Utilization of Steel Slag in Construction Materials

Dr. Mridul Garg, Sr. Principal Scientist, Ms Nidhi Rani, Project Assistant, Environmental Science & Technology Division, and Ms. Aakanksha Pundir, (Research fellow), CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee

Introduction

In India over 300 million tones of industrial wastes are produced per annum from various chemical and agro-industrial processes like metallurgy, petrochemicals, fertilizers, paper and pulp industries etc. The effective disposal of these wastes create environmental pollution posing a health hazard to both human and animal life. Due to disposal trends, large areas of fertile land have become unproductive for agriculture purpose. Therefore, the utilization of industrial solid waste materials is becoming increasing important in the construction practice for energy, natural resources, and environment conservation considerations [1, 2].

Steel slag, a by-product of steel making, is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces. Slag whether granulated or crystalline is an important industrial waste which may be considered as a useful raw material for developing new building material to accrue to the national economy in the housing sector. The slag obtained from different sources can be utilized as supplementary raw materials in different construction applications such as concrete aggregate, hot-mix asphalt and granular materials as investigated by various researchers [3-6]. The industrial application of granulated blast furnace slag is due to their enormous power of activation. A number of studies have been carried out on the activation of granulated slag using different methods including alkali, lime and sulphate activation [7-10].

In contrast to blast furnace slag, which is volumetrically stable and has various applications in construction, steel slag from basic oxygen furnace (BOF) and electric arc furnace (EAF) contains free lime that can result in volumetric instability or unsoundness [11]. George et al [12] reported that because the structure of free lime in steel slag is denser due to the calcining temperature of approximately 17000C and the decreased ability for moisture to react with free lime under ambient temperature but at 5470C or above, steel slag expand volumetrically.

The rising demand for road construction led researchers to investigate for an economical and ecological pavement design. To achieve this objective, a systematic study is undertaken to replace the natural aggregate with steel slag and develop a pavement design for blocks and bricks. The mechanical properties and durability under water of the paver blocks and bricks are presented in the paper.

NBMCW June 2014

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