Effect of drying rate on shrinkage of alkali-activated slag cements

Hailong Ye, Christopher Cartwright, Farshad Rajabipour, Aleksandra Radlińska

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The volumetric instability of alkali-activated slag (AAS) binders has raised concerns and impeded the acceptance of this Portland cement-free material. The objective of this article is to characterize the influence of drying rate on drying shrinkage behavior of AAS mortars to better understand the mechanisms responsible for its large shrinkage deformation. A series of four AAS mortar mixtures with varying activator composition, as well as a reference Portland cement mortar, was cast and dried at different relative humidities, that is, 30, 50, 70, and 85% RH. Drying took place inside nitrogen-purged environmental chambers for the purpose of eliminating the contribution of carbonation to the total volumetric change of AAS. The shrinkage and corresponding mass loss of 1.27 cm × 1.27 cm × 12.7 cm prisms were measured as a function of time. The results show that shrinkage of AAS varies largely depending on the drying rate, that is, ambient RH. Interestingly, even though the drying mass loss increases with reducing the RH, the magnitude of shrinkage is the largest for samples stored at 50 and 70% RH, depending on the mixture type. Possible causes of these irregular behaviors are discussed. It is concluded that the drying rate has a much more significant influence on AAS than on ordinary Portland cement (OPC), which implies a more complicated shrinkage mechanism for AAS samples stored at various relative humidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2014
Event4th International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, ICDCS 2014 - West Lafayette, IN, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2014Jul 26 2014


Other4th International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, ICDCS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWest Lafayette, IN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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