Setting, Strength, and Autogenous Shrinkage of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash and Slag Pastes: Effect of Slag Content

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The engineering properties of alkali activated materials (AAMs) mainly depend on the constituent materials and their mixture proportions. Despite many studies on the characterization of AAMs, guidelines for mixture design of AAMs and their applications in engineering practice are not available. Extensive experimental studies are still necessary for the investigation of the role of different constituents on the properties of AAMs. This paper focuses on the development of alkali-activated fly ash (FA) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) paste mixtures in order to determine their suitability for making concretes. In particular, the influence of the GBFS/FA ratio and liquid-to-binder (l/b) ratio on the slump, setting, strength, and autogenous shrinkage of the alkali activated pastes is studied.It is shown that fresh properties largely depend on the type of precursor (GBFS or FA). The slump and setting time of GBFS-rich pastes was significantly reduced. These pastes also have higher compressive strength than FA-rich pastes. The study identifies important practical challenges for application of the studied mixtures, such as the behavior of their flexural strength and high amplitudes of autogenous shrinkage of GBFS-rich mixtures. Finally, the optimum GBFS/FA ratio for their future use in concretes is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2121
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • alkali-activated pastes
  • slag content
  • workability
  • setting
  • compressive and flexural strength
  • autogenous shrinkage


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