The Effect of Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (Slag Cement) on the Drying Shrinkage of Concrete - A Critical Review of the Literature


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Title: The Effect of Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (Slag Cement) on the Drying Shrinkage of Concrete - A Critical Review of the Literature

Author(s): R.D. Hooton, K. Stanish, J.P. Angel, and J. Prusinski

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 263


Appears on pages(s): 79-94

Keywords: drying shrinkage; review; slag cement.

Date: 10/1/2009

This report details the results of a critical review of the literature on the effect of ground, granulated, blast-furnace slag (slag cement) and slag-blended cements on the drying shrinkage of concrete. Drying shrinkage values from the literature were collected, and concretes containing slag were compared to otherwise identical concretes that did not contain slag. Overall, while individual data may indicate a higher drying shrinkage, on average, the drying shrinkage for concretes containing slag cement was the same as concretes without slag. From examination of the data it was determined that the only parameter of the mixture design that had a significant influence on the drying shrinkage was the total aggregate volume. Any increase in drying shrinkage of the slag cement concrete was typically reduced with increasing aggregate content. The level of slag replacement and the w/cm of the concrete mixture were not found to affect the relative drying shrinkage, at least over the typical range used for concrete mix designs. The relative values of the drying shrinkage were also unaffected by whether slag cement was added as a separate ingredient or if a blended hydraulic cement containing slag was used. The aggregate content of concretes made with slag was often lower than a comparable concrete made without slag due to the lower density of the slag relative to portland cement when slag cement was used as a replacement on an equal mass basis, rather than on an equal volume basis. A correction for this would reduce any additional shrinkage attributable to the use of slag cement. In addition, the increase in relative shrinkage of some slag-containing concretes may, in several cases, also be partially due to the reduced gypsum content of the cementitious mixture, although this is unclear and needs further investigation. Although the data are limited, the restrained shrinkage cracking of concrete containing slag appears to be less than that of concrete without slag. Cracking was delayed to later ages and resulted in smaller total crack widths. The effect of the inclusion of slag on restrained cracking needs to be further investigated.