University of Oulu

Alzaza, A., Ohenoja, K., Dabbebi, R., & Illikainen, M. (2022). Enhancing the hardened properties of blended cement paste cured at 0 °C by using alkali-treated ground granulated blast furnace slag. Cement and Concrete Composites, 134, 104757.

Enhancing the hardened properties of blended cement paste cured at 0 °C by using alkali-treated ground granulated blast furnace slag

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Author: Alzaza, Ahmad1; Ohenoja, Katja1; Dabbebi, Rawia1;
Organizations: 1Fiber and Particle Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-05


The use of high-volume ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) in cement-based materials significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, low curing temperatures are barriers to using environmentally friendly materials in winter construction works. This is mainly attributed to slow GGBFS’s reactivity and blends’ strength development due to the low alkalinity offered by the slow hydration rate of Portland cement (PC) at low temperatures. In this study, sodium hydroxide was employed to produce dry reactive pre-alkali-activated GGBFS (A-GGBFS), with an intention to increase the system’s alkalinity and reactivity. The blended cement paste was prepared with 50% PC replacement with untreated and treated GGBFS, and cured constantly at 0 °C for 28 days. The A-GGBFS accelerated the hydration rate and enhanced the precipitation of hydration products. By adding an optimal NaOH content during the pre-alkali-activation process, the 3 and 28 days compressive strengths of paste increased by 41% and 37%, respectively, gaining a comparable 28 days compressive strength to that measured in a 100% PC-based binder. The microstructural assessments are consistent with compressive strength measurements.

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Series: Cement & concrete composites
ISSN: 0958-9465
ISSN-E: 1873-393X
ISSN-L: 0958-9465
Volume: 134
Article number: 104757
DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2022.104757
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
Funding: This work was conducted under the auspices of the ARCTIC-ecocrete project, which the Interreg Nord EU program and the Regional Council of Lapland both supported.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (