–500 m2/kg). Some specimens were cured at standard curing, whilst the other were exposed to carbonation curing combined with temperatures of 40, 60 or 80 °C. The results showed that the best curing condition was 60 °C combined with carbonation for 7 h, of which the 3, 7 and 28 days was enhanced by 63.94%, 25.55% and 11.79%, respectively. After carbonation curing, the cementitious material surface produced a dense shell layer of CaCO3 which provided nucleation points for C3S hydration, accelerated C3S hydration and created a micro-aggregate effect. Thus, denser microstructure was obtained and the compressive strength was enhanced.

Ghouleh et al. [65] reported that SS pastes can be activated by carbonation. After being exposing SS to carbonation (CO2 uptake of 13% for 2 h), the 28 days compressive strength of 80 MPa can be obtained. The early strength enhancement could be attributed to the carbonation of γ-C2S, whilst the later strength enhancement could be attributed to the hydration of ß-C2S. Johnson et al. [66] reported that SS exhibited more than 9 times gain in the unconfined compressive strength after exposure to CO2 at a pressure of 3 bars. The reaction product formed was CaCO3 causing the SS to be self-cement. Boone et al. [67] reported that SS exhibited good strength (50 MPa) after exposure to CO2 at a gas pressure of 20 bars with a temperature of 80 °C for 2 h. Mo et al. [68] prepared pastes from neat SS and 80% cement/20% SS. Some of the specimens were moist curing (the control). Other specimens, after 9 days from casting, were exposed to CO2 at a gas pressure of 0.1 MPa for 1, 3 and 14 days. The results showed higher compressive strength of carbonated specimens. The compressive strength of the neat SS pastes before carbonation was 3.3 MPa, whilst after carbonation for 1, 3 and 14 days the compressive strength reached 22.4 MPa (6.8 times), 32.5 MPa (9.85 times) and 44.1 MPa (13.36 times), respectively. The compressive strength of the specimens containing 20% SS before carbonation was 17.9 MPa, whilst it rapidly increased to reach 59.5 MPa (3.32 times), 65.3 MPa (3.65 times) and 72 MPa (4 times) after carbonation for 1, 4 and 7 days, respectively. The enhancement in the compressive strength by carbonation could be related to the formation of CaCO3 which caused a densification in the microstructure associated with a decrease in the pore diameter size and a reduction in the total pore volume. Monkman and Shao [69] reported that EAF slag exhibited additional benefit of high early strength gain when no-slump press-formed compacts and loose powder of EAF slag were subjected to 100% CO2 coupled with a pressure of 5 bars for 2 h. Table 3 summarizes the additives and methods used to modify SS properties.

Table 3.

Additives/methods to enhance SS properties.

References  Additive/method  Type  Effect 
Ӧzkan and Saeibiyik [5650% slag  Mortar  -Decreased ASR expansion 
Ӧzkan [3760% slag  Mortar  -Increased compressive strength 
Wang et al. [2250 or 70% slag  Mortar  -Increased compressive strength 
Amin et al. [444% SF  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
Li et al. [59Coal bottom ash  Paste  -Reduced free-CaO and increased cementitious property 
Zhang et al. [233% Waterglass  Mortar  -Increased compressive and flexural strengths -Increased sulfate resistance -Decreased drying shrinkage 
Wang et al. [15NaOH  Paste Mortar  -Promote early hydration Increased compressive and bending strength 
Zhang et al. [38NaOH and increase fineness  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
Lin and Li [5Increase BOF fineness to 524 and 645 m2/kg  Paste Mortar  -Increase the heat of hydration -Increased compressive strength 
Murphy et al. [60Thermal activation  Paste  -Comparable compressive strength with the control 
Belhadj et al. [4640 and 60 °C instead of 20 °C  Paste  -Promoted heat of hydration 
Han et al. [2045 and 60 °C instead of 25 °C  Paste  -Promoted heat of hydration 
Qian et al. [61Autoclave conditions  Paste  -Increase binding 
Isoo et al. [62Carbonation  block  -Increased compressive strength 
Qian et al. [64Carbonation curing for 7 h at 60 °C  Mortar  -Increased compressive strength 
Ghouleh et al. [65CO2 uptake of 13% for 2 h  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
Shao et al. [63CO2 uptake of 6.8% with 1.5 bars pressure for 2 h  Paste  -Increased cementing property and compressive strength 
Johnson et al. [66CO2 with 3 bars pressure  Paste  -Increased self-cementing of SS 
Boone et al. [67CO2 with 20 bars gas pressure at 80 °C for 2 h  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
Mo et al. [68CO2 with 0.1 MPa pressure  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
Monkman and Shao [69CO2 with 5 bars pressure for 2 h  Paste  -Increased compressive strength 
12Remarks and scope for future research

The present article aims to review and brief the previous studies regarding to the effect of including SS as a part of cement in the fresh and hardened properties of paste, mortar and concrete. The main remarks of this review are:

  • 1

    The incorporation of SS as a part of cement delayed the heat of hydration due to the existing of RO.

  • 2

    The incorporation of SS in the mixture increased its workability due to its lower reactivity and higher specific gravity.

  • 3

    The incorporation of SS in the mixtures decreased the initial and final setting times due to the low Al2O3 content and the high MgO content.

  • 4

    The incorporation of SS in the matrix increased its density due to its higher specific gravity.

  • 5

    The incorporation of SS in the matrix decreased its mechanical strength due to its lower C3S content.

  • 6

    The incorporation of SS in the matrix increased its permeability, porosity and water absorption due to its low activity.

  • 7

    The incorporation of SS in the matrix increased shrinkage due to the existing of calcium carbonate. In such a way, the incorporation of SS in the matrix increased the soundness, ASR expansion and swelling due to the present of free CaO and MgO.

  • 8

    Because there are insufficient researches regarding to the effect of SS on the chemical resistance, carbonation resistance, fire resistance and thermal conductivity, clear conclusions cannot be obtained. All these items still need more studies.

  • 9

    Some defects of using SS can be mitigated by adding other cementitious materials such as slag, SF and coal bottom ash. The incorporation of these materials can mitigate the ASR expansion, decrease free-CaO and increased compressive strength. Chemical activators such as NaOH and waterglass can be used to promote the hydration and increased compressive strength. Increasing SS fineness or/and thermal activation can improve the heat of hydration and compressive strength. Espeacial curing conditions such as autoclave and carbonation curing can increase the cementitious property of SS and increase the compressive strength.

Depending on this brief, it can be noticed that there are few studies attributed to the effect of replacing a part of cement with SS on the properties of paste, mortar and concrete if compared to other materials such as slag, FA and SF. Whatever, the most of available studies are focused on the effect of SS on the mechanical strength (~39.36% of the total), workability and setting time (~19.15% of the total), heat of hydration (~15.96% of the total), permeability, porosity and water absorption (~11.7% of the total) and dimensions stability (~5.32% of the total) as shown in Fig. 4. On the contrary, less attention was focused on the effect of SS on other properties such as fire resistance, thermal conductivity, chemical resistance and carbonation resistance. However, there are missed information regarding to the effect of SS on electrical resistance, freeze–thaw resistance, abrasion resistance, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Accordingly, these missed information can be applied as main topics for future investigations.

Fig. 4.

Percentage of research number for the effect of SS on each property.

(0.56MB).
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Personal Data

Name: Alaa Mohamed Rashad Abdelaziz Mahmoud

Birth Date: first April 1967

Nationality: Egyptian

Affiliation: Housing & Building National Research Center (HBRC)

Current Position: Prof. Dr. Eng. in “Housing & Building Research National Center (HBRC) — Building Materials Research and Quality Control Institute — Egypt”

E-Mail: alaarashad@yahoo.com, a.rashad@hbrc.edu.eg

Mobile: (0020)1141666851 (Egypt)

Work Address: Housing and Building National Research center, 87 El-Tahrir St., Dokki, Giza 11511, P.O.Box: 1770 Cairo, Egypt.

Education

2016 Promoted from Associate Professor to Professor

2011 Promoted from Assistance Professor to Associate Professor

2009 Finishing Postdoctoral Research between 20/08/2008 to 13/05/2009 in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

2006 Certificate of Consultant Engineer

Egyptian Engineering Union, Cairo, Egypt.

Consultant in “Testing Constructions and Quality Control”.

2005 PhD (Structural Engineering)

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt.

Thesis Title “Mitigating the Elevated Temperature Effects and

Predicting the Residual Strength of Loaded RC Short Columns”.

2000 M.Sc. (Civil Eng.).

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt.

Thesis Title “The Effect of Elevated Temperature on Loaded

Reinforced Concrete Columns Containing Different Aggregate

Types and Different Mineral Admixtures”.

1996 Higher Diploma in “Concrete Structures Engineering”

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt.

1994 Higher Diploma in “Construction Engineering”.

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt.

1990 B.Sc. “Civil Eng.”.

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Egypt.

Copyright © 2019. The Author
Journal of Materials Research and Technology

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