University of Oulu

Alzaza, A., Ohenoja, K., Ahmed Shaikh, F. U., & Illikainen, M. (2022). Mechanical and durability properties of C–S–H-seeded cement mortar cured at fluctuating low temperatures with granulated blast furnace slag as fine aggregates. Journal of Building Engineering, 57, 104879.

Mechanical and durability properties of C–S–H-seeded cement mortar cured at fluctuating low temperatures with granulated blast furnace slag as fine aggregates

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Author: Alzaza, Ahmad1; Ohenoja, Katja1; Shaikh, Faiz Uddin Ahmed2;
Organizations: 1Fiber and Particle Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 16.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-29


The conservation of natural resources, efficient use of industrial side-streams, and reduction of environmental impacts are the main targets of the construction sector worldwide. However, the low ambient temperatures and long harsh winter seasons in northern regions limit the use of industrial side-streams in construction activities under cold weather conditions due to their slow strength development rate. This study aimed to develop an eco-friendly construction material suitable for construction under cold weather conditions using blast furnace slag as a binder and fine aggregate admixed with a calcium silicate hydrate seed accelerator in mortar. Natural sand (NS) was volumetrically substituted with 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) fine aggregate in mortar cured at fluctuating low/freezing temperatures (+5 to −5 °C), representing the late fall and early spring seasons in northern regions. The mortar’s compressive strength increased with the incorporation of GBFS aggregate over the first three days of curing and decreased thereafter. A denser interfacial transition zone was captured around GBFS aggregates than NS in the three days old mortars. The deceleration influences of fluctuating low/freezing temperatures on the compressive strength development of mortars were diminished with time. Capillary water absorption increased with higher GBFS aggregate contents. Mortar with 25–50 vol.% GBFS aggregates exhibited greater frost resistance than control mortar with NS only. The incorporation of GBFS aggregate enhanced the mortar’s resistance against a sulfuric acid attack. This study demonstrates the potential of GBFS aggregate for use in construction under cold weather conditions.

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Series: Journal of building engineering
ISSN: 2352-7102
ISSN-E: 2352-7102
ISSN-L: 2352-7102
Volume: 57
Article number: 104879
DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2022.104879
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, supported by the Interreg Nord EU program and the Regional Council of Lapland.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (