An Investigation on the Pozzolanic Reactivity of Different Materials and Their Effects on the Properties of Ultra-high Performance Concrete (UHPC)

Document Type : Research Article


Civil engineering faculty, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran


The partial replacement of cement with industrial wastes, especially in the concretes with high volume of cement-based materials such as ultra-high performance concretes (UHPC) may have positive effects on the environment and could lead to improvements in concrete properties. However, the effects of some types of these materials, such as coal waste and copper slag, have not been investigated seriously. In this study, the effects of several cement-based materials with different pozzolanic reactivity from very active (like silica fume) to approximately inactive (like silica powder) have been studied on the UHPC properties. Since the treatment temperature of 70-100 0C intensifies the possibility of delayed ettringite formation, thermal curing at 60 0C and 90 0C have been selected as the treatment temperatures of low and high risk of delayed ettringite formation, furthermore the results have been compared with the standard thermal curing at 20 0C. An electrical conductivity method has been used to compare the pozzolanic reaction rate of materials. In this study, compressive strengths, modulus of rupture and rapid chloride migration coefficients have been determined and the investigation of microstructure has been carried out using scanning electron microscopy. The obtained results show that use of heat treatment for the mixtures incorporating materials with low pozzolanic reactivity may reduce the strength and durability of ultra-high performance mixtures. The differences between the results obtained from the thermal curing conditions of 60 0C and 90 0C were not significant, however use of thermal curing at 90 0C requires higher energy demand compared with the thermal curing at 60 0C, moreover higher risk of delayed ettringite formation is expected.


Main Subjects

[1] P.R. Rangaraju, J. Olek, S. Diamond, An investigation into the influence of inter-aggregate spacing and the extent of the ITZ on properties of Portland cement concretes, Cement and Concrete Research, 40(11) (2010) 1601-1608.
[2] W.A. Moura, J.P. Gonçalves, M.B.L. Lima, Copper slag waste as a supplementary cementing material to concrete, Journal of Materials Science, 42(7) (2007) 2226.
[3] K.L. Scrivener, K.M. Nemati, The percolation of pore space in the cement paste/aggregate interfacial zone of concrete, Cement and concrete research, 26(1) (1996) 35-40.
[4] X.H. Wang, S. Jacobsen, S.F. Lee, J.Y. He, Z.L. Zhang, Effect of silica fume, steel fiber and ITZ on the strength and fracture behavior of mortar, Materials and structures, 43(1-2) (2010) 125.
[5] P.K. Mehta, Concrete. Structure, properties and materials, (1986).
[6] Z. Wu, C. Shi, K. Khayat, Influence of silica fume content on microstructure development and bond to steel fiber in ultra-high strength cement-based materials (UHSC), Cement and Concrete Composites, 71 (2016) 97-109.
[7] A. Modarres, S. Hesami, M. Soltaninejad, H. Madani, Application of coal waste in sustainable roller compacted concrete pavement-environmental and technical assessment, International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 19(8) (2018) 748-761.
[8] P. Barnes, J. Bensted, Structure and performance of cements, CRC Press, 2014.
[9] Z. Li, H.K. Venkata, P.R. Rangaraju, Influence of silica flour–silica fume combination on the properties of high performance cementitious mixtures at ambient temperature curing, Construction and Building Materials, 100 (2015) 225-233.
[10] P. Richard, M. Cheyrezy, Reactive Powder Concrete with high ductility and 200-800 MPa compressive strength, Metha, PK (edition) Concrete Technology Past Present and Future, in, SP.
[11] H. Vikan, H. Justnes, Rheology of cementitious paste with silica fume or limestone, Cement and Concrete Research, 37(11) (2007) 1512-1517.
[12] J. Khatib, E. Negim, H. Sohl, N. Chileshe, Glass powder utilisation in concrete production, European Journal of Applied Sciences, 4(4) (2012) 173-176.
[13] F. Pigeonneau, S. Muller, The impact of iron content in oxidation front in soda-lime silicate glasses: An experimental and comparative study, Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 380 (2013) 86-94.
[14] R. Pignatelli, C. Comi, P.J. Monteiro, A coupled mechanical and chemical damage model for concrete affected by alkali–silica reaction, Cement and Concrete Research, 53 (2013) 196-210.
[15] C. Shi, K. Zheng, A review on the use of waste glasses in the production of cement and concrete, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 52(2) (2007) 234-247.
[16] T. Ichikawa, Alkali–silica reaction, pessimum effects and pozzolanic effect, Cement and Concrete Research, 39(8) (2009) 716-726.
[17] E. Grabowski, J. Gillott, Effect of replacement of silica flour with silica fume on engineering properties of oilwell cements at normal and elevated temperatures and pressures, Cement and Concrete Research, 19(3) (1989) 333-344.
[18] P. Lawrence, M. Cyr, E. Ringot, Mineral admixtures in mortars effect of type, amount and fineness of fine constituents on compressive strength, Cement and concrete research, 35(6) (2005) 1092-1105.
[19] Y. Zhang, J. Nakano, L. Liu, X. Wang, Z. Zhang, Co-combustion and emission characteristics of coal gangue and low-quality coal, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 120(3) (2015) 1883-1892.
[20] M. Frías, M.S. De Rojas, R. García, A.J. Valdés, C. Medina, Effect of activated coal mining wastes on the properties of blended cement, Cement and Concrete Composites, 34(5) (2012) 678-683.
[21] S. Hesami, A. Modarres, M. Soltaninejad, H. Madani, Mechanical properties of roller compacted concrete pavement containing coal waste and limestone powder as partial replacements of cement, Construction and Building Materials, 111 (2016) 625-636.
[22] F. De Larrard, T. Sedran, Mixture-proportioning of high-
performance concrete, Cement and concrete research, 32(11) (2002) 1699-1704.
[23] P. Rossi, Ultra-high performance fibre reinforced concretes (UHPFRC): an overview, in: Fifth RILEM Symposium on Fibre-Reinforced Concretes (FRC), 2000, pp. 87-100.
[24] R. Yu, P. Spiesz, H. Brouwers, Mix design and properties assessment of ultra-high performance fibre reinforced concrete (UHPFRC), Cement and concrete research, 56 (2014) 29-39.
[25] A. Standard, C192 “Standard Practice for Making and Curing Concrete Test Specimens in the Laboratory,” Annual Book of ASTM Standards, 4 (2004).
[26] M.d. Luxán, F. Madruga, J. Saavedra, Rapid evaluation of pozzolanic activity of natural products by conductivity measurement, Cement and concrete research, 19(1) (1989) 63-68.
[27] J. Paya, M. Borrachero, J. Monzo, E. Peris-Mora, F. Amahjour, Enhanced conductivity measurement techniques for evaluation of fly ash pozzolanic activity, Cement and Concrete Research, 31(1) (2001) 41-49.
[28] B.S. Institution, Testing Concrete: Method for Determination of Compressive Strength Using Portions of Beams Broken in Flexure (equivalent Cube Method), British Standards Institution, 1983.
[29] BSI, Methods of testing cement. Determination of strength, (2005).
[30] N. Build, 492, Chloride migration coefficient from non-steady-state migration experiments, Nordtest method, (1999).
[31] H.A. Toutanji, Z. Bayasi, Effect of curing procedures on properties of silica fume concrete, Cement and Concrete research, 29(4) (1999) 497-501.
[32] A. Tafraoui, G. Escadeillas, S. Lebaili, T. Vidal, Metakaolin in the formulation of UHPC, Construction and Building Materials, 23(2) (2009) 669-674.
[33] H. Yazıcı, M.Y. Yardımcı, S. Aydın, A.Ş. Karabulut, Mechanical properties of reactive powder concrete containing mineral admixtures under different curing regimes, Construction and building materials, 23(3) (2009) 1223-1231.
[34] W. Li, Z. Huang, F. Cao, Z. Sun, S.P. Shah, Effects of nano-silica and nano-limestone on flowability and mechanical properties of ultra-high-performance concrete matrix, Construction and Building Materials, 95 (2015) 366-374.
[35] V. Elfmarkova, P. Spiesz, H. Brouwers, Determination of the chloride diffusion coefficient in blended cement mortars, Cement and concrete Research, 78 (2015) 190-199.
[36] S. Teng, T.Y.D. Lim, B.S. Divsholi, Durability and mechanical properties of high strength concrete incorporating ultra fine ground granulated blast-furnace slag, Construction and Building Materials, 40 (2013) 875-881.
[37] X. Shi, N. Xie, K. Fortune, J. Gong, Durability of steel reinforced concrete in chloride environments: An overview, Construction and Building Materials, 30 (2012) 125-138.
[38] M.-H. Zhang, A. Bilodeau, V.M. Malhotra, K.S. Kim, J.-C. Kim, Concrete incorporating supplementary cementing materials: effect of curing on compressive strength and resistance to chloride-ion penetration, Materials Journal, 96(2) (1999) 181-189.