Concrete with steel furnace slag and fractionated reclaimed asphalt pavement.
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Concrete with steel furnace slag and fractionated reclaimed asphalt pavement.

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    • Abstract:
      Steel furnace slag (SFS) is an industrial by-product material that can contain free calcium oxide (CaO) and free magnesium oxide (MgO), both

      of which can cause significant expansion when hydrated. SFS aggregates are therefore not commonly used in concrete, although SFS

      aggregates have been used as a high quality frictional aggregate for hot-mix asphalt (HMA) surface courses. The resultant fractionated reclaimed

      asphalt pavement (FRAP) when the HMA with SFS is removed has also seen little usage.

      This study aims to continue the previous work by the authors that indicated that up to 50% dolomite FRAP can be used in concrete as a

      replacement of coarse aggregate. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of SFS FRAP at 20% and 50% replacements of the

      coarse aggregate in concrete. In addition, the chemical, mineralogical, physical, and expansive properties of three SFS FRAP sources were

      investigated along with investigations of three virgin SFS sources for comparison.

      The chemical, mineralogical, and physical properties of the SFS FRAP and virgin SFS sources were similar to values presented in the literature.

      The estimated total free CaO content of the virgin SFS sources ranged from low (<0.1%) to high (3.4%), while the free CaO content of the SFS

      FRAP sources was estimated to be 1.0% to 1.5%. The free MgO content of the virgin SFS sources ranged from 0.2% to 2.2%. Autoclave

      expansion tests correlated well for the virgin SFS sources with regard to the free CaO content (i.e., high free CaO content resulted in high

      expansion), while the SFS FRAP with asphalt binder removed did expand, but not necessarily proportionally to the free CaO content. Autoclave

      expansion tests of the SFS FRAP with the asphalt binder resulted in contraction rather than expansion. The results validated the findings from

      other studies that have shown that SFS FRAP will not significantly expand because of the asphalt coating.

      Concrete tests revealed that the strength, modulus, shrinkage, and fracture properties were similar between concretes with SFS FRAP and with

      dolomite FRAP. The modulus of elasticity was slightly higher for concrete with SFS FRAP compared with dolomite FRAP, possibly because of the

      presence of the stiffer SFS aggregate. The fracture properties were statistically similar for concrete with and without SFS FRAP aggregates. The

      freeze/thaw durability was reduced with higher SFS FRAP contents, possibly because of the asphalt coating on the FRAP rather than the SFS in

      the FRAP, because the mixes with 100% virgin SFS exhibited superior freeze/thaw durability.

      Based on these findings, it is evident that SFS FRAP can retain free CaO and free MgO contents, despite years in service in a pavement layer

      and/or years being weathered in a stockpile. The presence of the asphalt coating hinders, but may not necessarily prevent, the hydration of the

      free CaO and free MgO in the SFS. Therefore, it is recommended that the SFS FRAP be tested for free CaO, free MgO, and asphalt contents and

      autoclave expansion potential prior to being utilized in a structural concrete layer. Immediate usage of SFS FRAP may not be detrimental for nonstructural

      applications, such as temporary roads or shoulders. To ensure that future SFS FRAP can be used in concrete pavements, the SFS that

      is presently used in HMA should be weathered and have low free CaO contents and low expansion potential.

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