New Test Method for Assessing the Carbonation Front in Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/Slag Pastes

Marija Nedeljkovic, Yibing Zuo, Kamel Arbi Ghanmi, Guang Ye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Carbonation of the pore solution in alkali-activated materials (AAMs) produces alkali and/or alkali-earth carbonates. When the carbonate solubility in the water is very high (case of the most alkali carbonates), it is very hard to determine the carbonation depth in AAMs with the phenolphthalein indicator frequently used in Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)-based materials. Carbonation gradually decreases the alkalinity of the pore solution, while the color after spraying phenolphthalein changes from colorless to pink when pH< 13 and changes back to colorless when pH< 8.2. The color change with phenolphthalein indicator may still exist in the less alkaline areas where carbonation may have already occurred. Therefore, using the indicator test is likely to underestimate the depth to which carbonation reaction has occurred in AAMs and more complete assessment is required. This study investigates the carbonation front in alkali-activated fly ash (FA) and blast furnace slag (BFS) pastes in natural laboratory conditions. Monitoring carbonation front in the samples after one year of exposure has been carried out under polarized light microscope (PLM), and environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM). The carbonation products were sharply distinguished from the other constituents of the paste, by their crystallographic and optical characteristics under PLM, and characterized by X-Ray diffraction (XRD).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNon-Traditional Cement and Concrete
PublisherTrans Tech Publications
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9783038354406
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event6th International Conference Non-Traditional Cement and Concrete, 2017 - Brno, Czech Republic
Duration: 19 Jun 201722 Jun 2017
Conference number: 6

Publication series

NameKey Engineering Materials
PublisherTrans Tech Publications
ISSN (Print)1013-9826


Conference6th International Conference Non-Traditional Cement and Concrete, 2017
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


Dive into the research topics of 'New Test Method for Assessing the Carbonation Front in Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/Slag Pastes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this