Characterizing novel supplementary cementitious materials to reduce infrastructure costs and improve durability

Project ID: 19142
Principal Investigator: Catherine Lucero
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019, 2020 and 2021
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can new alternative supplementary cementitious materials be identified and used to improve cost and performance of concrete infrastructure?

Need and Benefit

¿There has been a shortage of available familiar supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) particularly in the
Western US. There have been several projects in which a suitable Class F fly ash or slag has not been available to
use in mass concrete.
¿There have been several small-scale studies on alternative materials. Many alternative materials (ie, rice husk ash)
have been studied more extensively abroad but have not been applied in the United States. There are several
promising materials, but many have not been tested or implemented in a large scale such as in transportation or
hydraulic infrastructure.
¿There is major potential cost savings in allowing the use of alternative cementitious materials. Many projects require
the use of SCMs either to mitigate deleterious reactions such as sulfate attack or alkali-silica reaction or to decrease
the heat of hydration. If they are not readily available locally, they must be brought in by rail or truck. This can add
enormous expense to a project.
¿In many instances, the ASCM is a recycled material. For example, reclaimed fly ash is fly ash that had been buried
and not considered fit for concrete. It can be processed (facilities in South Carolina and elsewhere) and "benefacted"
to meet ASTM C618 requirements. This increases the supply of available fly ash for construction while reducing
landfill waste.
¿If this research does not get funded, the research team funded by FHWA and lead by Dr. Jones will have less
experimental data to work with which can significantly affect their model calibration. Since the data Reclamation
would be providing is focused on Mass Concrete, it leaves a hole in the body of knowledge not just in large hydraulic
structures but also in transportation infrastructure containing mass concrete.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Alternative Cementitious Materials for Increased Concrete Durability (final, PDF, 1.7MB)
By Catherine Lucero
Report completed on September 30, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20