Safeer Abbas 1,Wasim Abbass, Moncef L. NehdiA li Ahmed and Muhammad Yousaf
Considering its superior engineering properties, ultrahigh performance concrete (UHPC) has emerged as a strong contender to replace normal strength concrete (NSC) in diverse construction applications.
While the mechanical properties of UHPC have been thoroughly explored, there is still dearth of studies that quantify the durability of UHPC, especially for sustainable mixtures made with local materials. Therefore, this research aims at investigating the alkali-silica reactivity (ASR) potential in sustainable UHPC in comparison with that of NSC.
Sustainable UHPC mixtures were prepared using waste untreated coal ash (CA), raw slag (RS), and locally produced steel fibers. UHPC and benchmark NSC specimens were cast for assessing the compressive strength, flexural strength, and ASR expansion.
Specimens were exposed to two curing regimes: accelerated ASR conditions (as per ASTM C1260) and normal water curing. UHPC specimens incorporating RS achieved higher compressive and flexural strengths in comparison with that of identical UHPC specimens made with CA. ASR expansion of control NSC specimens exceeded the ASTM C1260 limits (>0.20% at 28 days). Conversely, experimental results demonstrate that UHPC specimens incurred much less ASR expansion, well below the ASTM C1260 limits.
Moreover, UHPC specimens incorporating steel fibers exhibited lower expansion compared to that of companion UHPC specimens without fibers. It was also observed that the mechanical properties of NSC specimens suffered more drastic degradation under accelerated ASR exposure compared to UHPC specimens.
Interestingly, UHPC specimens exposed to accelerated ASR conditions attained higher mechanical properties compared to that of reference identical specimens cured in normal water. Therefore, it can be concluded that ASR exposure had insignificant effect on sustainable UHPC incorporating CA and RS, especially for specimens incorporating fibers. Results indicate that UHPC is a robust competitor to NSC for the construction of mega-scale projects where exposure to ASR conducive conditions prevails.
ultrahigh performance concrete; normal strength concrete; alkali-silica reaction; expansion; strength degradation; coal ash; raw slag; steel fiber