Mechanical properties of alkali-activated concrete: A state-of-the-art review

Yao Ding, Jianguo Dai, Cai Jun Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is a holistic review of current research on the mechanical properties of AAC including research on its compressive strength, tensile strength, elastic modulus, Poisson's ratio, stress–strain relationship under uniaxial compression, fracture properties, bond mechanism with steel reinforcement, dynamic mechanical properties, and high-temperature performance. Three types of AAC are reviewed: alkali-activated slag, alkali-activated fly ash, and alkali-activated slag-fly ash concretes. The applicability to AAC of design formulas found in codes of practice that were developed to estimate the basic mechanical performances of OPCC is also discussed. It is shown that, in general, AAC exhibits better bond performance with steel reinforcement and better strength performance after exposure to elevated temperatures than OPCC. For the other reviewed mechanical properties, the differences between AAC and OPCC largely depend on the proportions of raw materials in the concrete; specifically, the slag to fly ash ratio may be a very influential factor. As there is a trend to combine slag and fly ash in the production of AAC to achieve normal temperature curing and environmental friendliness, further research is deemed necessary to determine how the slag to fly ash ratio influences the fundamental mechanical properties of AAC and how this affects practical designs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Alkali-activated concrete
  • Dynamic mechanical properties
  • Fly ash
  • High-temperature performance
  • Slag
  • Static mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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