Improvement of the performance and microstructural development of alkali-activated slag blends

Shaoqin Ruan, Weiping Zhu, En Hua Yang, Yiwei Weng, Cise Unluer (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the performance and microstructural development of alkali-activated slag (AAS) blends containing hydromagnesite seeds. AAS blends with and without seeds were assessed by isothermal calorimetry, porosity, setting time and compressive strength measurements. The formation of hydrate phases was further investigated via XRD, TGA-DSC, FTIR and SEM analyses. AAS blends incorporating 2% hydromagnesite seeds revealed the best performance in terms of hydration kinetics, strength and microstructural development. The positive influence of seeds was highlighted via increased hydration rates and degrees, shortened setting times, higher compressive strengths and denser microstructures. These improvements were attributed to the provision of additional nucleation sites in the presence of seeds that enabled the increased formation of hydrate phases (e.g. C-(A)-S-H with more crosslinks forming between adjacent silicate chains) within the pore structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120017
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkali activated cement
  • Calcium-silicate-hydrate
  • Kinetics
  • Microstructure
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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