Enhancement of Material Properties of Lime-Activated Slag Mortar from Intensified Pozzolanic Reaction and Pore Filling Effect
To utilize alkali-activated materials widely, this study investigates the effects of an intensified pozzolanic reaction and pore filling by silica fume on various material properties of lime-activated slag mortar. Although ground-granulated blast-furnace slag is classified as a cementitious material, it commonly requires an activator to enhance the performance of structural materials. In the first step of the improvement strategy, slag reaction is activated by hydrated lime. Next, silica fume
... Next, silica fume is added to densify the microstructure by the physical pore filling effect and/or the pozzolanic reaction that additionally forms hydration products. This increased the compressive strength by 18% at 28 days and by 25% at 91 days under ambient curing condition, mainly due to the physical effect. Moreover, elevated temperature curing for three days was highly effective to further improve the strength, and to accelerate strength development. This is because both the physical effect and the chemical reaction are effective at the high temperature curing condition. The conducted microstructural investigation provided the evidence for the intensified pozzolanic reaction and pore filling effect, both of which are closely related to the mechanical properties. It is also found that the use of silica fume positively contributes to the dimensional stability. Since the developed material exhibits high strength (>40 MPa after 14 days) without Portland cement or highly toxic chemicals, it can be practically used as an eco-friendly structural mortar.