Editorial Feature

Durability Properties of Concrete with Silica Fume and Coal Bottom Ash

This article provides a review of a study on the use of coal bottom ash with silica fume as an alternative for fine aggregate material in concrete. The researchers published their review in the journal Buildings. 

coal bottom ash, concrete, aggregates, sand, river sand, aggregate material

Study: Investigation on Mechanical and Durability Properties of Concrete Mixed with Silica Fume as Cementitious Material and Coal Bottom Ash as Fine Aggregate Replacement Material. Image Credit: ISEN STOCKER/Shutterstock.com

Concrete is one of the primary materials in building construction and other infrastructure projects. The large-scale use of concrete increases cement and natural aggregate usage, causing environmental stress.

Around 60–75% of concrete is occupied by fine and coarse aggregates. As both these natural materials are used extensively, there will be a scarcity of these materials in the coming years. Therefore, in a world that is facing a scarcity of river sand as well as increased infrastructure growth, there is a dire necessity to find a substitute material for river sand in concrete.

The main aim of this study was to analyze the effect of using CBA as an alternative for sand (10–30%), together with SF as a replacement for cement with various percentages ranging from 7.5–12.5%. The compressive strength and split tensile strength attributes of concrete were identified with water curing of 28- and 90-day.

Methodology

In concrete, ordinary Portland cement (OPC) of Type-I was employed as a binder and the crushed aggregate of 20 mm (maximum size) was utilized as a coarse aggregate. The hill sand served as a fine aggregate after sieving. As a partial alternative material, the CBA was used for sand.

For better understanding, SEM images of CBA and SF are shown in Figure 1. In Table 1, the chemical composition of materials employed in this research is given. As per Table 2, a concrete mix ratio of 1:2:4 with a w/c ratio of 0.5 was used for the study throughout.

SEM images of (a) Coal Bottom Ash; (b) Silica Fume.

Figure 1. SEM images of (a) Coal Bottom Ash; (b) Silica Fume. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Table 1. Properties of cement and coal bottom ash. Source: Ali, et al., 2022

Material Physical Properties Chemical Analysis (% Age)
Blaine
(cm2/g)
Specific Gravity SiO2 CaO Al2O3 MgO K2O Fe2O3 LOI
Cement 3008 3.14 20.78 60.89 5.11 3.00 0.00 3.17 1.71
CBA - 2.30 35.37 3.307 28.18 1.956 0.976 20.64 -
Silica Fume - 2.22 93.28 0.23 0.49 0.9 0.98 1.3 -

 

Table 2. Concrete mix proportion. Source: Ali, et al., 2022

S.No Mix Type OPC
(kg)
Sand
(kg)
CBA
(kg)
SF
(kg)
C.A
(kg)
Water
(kg)
W/C
(kg)
01 Plain 20 40 0 0 80 10 0.5
02 10CBA 20 38 2 0 80 10 0.5
03 20CBA 20 36 4 0 80 10 0.5
04 30CBA 20 34 6 0 80 10 0.5
05 7.5SF 18.5 32 0 1.5 80 10 0.5
06 10SF 18 30 0 2 80 10 0.5
07 12.5SF 17.5 28 0 2.5 80 10 0.5
08 7.5SF10CBA 18.5 38 2 1.5 80 10 0.5
09 7.5SF20CBA 18.5 36 4 1.5 80 10 0.5
10 7.5SF30CBA 18.5 34 6 1.5 80 10 0.5
11 10SF10CBA 18 38 2 2 80 10 0.5
12 10SF20CBA 18 36 4 2 80 10 0.5
13 10SF20CBA 18 34 6 2 80 10 0.5
14 12.5SF10CBA 17.5 38 2 2.5 80 10 0.5
15 12.5SF20CBA 17.5 36 4 2.5 80 10 0.5
16 12.5SF20CBA 17.5 34 6 2.5 80 10 0.5

 

To measure each concrete mix’s workability (slump test), Abram’s cone apparatus was used. After 24 hours, the concrete specimens were removed from the cone and kept in clean water for 28 and 90 days, respectively, to carry out water curing.

The compressive strength and tensile strength of samples were tested. Cylindrical specimens with a size of 100 × 200 mm were cast for the corrosion analysis test. The corrosion potential was identified based on ASTM C-876. To calculate the corrosion potential of a specimen, the mean of three specimens was used.

To calculate the sulfate resistance of concrete, the length variations of prism specimens with a size of 25 mm × 25 mm × 285 mm were employed. The prisms were de-molded and kept in a solution of sodium sulfate for 28 days. Lastly, the length change was noted with the help of a digital meter.

Results

To check the feasibility of each concrete mix, the slump test was conducted. Figure 2 illustrates the workability of the mixtures that include CBA of 10%, 20%, and 30%. It also denotes that the slump decreased with an increase in CBA percentage.

Workability of the mixture blended with CBA.

Figure 2. Workability of the mixture blended with CBA. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

In addition, Figure 3 depicts the feasibility of various mixtures that contain SF and CBA in different percentages. Figure 4 illustrates the workability of mixtures containing SF as a replacement for cement with 5%, 10%, and 15%.

Workability of mixture blended with different percentages of CBA and SF.

Figure 3. Workability of mixture blended with different percentages of CBA and SF. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Workability of mixture blended with SF.

Figure 4. Workability of mixture blended with SF. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Figure 5 illustrates the compressive strength of concrete that contains different percentages of SF. The figure proves that the strength of concrete increases as the percentage of SF increases.

Compressive strength of concrete with Silica Fume

Figure 5. Compressive strength of concrete with Silica Fume. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

The cylindrical compressive strength of the specimens, which contain CBA as an alternative for fine aggregates after water curing of 28- and 90-days, is depicted in Figure 6.

Compressive strength of concrete mixed with CBA.

Figure 6. Compressive strength of concrete mixed with CBA. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

The compressive strength of concrete with different mixtures of CBA and SF is depicted in Figure 7.

Compressive strength of concrete mixed CBA and SF.

Figure 7. Compressive strength of concrete mixed CBA and SF. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Figure 8 illustrates the tensile strength of concrete that contains SF after 28- and 90-day water curing, whereas Figure 9 illustrates the tensile strength of concrete with various percentages of CBA.

Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with SF.

Figure 8. Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with SF. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with CBA.

Figure 9. Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with CBA. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Figure 10 depicts the split tensile strength of concrete combined with different amounts of SF (7.5–12.5%) and CBA (10–30%).

Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with CBA and SF.

Figure 10. Tensile Strength of concrete mixed with CBA and SF. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

The study shows that the increase in CBA and SF decreases the penetration of chloride within the concrete mass while enhancing the internal resistance of concrete. Figure 11 and Table 3 show that when the CBA percentage was increased, the resistance to chloride ions was also found to increase.

Corrosion Potential mV.

Figure 11. Corrosion Potential mV. Image Credit: Ali, et al., 2022

Table 3. Corrosion analysis of 90-Day’s sodium chloride solution. Source: Ali, et al., 2022

Sr. CBA and SF % Replacement Corrosion Potential (mV)
M 1 12.5 SF 0 CBA −287
M 2 12.5 SF 10 CBA −261
M 3 12.5 SF 20 CBA −234
M 4 12.5 SF 30 CBA −211

 

Usage of SF and CBA in the concrete matrix offers outstanding resistance to sulfate attack. Table 4 shows that the increase in CBA improves resistance to sulfate attack.

Table 4. Sulfate Attack of 28-Days in sodium sulfate solution (Na2SO4). Source: Ali, et al., 2022

Sr.No CBA % Replacement Initial Length (mm) Final Length (mm) % Increment
M 1 12.5 SF 0 CBA 285.2 ± 0.03 286.7 ± 0.04 0.52
M 2 12.5 SF 10 CBA 285.4 ± 0.04 286.5 ± 0.05 0.39
M 3 12.5 SF 20 CBA 285.7 ± 0.02 286.7 ± 0.04 0.35
M 4 12.5 SF 30 CBA 285.0 ± 0.05 285.9 ± 0.05 0.32

 

Conclusion

This study concludes that CBA can be an ideal substitute material for fine aggregate in the concrete mix with SF. The successful use of CBA in large volumes as a sand and gravel substitute will reduce the use of natural fine and coarse materials.

SF, with its low-carbon content, is beneficial in generating high-quality pozzolanic reactions. It also serves as an additional binder element in the concrete hardening process.

The study depicts that replacing conventional concrete mixture with 30% CBA and 12.5% SF showed commendable mechanical and durability properties. Also, these mixtures tend to exhibit notable economic and environmental benefits.

Journal Reference:

Ali, T., Buller, A. S., Abro, F. U. R., Ahmed, Z., Shabbir, S., Lashari, A. R., Hussain, G. (2022) Investigation on Mechanical and Durability Properties of Concrete Mixed with Silica Fume as Cementitious Material and Coal Bottom Ash as Fine Aggregate Replacement Material. Buildings, 12(1), p. 44. Available Online: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-5309/12/1/44/htm.

References and Further Reading

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Skyla Baily

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Skyla Baily

Skyla graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSocSc Hons in Social Anthropology. During her studies, Skyla worked as a research assistant, collaborating with a team of academics, and won a social engagement prize for her dissertation. With prior experience in writing and editing, Skyla joined the editorial team at AZoNetwork in the year after her graduation. Outside of work, Skyla’s interests include snowboarding, in which she used to compete internationally, and spending time discovering the bars, restaurants and activities Manchester has to offer!

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