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Strength and Abrasion Characteristics

of ISF Slag Concrete

Bhavna Tripathi 1; Anurag Misra 2; and Sandeep Chaudhary 3

Abstract: Use of industrial by-products as raw materials in concrete is becoming necessary to address the sustainability of both the concrete
and the industrial growth. The present study assesses the potential of imperial smelting furnace (ISF) slag as in concrete, considering the
presence of toxic elements (lead and zinc) and their detrimental effects on the early hydration of cement. Equivalent volume of sand was
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replaced by ISF slag in different percentages. Concrete specimens were prepared at different water-to-cement ratios. Compressive, flexural,
and pull-off strength, along with abrasion resistance, were examined. Leaching potentials of toxic lead, zinc, and cadmium from ISF slag
concrete mixtures were also analyzed to evaluate environmental viability. Results are encouraging because sign of delay in setting was not
observed. Improvement in compressive and pull-off strength, comparable flexural strength and abrasion resistance, and leaching of toxic
elements within safe limits assures the potential of future use of ISF slag as sand in concrete. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533
.0000709. 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
CE Database subject headings: Concrete; Slag; Lead; Zinc; Compressive strength.
Author keywords: Concrete; Slag; Lead; Zinc; Compressive strength.

Introduction has been exempted from the category of hazardous wastes (MoEF
2008). However, because of the presence of toxic substances, ISFS
With the acceptance of industrial by-products as raw materials in cannot be deemed safe and has to be treated with caution.
concrete, researchers are continuously evaluating and exploring the By-products containing lead and zinc have been found to be safe
best technologies (Naik 2008). The challenges are apparent, for use in concrete (Atzeni et al. 1996; Cioffi et al. 2000; Morrison
especially with the use of hazardous wastes in which long-term et al. 2003; Morrison 2005) as leaching is reduced and toxic metals
implications are the primary concern. Imperial smelting furnace are fixed (Monosi et al. 2001; Sorlini et al. 2004; Dunster et al.
(ISF) slag is such an example; it is generated during the pyrome- 2005; Patil 2009). However, previous work reveals that lead and
tallurgical refining of sulphide ore. ISF slag (ISFS) is vitreous, zinc could cause set retardation and influence early strength gain
granular, black in color, and contains toxic metals (lead and zinc), (Midgley et al. 1970; Tashiro et al. 1977; Cocke 1990; Mollah et al.
which are hazardous for human health and the environment 1995; Cioffi et al. 2000; Monosi et al. 2001; Morrison et al. 2003;
[Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) 2010]. Asavapisit et al. 2005; Dunster et al. 2005; Morrison 2005; Weeks
India is the worlds seventh largest producer of zinc (MoEF et al. 2008). This delay in setting and hardening of cement and con-
2010). Rajasthan, the largest state in the country, is rich in crete has been widely studied and found to be particularly evident at
metallic (copper, lead, and zinc) and non-metallic (soapstone, higher slag additions (Midgley 1970; Monosi et al. 2001; Dunster
silica sand, limestone, marble, and gypsum) mineral resources et al. 2005; Morrison 2005). Tashiro et al. (1977) confirmed that the
[Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) 2007]. presence of lead and zinc metal oxides, in small amounts (0.5%), do
Rajasthan has the largest reserve of zinc mines (Rajpura Agucha, not affect setting significantly as compared with higher additions of
Sindesar Khurd, Rajpura Dariba, and Zawar) with a current about 5%. Midgley et al. (1970) attributed the delay in setting and
annual production of about 80,000 t of pyrometallurgical ISFS strength gain to the lime soluble portion present in such slag, which
and approximately 650,000 t already stockpiled (B. K. Singh, would affect even when present in small traces. Delay in setting
Hindustan Zinc Limited, personal communication, 20102011). with increase in the slag content has been reported by Morrision
As per the recent guidelines provided by the Ministry of Environ- (2005) also. The study also revealed that the set retardation period
ment and Forests, slag generated from pyrometallurgical operations reduces with increasing the cement content. The set retardation
period was found to be reduced by 1 day when increasing the
Principal Investigator (DST project), Dept. of Civil Engineering, cement content from 300400 kg=m3 .
Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur 302017, India. The compressive strength of concrete containing lead and zinc
2 by-products has also been reported in these studies by Morrison
Director, Anand International College of Engineering, Jaipur 303012,
India. (2005) and others. Utilization of granular slag as sand in concrete
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Malaviya National produces equivalent to or greater than control compressive strength
Institute of Technology, Jaipur 302017, India (corresponding author). (Midgley et al. 1970; Monosi et al. 2001; Morrison et al. 2003;
E-mail: Sorlini et al. 2004; Morrison 2005; Patil 2009), though low at early
Note. This manuscript was submitted on December 9, 2011; approved
ages (Midgley et al. 1970; Monosi et al. 2001; Morrison et al. 2003;
on October 8, 2012; published online on October 11, 2012. Discussion
period open until April 1, 2014; separate discussions must be submitted Morrison 2005). It was revealed by Morrison (2005) that ISFS only
for individual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Materials in Civil delays the onset of hydration, which affects the early strength gain
Engineering, Vol. 25, No. 11, November 1, 2013. ASCE, ISSN 0899- (particularly during the first 3 days) and is not detrimental to
1561/2013/11-1611-1618/$25.00. strength at later ages; for example, the 28-day strength was found


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618

to be greater than control. However, the compressive strength of previous work on utilization of granular slag containing lead and
mortar containing ISFS sand was observed to decrease negligibly zinc as sand in concrete discussed the hydration, strength, and
at 50%, and by approximately 15% at 100% replacement. Similar leaching effects, none of the studies considered the effect of the
results for mortar and concrete were previously reported by Atzeni water/cement ratio (w=c). Therefore, it is desirable to carry out com-
et al. (1996) in which the compressive and flexural strength of con- prehensive studies covering various strength criteria, the effect of
crete were found to be unaltered, whereas mortar mixtures showed w=c, and leaching of toxic metals to facilitate its practical use.
severe reduction in compressive strength. This reduction was more This study presents a comprehensive comparison of strength and
for volumetric replacements compared with replacements by the abrasion characteristics of concrete containing ISFS as sand with
weight of the slag. Monosi et al. (2001) used granular ISFS as sand seven replacements (1070%) at four w=c (0.55, 0.50, 0.45, and
and observed no change in mortar and concrete strengths at the age 0.40). Compressive, flexural, and pull-off strength development were
of 28 days, whereas the initial (2-day age) strength was found to be studied along with resistance to surface wear. Leaching of toxic
low. Furthermore, significant delay in hydration was noticed when elements has also been examined to determine environmental
both powdered and granular ISFS were added. A case study by suitability. This study has been further supplemented with a signifi-
Dunster et al. (2005) on the utilization of ISFS as sand for pavement cant observation on the setting and hardening of ISFS concrete.
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construction showed a small increase in laboratory compressive

strength for 50 and 75% replacement of sand along with improve-
ment in flexural strength. However, the strength of the trial concrete Experimental Program
pavement was found to be slightly low. Inclusion of granular Waelz
slag (generated through the Waelz kiln during recovery of zinc from
electric arc furnance dust) as sand has been found to result in Raw Materials
improved compressive strength (Sorlini et al. 2004). Cioffi et al. Ordinary Portland cement 43 grade (BIS 1989), natural river sand
(2000) studied the influence of slag on concrete strength and [specific gravity 2.68; saturated surface dry (SSD) water absorption
leaching of toxic metals with respect to its particle size and found 0.65%; confirming to Zone II as per BIS (1970); void content 36% as
favorable results with the use of granular slag. However, strength per ASTM (2009)], crushed stone as coarse aggregate (equal propor-
was not achieved for concrete containing powdered slag (<0.5 mm) tions of 20 and 10 mm nominal size), ISFS [supplied by Hindustan
as a result of the absence of hardening, even at 28 days. Patil (2009) Zinc, Chanderiya plant, Rajasthan, India; specific gravity 3.69; SSD
studied the influence of granular ISFS as sand on the compressive water absorption 0.45%; confirming to Zone I as per BIS (1970);
strength of concrete. The study revealed equivalent to control void content 43% as per ASTM (2009)] and modified polycarboxylic
compressive strength for M20 and M30 concrete grades [designed etherbased ASTM Type F superplasticizer were used for preparing
to achieve a 28-day strength of 20 and 30 N=mm2 , respectively, as concrete mixtures. The chemical composition of ISFS and cement
per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) (2000)]. are shown in Tables 1 and 2, respectively. The grain-size distribution
Most of the work on utilization of lead and zinc containing of sand, ISFS, and coarse aggregates (10 and 20 mm size) are pro-
slag is supplemented with an evaluation of its environmental vided in Fig. 1.
effect through leaching studies (Atzeni et al. 1996; Cioffi et al.
2000; Monosi et al. 2001; Morrison et al. 2003; Dunster et al.
2005; Patil 2009). Morrison et al. (2003) studied the leaching of Table 1. Chemical Composition of ISFS (B. K. Singh, Personal
lead and zinc ions from ISFS in various mediums, such as deion- Communication, 2010, with Permission from Hindustan Zinc)
ized water, pH 13 buffer solution, saturated CaO (calcium oxide),
Element Weight percentage
CaO and PFA (pulverised fuel ash), PFA and deionized water,
GGBS (ground granulated blast furnace slag) and deionized water, SiO2 18.08
and found the leaching to be maximum at high pH solutions. Fe2 O3 34.28
Leaching was observed to reduce in calcium oxide solutions and Al2 O3 8.17
CaO 17.91
was minimal with PFA/GGBS solutions, suggesting the binding
MgO 1.93
offered by calcium and the role of additives. Atzeni et al. (1996) Na2 O 0.68
also found that leaching of both metals reduces considerably with K2 O 0.71
the addition of fly ash and an increase in the cement content. Mn2 O3 1.33
Although leaching of these metals in water was negligible, because ZnO 9.21
of their amphoteric nature, high amounts were leached in acidic PbO 1.22
solutions, forecasting the threat in disposing such concrete in acidic Sulphide sulphur 1.41
environments. Monosi et al. (2001) studied leaching of concrete Insoluble residue 6.28
containing granular slag as partial replacement of sand (20%) Loss on ignition (LOI) (+)5.68
and/or powdered slag as partial replacement of binder (15%).
The study reported that leaching of zinc was negligible and that
of lead was small (a maximum up to 32 mg=L). Patil (2009) also
Table 2. Chemical Composition of Cement (D. C. Maheshwari, Personal
reported leaching of lead and zinc from different concrete grades,
Communication, 2010, with Permission from UltraTech Cement)
M20, M25 and M30, to be within permissible limits (as per the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency), at all replacements, even at Components % mass
100% replacement of sand, using ISFS obtained from Rajasthan. CaO 0.7SO3 =2.8SO2 1.2Al2 O3 0.65Fe2 O3 0.88
As discussed previously, ISFS has been used as cement and sand Al2 O3 =Fe2 O3 1.18
in concrete. However, looking at the ill effects of heavy metals on Insoluble residue 2.82
hydration and leaching, and considering the fact that sand consti- Magnesia 0.85
tutes typically 3035% of the total aggregate volume in concrete, Sulphuric anhydride 2.46
the utilization of ISFS as sand is advisable. In addition, use of Total loss on ignition 2.74
Total chlorides 0.02
ISFS in granular form also eliminates processing costs. Although


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618


Percent passing
40 Aggregate (10mm)
Aggregate (20 mm)

0.1 1 10 100
Particle Size (mm)

Fig. 1. Grain-size distribution of sand and ISFS

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Preparation of Test Specimens However, superplasticizer in required quantities was added to

w=c 0.50, 0.45, and 0.40 mixtures to achieve workability in the
To analyze the influence of ISFS over fresh and hardened properties
range of 0.900.96 CF. The mixtures were prepared and cast in
of concrete, four w=c (0.55, 0.50, 0.45, and 0.40) were chosen in
the morning at an indoor temperature range of 2232C. Moulds
this study by adjusting the water content and keeping the propor-
were covered with a plastic sheet soon after casting at room temper-
tion of other constituents constant. Sand was replaced by an
ature and demoulded after 24  1=2 h. Curing of specimens was
equivalent volume of ISFS up to 70% (seven replacements at
done in a temperature-controlled water tank maintained at 27 
10% increments) for each w=c. The mixture proportions are 2C until the time of test.
provided in Table 3. The concrete mixture was prepared in a
pan mixer with oven dry materials. The workability of
0.900.96 CF [compacting factor as per BIS (1959)] was achieved Test Procedures
for w=c 0.55 mixtures without the addition of superplasticizer.
Morphology of Slag and Sand
The morphology of slag and sand particles was studied through a
Table 3. Mixture Proportions and Properties of Fresh Concrete scanning electron microscope (SEM) JSM-6610LV (JEOL, Japan).
Materials (kg=m3 ) The fraction passing 2.36 mm and retained on 600 m was used for
SR Density
(%) w=c Sand Cement Slag CA SP CF (kg=m3 )
the purpose of capturing images of both sand and ISFS to allow
0 0.55 604.5 377.8 0 1,208.9 0 0.96 2,335
10 0.55 544.0 377.8 83.2 1,208.9 0 0.94 2,390 Density, Setting, and Hardening of ISFS Concrete
20 0.55 483.6 377.8 166.4 1,208.9 0 0.94 2,326 The workability of fresh concrete mixtures was measured through
30 0.55 423.1 377.8 249.7 1,208.9 0 0.94 2,398 the compacting factor test as per Indian Standards (BIS 1959). The
40 0.55 362.7 377.8 332.9 1,208.9 0 0.94 2,452 density of fresh concrete was also measured as per BIS (1959). As
50 0.55 302.2 377.8 416.1 1,208.9 0 0.93 2,428
discussed previously, the addition of heavy metal oxides and
60 0.55 241.8 377.8 499.3 1,208.9 0 0.93 2,476
70 0.55 181.3 377.8 582.6 1,208.9 0 0.90 2,582 slag containing heavy metals increases the demouldable age of spec-
0 0.50 604.5 377.8 0 1,208.9 1.133 0.92 2,351 imens. In this study, the setting and hardening of ISFS concrete was
10 0.50 544.0 377.8 83.2 1,208.9 1.133 0.92 2,414 qualitatively judged in relation to the demouldable age of cube spec-
20 0.50 483.6 377.8 166.4 1,208.9 1.209 0.92 2,406 imens along with observations of the presence of soft corners/edges
30 0.50 423.1 377.8 249.7 1,208.9 1.209 0.92 2,420 as a sign of delay in setting, in comparison with control specimens.
40 0.50 362.7 377.8 332.9 1,208.9 1.247 0.92 2,425
50 0.50 302.2 377.8 416.1 1,208.9 1.247 0.92 2,494 Compressive, Flexural, and Pull-Off Strength
60 0.50 241.8 377.8 499.3 1,208.9 1.322 0.92 2,428 Concrete cubes (100 100 100 mm; tested at 7, 28, and 90 days
70 0.50 181.3 377.8 582.6 1,208.9 1.436 0.90 2,593 of curing) and beams (100 100 500 mm; tested at 7 and 28 days
0 0.45 604.5 377.8 0 1,208.9 2.267 0.94 2,343 of curing) were cast for measuring compressive and flexural
10 0.45 544.0 377.8 83.2 1,208.9 2.267 0.93 2,452 strengths, respectively. The pull-off strength, representing the tensile
20 0.45 483.6 377.8 166.4 1,208.9 2.342 0.94 2,400 strength of cover zone concrete, was measured on broken pieces of
30 0.45 423.1 377.8 249.7 1,208.9 2.342 0.93 2,445
beams after conducting the 28-day flexural strength test. Iron discs
40 0.45 362.7 377.8 332.9 1,208.9 2.342 0.93 2,483
50 0.45 302.2 377.8 416.1 1,208.9 2.380 0.92 2,501 (50 mm diameter) were bonded to the concrete surface by epoxy ad-
60 0.45 241.8 377.8 499.3 1,208.9 2.380 0.93 2,552 hesive. The force required to pull off the disc along with the surface
70 0.45 181.3 377.8 582.6 1,208.9 2.569 0.90 2,603 layer of concrete was recorded. The pull-off strength was obtained by
0 0.40 604.5 377.8 0 1,208.9 4.458 0.93 2,340 considering the average of three selective observations, based on
10 0.40 544.0 377.8 83.2 1,208.9 4.458 0.93 2,444 proper/uniform removal of the surface layer of concrete specimens.
20 0.40 483.6 377.8 166.4 1,208.9 4.496 0.92 2,459
30 0.40 423.1 377.8 249.7 1,208.9 4.496 0.92 2,474 Abrasion Resistance
40 0.40 362.7 377.8 332.9 1,208.9 4.533 0.92 2,481 Abrasion resistance was measured according to BIS (1980) on
50 0.40 302.2 377.8 416.1 1,208.9 4.533 0.94 2,504 28 days cured, 100 100 100 mm cubes. Concrete cubes were
60 0.40 241.8 377.8 499.3 1,208.9 4.533 0.92 2,559 oven dried at 110  5C for 24 h. For measuring the surface wear,
70 0.40 181.3 377.8 582.6 1,208.9 4.735 0.90 2,662 the code specified a load of 300 N for a specimen with 50 cm2
Note: SR = sand replacement; CA = coarse aggregate; SP = exposed surface area. As the surface area of concrete exposed to
superplasticizer; CF = compacting factor. wear in this case was 100 cm2 , a load of 600 N was applied.


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618

Leaching spherical and needle-like protuberance along with large open
Leaching of toxic metals was studied to review the environmental cavities and surface cracks are also seen on slag particles. The
suitability of ISFS concrete by conducting toxicity characteristic irregular shape of the slag particle with cavities is likely to decrease
leaching procedure (TCLP) tests at 6 months age of slag concrete the workability but would simultaneously offer better adherence
at highest replacements (70% ISFS). A sample of crushed concrete with the cement paste. The presence of needle-like or spherical
was obtained by manually crushing the inner portion of cubes. protuberance and surface cracks is expected to result in a weaker
Coarse aggregates were removed and the material was sieved to particle structure compared with the sand.
pass the 10 mm sieve size. The leachate was prepared using the
procedure suggested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Density, Setting, and Hardening of ISFS Concrete
(USEPA 1992) and analyzed with the help of an atomic absorption
spectrophotometer. The workability and density of fresh concrete mixtures are shown
in Table 3. It is observed from Table 3 that the addition of ISFS
increases the density of concrete because of its high specific
Results and Discussion gravity. The concrete cube specimens were demoulded 24 h after
casting, as discussed previously, and the setting property was
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observed in relation to the ease in demoulding and presence of

Morphology of Slag and Sand
definite corners/edges of cubes after demoulding. Surprisingly,
The SEM images of ISFS and sand particles passing 2.36 mm and all of the cube specimens were easily demoulded and no signs
retained on 600 m are shown in Fig. 2. The images show an of soft corners or unset mixture was seen, even at the highest
irregular shape of the slag particles compared with sand particles, replacement of 70%. Although the delay in setting, which
which are regular and have smooth surfaces. The presence of leads to the increase in the age of demoulding, has been reported

Fig. 2. Scanning electron microscope images of (a) ISFS particle (18); (b) ISFS particle (100); (c) sand particle (25)


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618

previously (Midgley 1970; Tashiro et al. 1977; Cioffi et al. 2000; 0.55 w/c 0.50 w/c
Monosi et al. 2001; Asavapisit et al. 2005; Dunster et al. 2005;

Compressive Strength (N/mm2)

0.45 w/c 0.40 w/c
Morrison 2005), it was not observed in this study.
One of the possible reasons for the absence of the retardation 60
effect is possibly the fact that the granular ISFS used in this study
consisted of only 5% fraction below 0.3 mm, whereas pure metal 50
solutions (Tashiro et al. 1977), powdered slag (Cioffi et al. 2000;
Monosi et al. 2001; Morrison 2005), and sludge (Asavapisit et al. 40
2005) were used in previous studies to assess the retardation effect
with which the effects are expected to be magnified compared with 30
the granular slag. This is because metal solutions have a greater
access to cement grains and thus participate actively in hydration.
Moreover, metal solubilization is a surface-dependent process
(Cocke 1990; Cioffi et al. 2000), hence the proportion of fines 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
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(<0.3 mm) present in the slag play a vital role. A small delay in (a) Percentage of ISFS
concrete setting was observed by Morrison (2005) with the use
of granular slag also, which consisted of 11% material finer than
0.3 mm, and hence, was finer than the slag used in this study. 70

Compressive Strength (N/mm2)

Additionally, the variation in the proportion of heavy metal
oxides in slag used in the present and previous studies may also 60
have created some difference as low concentrations of these metals
do not retard hydration. Therefore, the presence of fewer fines in 50
ISFS and low concentration or inaccessibility of harmful elements
might have produced a normal setting and hardening of the
concrete mixtures studied here.
Fresh concrete with sand replacements above 50%, particularly
the 70% ISFS concrete mixture, seemed harsh, devoid of sufficient 30
paste, difficult to compact, and had a relatively rough finished
surface. This was a result of insufficient fines and surface character- 20
istics of ISFS particles, which become evident especially at higher 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
replacement levels. Moreover, the void content of sand and slag
(b) Percentage of ISFS
was 36 and 43%, respectively, which indicates a greater require-
ment of paste content for ISFS mixtures in comparison with control
mixtures, especially at higher replacements.
Compressive Strength (N/mm2)

Compressive, Flexural, and Pull-Off Strength 60

The compressive strength of ISFS concrete mixtures at 7, 28, and
90 days is shown in Fig. 3. The standard deviations (for three rep- 50
licate samples) of the compressive, flexural, and pull-off strengths
are provided in Tables S1S3, respectively. 40
At 7 days, the compressive strength of almost all the mixtures
with up to 60% ISFS at respective w=c were slightly higher than the 30
control mixture. Significant improvement was observed, however,
for mixtures with w=c 0.50 only.
At the age of 28 days, the strength development pattern for ISFS
concrete was visibly clear. The strength of the control mixture 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
specimens with w=c 0.55, 0.50, 0.45, and 0.40 were 41.70, (c) Percentage of ISFS
43.83, 45.77, and 48.20 N=mm2 , respectively. For higher w=c
(0.55), strength was found to decrease with an increase in ISFS Fig. 3. Compressive strength at (a) 7-day; (b) 28-day; (c) 90-day age
and water content, although this reduction was not significant
for sand replacements up to 60%. However, at lower w=c (0.45
and 0.40) such reduction was not observed with increasing ISFS. Mixtures with 70% sand replacement produced indistinct
In fact, the reduction in strength disappeared gradually as the w=c results, largely showing a reduction in strength. However, the
was reduced. The strength of ISFS concrete mixtures with w=c 0.45 maximum reduction in these mixtures was 15%. At 7 days, the mix-
was similar to the control, whereas the strength of w=c 0.40 ISFS tures with w=c 0.55 and 0.45 showed a decrease of 14 and 8%,
mixtures was approximately 516% higher than the control. respectively, whereas little increase in strength for w=c 0.50 and
At 90 days, the compressive strengths of all mixtures with sand 0.40 was observed. At 28 days, reduction in strength was seen
replacement up to 60% were comparable, similar, or higher than for all mixtures except for mixture with w=c 0.40. The 90-day
control. Improvement was seen, however, for mixtures with ISFS strength of mixtures with 70% ISFS at all w=c was less than control
between 2050% at w=c 0.45. Higher than control strength ob- except for the mixture at w=c 0.50, which was similar to control.
served for ISFS concrete is in agreement with the results reported At 7 days, concrete mixtures with up to 60% ISFS showed
by Morrison (2005), Midgley (1970), and Dunster et al. (2005). enhanced compressive strength, compared with control, and were


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618

nonconforming to those observed at later ages. The primary reason slightly from being comparable with control to being better than
could be the irregular shape of slag particles along with volumetric control with reduction in w=c from 0.55 to 0.45. However, the
replacement of ISFS, which increased the total surface area of fine flexural strength of ISFS mixtures with w=c 0.40 was equivalent
aggregate in the mixture and thus reduced the effective water to control.
available for hydration. Hence, ISFS concrete behaved as a mixture Results of the pull-off strength test are shown in Fig. 5, which
with lower w=c in comparison with the control mixture, and demonstrate an increase in strength for w=c 0.50 mixtures with up
achieved higher strength. In addition, the cavities present on the to 60% ISFS and for w=c 0.45 mixtures with sand replacements
surface of slag holds some quantity of water. This restricts the between 4060%. The pull-off strength of mixtures with w=c
availability of water for hydration reactions initially, which is 0.40 was similar to the control mixture. However, the pull-off
released gradually and used at later ages. strength of mixtures with w=c 0.55 decreased with an increase
As the compressive strength of concrete at 7 days is immature, in the sand replacement level. It was observed that the pull-off
the results of 28 and 90 days are considered to draw conclusions. strength of concrete mixtures with up to 60% ISFS improved from
The data in Fig. 3(b and c) demonstrate that ISFS concrete does not less than control to better than or similar to control with reduction
follow a specific strength-gain pattern with respect to the quantity in w=c. As discussed previously, a similar effect of w=c was
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of slag within a w=c. A close look at the strength-gain pattern observed for compressive and flexural strength also. The results
(28 and 90 days) among different w=c reveals that the reduction discussed here largely show equivalent to or higher than control
in compressive strength of ISFS concrete (up to 60% replacement) pull-off strengths, indicating that ISFS does not adversely affect
diminishes gradually as the w=c is lowered. However, the need for the tensile strength of cover-zone concrete.
further investigations at much lower w=c is apparent.
The results of flexural strength at 7 and 28 days are presented in
Fig. 4. The results show that the 28-day flexural strength of all Abrasion Resistance
mixtures up to 60% ISFS were comparable with or slightly higher The abrasion resistance in terms of depth of wear, in 28-day cured
than the strength of the control mixture, which agrees with the find- concrete samples, is given in Fig. 6. The standard deviation
ings of Dunster et al. (2005). Appreciable increase in the 7-day (for three replicate samples) for the depth of wear is provided in
flexural strength of some mixtures at w=c 0.50 and 0.45 is noticed, Table S4. The maximum allowable average wear in concrete tiles
which remained at later ages (28-day) also. The 28-day flexural
strength of 70% ISFS concrete was less than control at all w=c. 7 0.55 w/c 0.50 w/c
The flexural strength of mixtures with up to 60% ISFS improved
6 0.45 w/c 0.40 w/c
Pull-off Strength (N/mm2)

8 0.55 w/c 0.50 w/c

0.45 w/c 0.40 w/c
Flexural Strength (N/mm2)

7 4

6 3

3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Percentage of ISFS
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Fig. 5. Pull-off strength of control and ISFS concrete
(a) Percentage of ISFS

8 2.4 0.55 w/c 0.50 w/c

Flexural Strength (N/mm2)

7 0.45 w/c 0.40 w/c

Depth of wear (mm)

6 2

4 1.6

2 1.2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
(b) Percentage of ISFS Percentage of ISFS

Fig. 4. Flexural strength at (a) 7-day; (b) 28-day age Fig. 6. Depth of wear in control and ISFS concrete


J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618

Table 4. TCLP (ppm) Results of Raw ISFS and ISFS Concrete Mixtures comparable results at high w=c (0.55) and good results at low
Water cement ratio w=c (0.45 and 0.40).
2. Flexural and pull-off strength demonstrated that ISFS is a use-
Toxic elements Raw ISFS 0.55 0.50 0.45 0.40
ful material in place of sand up to additions of 60% by volume.
Lead 25.102 2.920 3.535 2.942 3.582 The flexural and pull-off strength of concrete mixtures with up
Zinc 126.181 16.420 13.575 15.720 17.955 to 60% ISFS improved from less than control to better than or
Cadmium 2.304 0.068 0.142 0.113 0.166 similar to control with reduction in w=c.
3. Abrasion resistance of ISFS concrete was comparable to
normal concrete for sand replacements up to 50%. The abra-
for use in building floors as per the Bureau of Indian Standards sion resistance improved slightly, compared with the control
(BIS 1980) is 3.5 and 2.0 mm for general purpose and heavy duty mixture, with reduction in w=c at the same replacements.
floors, respectively. For w=c 0.55 and 0.50 mixtures, the depth of 4. Leaching of lead and cadmium from 70% ISFS concrete
wear increased with an increase in the replacement of sand with mixtures was within acceptable limits of 5 and 1 ppm, respec-
ISFS. However, the increase was marginal and only 60 and 70% tively, as specified by the U.S. Environmental Protection
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ISFS mixtures demonstrated more than 10% wear compared with Agency, which otherwise was higher than these limits in
the control mixture. For w=c 0.45 mixtures, the depth of wear de- raw ISFS. This ensured the environmental suitability of ISFS
creased slightly for sand replacements up to 40% and increased as sand in concrete.
beyond that, although the change was not significant. The depth of 5. ISFS can be used as sand in concrete up to 50% volumetric
wear in w=c 0.40 mixtures was similar to control up to 40% sand replacement of sand, with special attention in proportioning
replacements, and marginally increased beyond that. the mixture for replacements higher than 50% to ensure
The depth of wear has been found to be primarily influenced by suitable proportion of fines in order to achieve a cohesive
compressive strength (Naik et al. 2002). However, in the present concrete mixture.
study, improvement in abrasion resistance was not observed for It can be broadly concluded from the present study that ISFS is a
the mixtures that showed improvement in compressive strength. useful raw material for concrete in place of sand. The study also
The reduction in abrasion resistance in ISFS mixtures may be reveals that inclusion of granular ISFS improves the mechanical
attributed to the needle-like protuberance, irregular shape, and pres- properties of concrete at lower w=c. Although the data presented
ence of surface cracks [Fig. 2(b)] in slag particles, resulting in a here are useful in promoting ISFS as sand in concrete, further work
weaker particle structure as compared with sand that has smooth on durability aspects is needed.
surface and regular shape. The irregular shape of slag particle
may also increase the porosity of ISFS concrete, which influences
the depth of wear. Nevertheless, irrespective of the amount of sand Acknowledgments
replaced and the w=c, the depth of wear in all ISFS mixtures was
within the limits specified for heavy duty floors (BIS 1980), except The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided
for w=c 0.55 mixtures containing more than 50% ISFS. Hence, the by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, under
influence of ISFS on abrasion resistance may be considered as the Women Scientist scheme (sanction number SR/WO-A/ET-39/
acceptable for practical use. 2009), to accomplish this study.

Leaching Supplemental Data

TCLP results of raw ISFS and 70% ISFS concrete mixtures at vari-
ous w=c are shown in Table 4. It is observed from Table 4 that the Tables S1S4 are available online in the ASCE Library (www
leaching of toxic lead and cadmium from raw ISFS is considerably
higher than the acceptable limit of 5 and 1 ppm, respectively, as
prescribed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Leaching
of cadmium and lead from ISFS concrete at highest replacement References
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J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 2013, 25(11): 1611-1618