University of Oulu

Luukkonen, T., Yliniemi, J., Walkley, B., Geddes, D., Griffith, B., Hanna, J. V., Provis, J. L., Kinnunen, P., & Illikainen, M. (2022). Characterization of an aged alkali-activated slag roof tile after 30 years of exposure to Northern Scandinavian weather. RSC Advances, 12(40), 25822–25832.

Characterization of an aged alkali-activated slag roof tile after 30 years of exposure to Northern Scandinavian weather

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Author: Luukkonen, Tero1; Yliniemi, Juho1; Walkley, Brant2;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, U
3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
4Department of Physics, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-13


Alkali-activated materials (AAMs) have been known as an alternative cementitious binder in construction for more than 120 years. Several buildings utilizing AAMs were realized in Europe in the 1950s–1980s. During the last 30 years, the interest towards AAMs has been reinvigorated due to the potentially lower CO₂ footprint in comparison to Portland cement. However, one often-raised issue with AAMs is the lack of long-term studies concerning durability in realistic conditions. In the present study, we examined a roof tile, which was prepared from alkali-activated blast furnace slag mortar and exposed to harsh Northern Scandinavian weather conditions in Turku, Finland, for approximately 30 years. Characterization of this roof tile provides unique and crucial information about the changes occurring during AAM lifetime. The results obtained with a suite of analytical techniques indicate that the roof tile had maintained excellent durability properties with little sign of structural disintegration in real-life living lab conditions, and thus provide in part assurance that AAM-based binders can be safely adopted in harsh climates. The phase assemblage and nanostructural characterization results reported here further elucidate the long-term changes occurring in AAMs and provide reference points for accelerated durability tests and thermodynamic modelling.

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Series: RSC advances
ISSN: 2046-2069
ISSN-E: 2046-2069
ISSN-L: 2046-2069
Volume: 12
Issue: 40
Pages: 25822 - 25832
DOI: 10.1039/d2ra04456k
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
212 Civil and construction engineering
215 Chemical engineering
216 Materials engineering
Funding: Tero Luukkonen and Juho Yliniemi wish to acknowledge funding from the Academy of Finland [grant numbers # 326291 and #322786, respectively]. Part of the work was carried out using the instruments of the Centre for Material Analysis, University of Oulu, Finland. Adeolu Adediran and Jani Österlund are acknowledged for their help with the sample pretreatment. Mr Bob Talling is acknowledged for generously donating the roof tile from his house. The UK 850 MHz solid-state NMR Facility used in this work was funded by EPSRC and BBSRC (grant EP/T015063/1), as well as the University of Warwick, including via part funding through Birmingham Science City Advanced Materials Projects 1 and 2 supported by Advantage West Midlands (AWM), and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). We thank and acknowledge Dr Sandra van Meurs, Department of Chemistry, The University of Sheffield, for assistance in acquiring some of NMR data obtained at The University of Sheffield.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322786
Detailed Information: 322786 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.