Alkali-activated slag and fly ash (AASF) materials are emerging as promising alternatives to conventional Portland cement. Despite the superior mechanical properties of AASF materials, they are known to show large autogenous shrinkage, which hinders the wide application of these eco-friendly materials in infrastructure. To mitigate the autogenous shrinkage of AASF, two innovative autogenous-shrinkage-mitigating admixtures, superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) and metakaolin (MK), are applied in this study. The results show that the incorporation of SAPs and MK significantly mitigates autogenous shrinkage and cracking potential of AASF paste and concrete. Moreover, the AASF concrete with SAPs and MK shows enhanced workability and tensile strength-to-compressive strength ratios. These results indicate that SAPs and MK are promising admixtures to make AASF concrete a high-performance alternative to Portland cement concrete in structural engineering.
- Alkali-activated concrete
- Internal curing