This article presents the results of studies into the phase and chemical composition of blast furnace slag in the context of its reuse. In practice, blast furnace slags are widely used in the construction industry and road building as a basis for the production of, for example, cements, road binders and slag bricks. T hey are also used in the production of concrete floors, mortars, and plasters. Blast furnace slag is mainly used as a valuable material in the production of hydraulic binders, especially cement that improves the mechanical properties of concretes.
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The favorable physical and mechanical properties of slags, apart from economic aspects, are undoubtedly an asset when deciding to use them instead of natural raw materials. In addition to the above, there is also the ecological aspect, since by using waste materials, the environmental interference that occurs during the opencast mining of natural aggregates is reduced. S pecifically, this means waste utilization through secondary management.
However, it should be kept in mind that it is a material which quite easily and quickly responds to environmental changes triggered by external factors; therefore, along with the determination of its physical and mechanical properties, its phase and chemical composition must be also checked.
The studies showed that the predominant component of the blast furnace slag is glass which can amount up to 80%. In its vicinity, metallic precipitate as well as crystallites of periclase, dicalcium silicates and quartz can be found. With regard to the chemical composition of the slag, it was concluded that it meets the environmental and technical requirements regarding unbound and hydraulically bound mixtures. In case of the latter, in terms of its chemical composition, the slag meets the hydraulic activity category CA3. It also meets the chemical requirements for using it as a valuable addition to mortars and concretes, and it is useful in the production of CEM II Portland-composite cement, CEM III blast-furnace cement and CEM V composite cements. The blast furnace slag is a valuable raw material for cement production. Cement CEM III/C contains 81–95% of blast furnace slag in accordance with E N 197-1:2012. In 2019, the Polish cement industry used 1,939,387.7 tons of slag.
Authors and Affiliations
Andrzej Norbert Wieczorek
- Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Mining, Safety Engineering and Industrial Automation, Gliwice, Poland
- Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Gliwice, Poland
- Łukasiewicz Research Network, Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials, Refractory Materials Division in Gliwice, Poland
- Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Gliwice, Poland