University of Oulu

Tero Luukkonen, Zahra Abdollahnejad, Katja Ohenoja, Paivo Kinnunen & Mirja Illikainen (2019) Suitability of commercial superplasticizers for one-part alkali-activated blast-furnace slag mortar, Journal of Sustainable Cement-Based Materials, 8:4, 244-257, DOI: 10.1080/21650373.2019.1625827

Suitability of commercial superplasticizers for one-part alkali-activated blast-furnace slag mortar

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Author: Luukkonen, Tero1; Abdollahnejad, Zahra1; Ohenoja, Katja1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-06-13


Alkali-activated materials are a low-CO₂ alternative for Portland cement in construction. However, one major issue in their use is the poor or varying functionality of the currently available commercial superplasticizers. Especially for one-part (‘just add water’) alkali-activated materials, the number of studies is limited. In this study, one-part alkali-activated mortar was prepared from blast furnace slag by using solid sodium hydroxide as an activator and microsilica as an additional silica source. Comparison of commonly used superplasticizer types revealed that lignosulfonate, melamine, and naphthalene-based superplasticizers are more efficient than the currently most used polyacrylate and polycarboxylate-superplasticizers. Lignosulfonate-based superplasticizer was overall best-performing: it improved significantly the workability (+41% spread, −51% yield stress, −27% viscosity), setting time (+70%), and compressive strength (+19%) at a 0.5 wt% dose. When the amount of water and superplasticizer were optimized, compressive strength of mortar could be doubled (from 19 to 40 MPa at 28 d).

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Series: Journal of sustainable cement-based materials
ISSN: 2165-0373
ISSN-E: 2165-0381
ISSN-L: 2165-0373
Volume: 8
Issue: 4
Pages: 244 - 257
DOI: 10.1080/21650373.2019.1625827
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
215 Chemical engineering
216 Materials engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) (project GEOBIZ, grant number 1105/31/2016).
Copyright information: © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Cement-Based Materials on 13 Jun 2019, available online: