Special Issue "New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction and Building Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Farhad Aslani
Website
Guest Editor
University of Western Australia
Interests: Advanced Cementitious Materials; Concrete Technology; Reinforced Concrete Structures; Fire Performance of Reinforced Concrete Structures
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete—Special Issue is to publish the best research on self-compacting concrete (SCC) and geopolymer concrete (GC) incorporating fiber reinforcement, lightweight aggregates, heavyweight aggregates, recycled concrete aggregates, tire derived aggregates, recycled glass aggregates, rice husk ash, etc. In doing so, this Special Issue will present the results of research on the properties and performance of SCC and GC; novel experimental techniques; the latest analytical and modelling methods; the examination and the diagnosis of real SCC and GC structures; and the potential for improved and innovative SCC and GC.

Relevant topics to this Special Issue include, but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • Self-compacting concrete
  • Geopolymer concrete
  • Fibers reinforcement
  • Recycled concrete aggregates
  • Tire derived aggregates
  • Lightweight aggregates
  • Heavyweight aggregates
  • High temperatures
  • Durability
  • Concrete technology

Dr. Farhad Aslani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Self-compacting concrete
  • Geopolymer concrete
  • Fibers reinforcement
  • Recycled concrete aggregates
  • Tire derived aggregates
  • Lightweight aggregates
  • Heavyweight aggregates
  • High temperatures
  • Durability
  • Concrete technology.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Water Content on Mechanical Strength and Microstructure of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/GGBFS Mortars Cured at Cold and Polar Regions
Materials 2020, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010138 - 29 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Negative temperature curing is a very harmful factor for geopolymer mortar or concrete, which will decrease the strength and durability. The water in the geopolymer mixture may be frozen into ice, and the water content is a crucial factor. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Negative temperature curing is a very harmful factor for geopolymer mortar or concrete, which will decrease the strength and durability. The water in the geopolymer mixture may be frozen into ice, and the water content is a crucial factor. The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of water content on the properties of alkali-activated binders mortar cured at −5 °C. Fly ash (FA) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) were used as binders. Three groups of experiments with different water content were carried out. The prepared samples were investigated through uniaxial compression strength test, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for the determination of their compressive strength, microstructural features, phase, and composition. The results indicated that, the compressive strength of samples basically maintained 25.78 MPa–27.10 MPa at an age of 28 days; for 90 days, the values reached 33.4 MPa–34.04 MPa. The results showed that lower water content is beneficial to improving the early strength of mortar at −5 °C curing condition, while it has little impact on long-term strength. These results may provide references for the design and construction of geopolymer concrete in cold regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Fresh-State and Mechanical Properties of High-Performance Self-Compacting Concrete with Recycled Aggregates from the Precast Industry
Materials 2019, 12(21), 3565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12213565 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The urgent need to change the less positive impacts of the construction industry on the environment, and more specifically the production and use of concrete, is the main motivation for the research for more efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions. This paper presented the [...] Read more.
The urgent need to change the less positive impacts of the construction industry on the environment, and more specifically the production and use of concrete, is the main motivation for the research for more efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions. This paper presented the results of an experimental campaign whose ultimate goal was to produce high-performance self-compacting concrete (SCC) using recycled aggregates (RA) from the precast industry. The results of the fresh-state and mechanical properties tests performed on six concrete mixes (using RA from the precast industry) were presented. The first concrete mix is a reference mix using natural aggregates only (100% NA), and the remaining five mixes had various contents of fine (FRA) and coarse (CRA) recycled aggregates in concrete’s composition: (2) 25/25% (25% RA); (3) 50/50% (50% RA); (4) 100/100% (100% RA); (5) 0/100% (100% CRA); (6) 100/0% (100% FRA). The results showed that the high-performance concrete mixes with RA from the precast industry performed worse than the reference mix. However, taking into account all the mechanical properties studied, it can be concluded that RA from precast concrete elements are of very good quality and can be incorporated in the production of high-performance SCC. The potential demonstrated by the combined use of fine and coarse recycled aggregates was also emphasized. This type of work is expected to effectively contribute to raise awareness among the various players in the construction industry, particularly in the precast concrete industry, to the feasibility of using RA in significant quantities (notably coarse aggregates) and to the safety needed to assume structural functions, even for applications where high performance is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Heat Curing Method on the Mechanical Strength of Alkali-Activated Slag Mortar after High-Temperature Exposure
Materials 2019, 12(11), 1789; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12111789 - 02 Jun 2019
Abstract
The aim of this work was to study the mechanical strength and microstructure changes of alkali-activated slag mortar (AAS mortar) after being heat treated in the temperature range of 200–1000 °C. The AAS mortar was cured in the ambient condition (20 ± 5 [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to study the mechanical strength and microstructure changes of alkali-activated slag mortar (AAS mortar) after being heat treated in the temperature range of 200–1000 °C. The AAS mortar was cured in the ambient condition (20 ± 5 °C, 60 ± 5% RH) (Relative humidity: RH) and high temperature condition (80 °C) for 27 days with three different heating regimes: curing in a dry oven, curing in sealed plastic bags, and in a steam environment. The activator for the AAS synthesis was a mixture of sodium silicate solution (water glass) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) with a SiO2/Na2O weight ratio of 1, and a dosage of 4% Na2O by slag weight. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) incorporated with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) were used to assess the mortar microstructure change. The results revealed that the curing method significantly affected the mechanical strength of AAS at temperatures lower than 800 °C. The heat treatment at late age of 28 days was more beneficial for compressive strength enhancement in specimens without using heat curing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Carbonated BOF Slag Aggregates in Alkali-Activated Concretes
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081288 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
This experimental study aimed to develop alkali-activated concretes containing carbonated basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag aggregates. In the first stage, the impacts of replacing normal aggregates with carbonated BOF slag aggregates in different alkali-activated concretes were determined by assessing mechanical properties (compressive and [...] Read more.
This experimental study aimed to develop alkali-activated concretes containing carbonated basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag aggregates. In the first stage, the impacts of replacing normal aggregates with carbonated BOF slag aggregates in different alkali-activated concretes were determined by assessing mechanical properties (compressive and flexural strengths), morphology, thermogravimetric analyses (TGA), differential thermogravimetry (DTG) and the crystalline phases using X-ray diffraction analysis. Second, the developed plain alkali-activated concrete was reinforced by different fibre types and dosages to limit the negative impacts of the drying shrinkage and to improve strength. Therefore, the effects of using different fibre contents (1% and 1.5% in Vol.) and types (Polyvinyl alcohol [PVA], Polypropylene [PP], basalt, cellulose and indented short-length steel) on hardened state properties were evaluated. These evaluations were expressed in terms of the compressive and flexural strengths, ultrasonic pulse velocity, mass changes, drying shrinkage and efflorescence. Then, the impacts of aggressive conditions on the hardened properties of fibre-reinforced alkali-activated concretes were evaluated under carbonation, high temperature and freeze/thaw tests. The results showed that using carbonated BOF slag aggregates led to obtain higher strength than using normal aggregates in alkali activated concretes. Moreover, the maximum enhancement due to reinforcing the mixtures was recorded in alkali-activated concretes with steel fibres. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Fine and Coarse Recycled Aggregates on Fresh and Mechanical Properties of Self-Compacting Concrete
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12071120 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Today, the use of recycled aggregates as a substitute for a part of the natural aggregates in concrete production is increasing. This approach is essential because the resources for natural aggregates are decreasing in the world. In the present study, the effects of [...] Read more.
Today, the use of recycled aggregates as a substitute for a part of the natural aggregates in concrete production is increasing. This approach is essential because the resources for natural aggregates are decreasing in the world. In the present study, the effects of recycled concrete aggregates as a partial replacement for fine (by 50%) and coarse aggregates (by 100%) were examined in the self-compacting concrete mixtures which contain air-entraining agents and silica fumes. Two series of self-compacting concrete mixes have been prepared. In the first series, fine and coarse recycled mixtures respectively with 50% and 100% replacement with air entraining agent were used. In the second series, fine recycled (with 50% replacement) and coarse recycled (with 100% replacement) were used with silica fume. The rheological properties of the self-compacting concrete (SCC) were determined using slump-flow and J-ring tests. The tests of compressive strength, tensile strength, and compressive stress-strain behavior were performed on both series. The results indicated that air-entraining agent and silica fume have an important role in stabilization of fresh properties of the mixtures. The results of tests indicated a decrease in compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, and energy absorption of concrete mixtures containing air entrained agent. Also, the results showed that complete replacement (100%) with coarse recycled material had no significant effect on mechanical strength, while replacement with 50% fine recycled material has reduced compressive strength, tensile strength, and energy absorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Heavyweight Self-Compacting Concrete and Ambient-Cured Heavyweight Geopolymer Concrete Using Magnetite Aggregates
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12071035 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight geopolymer concrete (HWGC) are new types of concrete that integrate the advantages of heavyweight concrete (HWC) with self-compacting concrete (SCC) and geopolymer concrete (GC), respectively. The replacement of natural coarse aggregates with magnetite aggregates in control SCC [...] Read more.
Heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight geopolymer concrete (HWGC) are new types of concrete that integrate the advantages of heavyweight concrete (HWC) with self-compacting concrete (SCC) and geopolymer concrete (GC), respectively. The replacement of natural coarse aggregates with magnetite aggregates in control SCC and control GC at volume ratios of 50%, 75%, and 100% was considered in this study to obtain heavyweight concrete classifications, according to British standards, which provide proper protection from sources that emit harmful radiations in medical and nuclear industries and may also be used in many offshore structures. The main aim of this study is to examine the fresh and mechanical properties of both types of mixes. The experimental program investigates the fresh properties of HWSCC and HWGC through the slump flow test. However, J-ring tests were only conducted for HWSCC mixes to ensure the flow requirements in order to achieve self-compacting properties. Moreover, the mechanical properties of both type of mixes were investigated after 7 and 28 days curing at an ambient temperature. The standard 100 × 200 mm cylinders were subjected to compressive and tensile tests. Furthermore, the flexural strength were examined by testing 450 × 100 × 100 mm prisms under four-point loading. The flexural load-displacement relationship for all mixes were also investigated. The results indicated that the maximum compressive strength of 53.54 MPa was achieved by using the control SCC mix after 28 days. However, in HWGC mixes, the maximum compressive strength of 31.31 MPa was achieved by 25% magnetite replacement samples. The overall result shows the strength of HWSCC decreases by increasing magnetite aggregate proportions, while, in HWGC mixes, the compressive strength increased with 50% magnetite replacement followed by a decrease in strength by 75% and 100% magnetite replacements. The maximum densities of 2901 and 2896 kg/m3 were obtained by 100% magnetite replacements in HWSCC and HWGC, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Artificial Intelligence Approaches for Prediction of Compressive Strength of Geopolymer Concrete
Materials 2019, 12(6), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12060983 - 25 Mar 2019
Cited by 25
Abstract
Geopolymer concrete (GPC) has been used as a partial replacement of Portland cement concrete (PCC) in various construction applications. In this paper, two artificial intelligence approaches, namely adaptive neuro fuzzy inference (ANFIS) and artificial neural network (ANN), were used to predict the compressive [...] Read more.
Geopolymer concrete (GPC) has been used as a partial replacement of Portland cement concrete (PCC) in various construction applications. In this paper, two artificial intelligence approaches, namely adaptive neuro fuzzy inference (ANFIS) and artificial neural network (ANN), were used to predict the compressive strength of GPC, where coarse and fine waste steel slag were used as aggregates. The prepared mixtures contained fly ash, sodium hydroxide in solid state, sodium silicate solution, coarse and fine steel slag aggregates as well as water, in which four variables (fly ash, sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate solution, and water) were used as input parameters for modeling. A total number of 210 samples were prepared with target-specified compressive strength at standard age of 28 days of 25, 35, and 45 MPa. Such values were obtained and used as targets for the two AI prediction tools. Evaluation of the model’s performance was achieved via criteria such as mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), and coefficient of determination (R2). The results showed that both ANN and ANFIS models have strong potential for predicting the compressive strength of GPC but ANFIS (MAE = 1.655 MPa, RMSE = 2.265 MPa, and R2 = 0.879) is better than ANN (MAE = 1.989 MPa, RMSE = 2.423 MPa, and R2 = 0.851). Sensitivity analysis was then carried out, and it was found that reducing one input parameter could only make a small change to the prediction performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impacts of Casting Scales and Harsh Conditions on the Thermal, Acoustic, and Mechanical Properties of Indoor Acoustic Panels Made with Fiber-Reinforced Alkali-Activated Slag Foam Concretes
Materials 2019, 12(5), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050825 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper presents experimental results regarding the efficiency of using acoustic panels made with fiber-reinforced alkali-activated slag foam concrete containing lightweight recycled aggregates produced by using Petrit-T (tunnel kiln slag). In the first stage, 72 acoustic panels with dimension 500 × 500 × [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental results regarding the efficiency of using acoustic panels made with fiber-reinforced alkali-activated slag foam concrete containing lightweight recycled aggregates produced by using Petrit-T (tunnel kiln slag). In the first stage, 72 acoustic panels with dimension 500 × 500 × 35 mm were cast and prepared. The mechanical properties of the panels were then assessed in terms of their compressive and flexural strengths. Moreover, the durability properties of acoustic panels were studied using harsh conditions (freeze/thaw and carbonation tests). The efficiency of the lightweight panels was also assessed in terms of thermal properties. In the second stage, 50 acoustic panels were used to cover the floor area in a reverberation room. The acoustic absorption in diffuse field conditions was measured, and the interrupted random noise source method was used to record the sound pressure decay rate over time. Moreover, the acoustic properties of the panels were separately assessed by impedance tubes and airflow resistivity measurements. The recorded results from these two sound absorption evaluations were compared. Additionally, a comparative study was presented on the results of impedance tube measurements to compare the influence of casting volumes (large and small scales) on the sound absorption of the acoustic panels. In the last stage, a comparative study was implemented to clarify the effects of harsh conditions on the sound absorption of the acoustic panels. The results showed that casting scale had great impacts on the mechanical and physical properties. Additionally, it was revealed that harsh conditions improved the sound properties of acoustic panels due to their effects on the porous structure of materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Fire Performance of Heavyweight Self-Compacting Concrete and Heavyweight High Strength Concrete
Materials 2019, 12(5), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050822 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
In this study, the fresh and hardened state properties of heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight high strength concrete (HWHSC) containing heavyweight magnetite aggregate with 50, 75, and 100% replacement ratio, and their performance at elevated temperatures were explored experimentally. For fresh-state properties, [...] Read more.
In this study, the fresh and hardened state properties of heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight high strength concrete (HWHSC) containing heavyweight magnetite aggregate with 50, 75, and 100% replacement ratio, and their performance at elevated temperatures were explored experimentally. For fresh-state properties, the flowability and passing ability of HWSCCs were assessed by using slump flow, T500 mm, and J-ring tests. Hardened-state properties including hardened density, compressive strength, and modulus of elasticity were evaluated after 28 days of mixing. High-temperature tests were also performed to study the mass loss, spalling of HWSCC and HWHSC, and residual mechanical properties at 100, 300, 600 and 900 °C with a heating rate of 5 °C/min. Ultimately, by using the experimental data, rational numerical models were established to predict the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of HWSCC at elevated temperatures. The results of the flowability and passing ability revealed that the addition of magnetite aggregate would not deteriorate the workability of HWSCCs and they retained their self-compacting characteristics. Based on the hardened densities, only self-compacting concrete (SCC) with 100% magnetite content, and high strength concrete (HSC) with 75 and 100% magnetite aggregate can be considered as HWC. For both the compressive strength and elastic modulus, decreasing trends were observed by introducing magnetite aggregate to SCC and HSC at an ambient temperature. Mass loss and spalling evaluations showed severe crack propagation for SCC without magnetite aggregate while SCCs containing magnetite aggregate preserved up to 900 °C. Nevertheless, the mass loss of SCCs containing 75 and 100% magnetite content were higher than that of SCC without magnetite. Due to the pressure build-up, HSCs with and without magnetite showed explosive spalling at high temperatures. The residual mechanical properties analysis indicated that the highest retention of the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity after exposure to elevated temperatures belonged to HWSCC with 100% magnetite content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Properties of Ambient-Cured Normal and Heavyweight Geopolymer Concrete Exposed to High Temperatures
Materials 2019, 12(5), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050740 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
Ambient-cured heavyweight geopolymer concrete (HWGC) is a new type of concrete that combines the benefits of both heavyweight concrete (HWC) and geopolymer concrete (GC). HWGC provides proper protection from the sources that emit harmful radiations in medical and nuclear industries. Furthermore, HWGC may [...] Read more.
Ambient-cured heavyweight geopolymer concrete (HWGC) is a new type of concrete that combines the benefits of both heavyweight concrete (HWC) and geopolymer concrete (GC). HWGC provides proper protection from the sources that emit harmful radiations in medical and nuclear industries. Furthermore, HWGC may also be used in offshore structures for pipeline ballasting and similar underwater structures. In this study, heavyweight aggregates (magnetite) have been used and replaced by normal-weight coarse aggregates in GC at volume ratios of 50, 75, and 100% to attain heavyweight classification according to British standards. This study investigates the impacts of high temperatures on standard ambient-cured geopolymer concrete and ambient-cured HWGC through its residual properties regarding compressive and tensile strengths, mass loss, spalling intensity, and flexural strength. The residual properties were examined by heating 100 × 200 mm cylinder specimens to 100, 300, 600, and 900 °C. The results indicated that the maximum compressive strengths of 40.1 and 39.0 MPa were achieved by HWGC at 300 and 100 °C, respectively. The overall result shows that the strength of HWGC increases by increasing magnetite aggregate proportion, while the mass loss, intensity of spalling, and loss of strengths is proportional to temperature after a certain point. Minor spalling with holes and cracking was observed only at 900 °C in HWGC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Durability and Strength Characteristics of Alkali-Activated Slag Concrete
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081198 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Alkali-activated slag (AAS) is a promising alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as sole binder for reinforced concrete structures. OPC is reportedly responsible for over 5% of the global CO2 emission. In addition, slag is an industrial by-product that must be land-filled [...] Read more.
Alkali-activated slag (AAS) is a promising alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as sole binder for reinforced concrete structures. OPC is reportedly responsible for over 5% of the global CO2 emission. In addition, slag is an industrial by-product that must be land-filled if not re-used. Therefore, it has been studied by many investigators as environmentally friendly replacement of OPC. In addition to recycling, AAS offers favorable properties to concrete such as rapid development of compressive strength and high resistance to sulfate attack. Some of the potential shortcomings of AAS include high shrinkage, short setting time, and high rate of carbonation. Using ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) as an alternative to OPC requires its activation with high alkalinity compounds such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium sulfate (Na2SO3), sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), or combination of these compounds such as NaOH and Na2SO3. The mechanism of alkali-activation is still not fully understood and further research is required. This paper overviews the properties, advantages, and potential shortcomings of AAS concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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