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Comparison of engineering and durability properties of fly ash blended cement concrete made in UK and Malaysia

N. Shafiq*, M. F. Nuruddin and I. Kamaruddin


Annual global production of fly ash is y66108 ton out of which only 20 to 25% is utilised in the construction industry. Largely it is used as a partial replacement of cement for producing concrete. Properties of such concrete depend on the chemical composition of fly ash, source and method of burning of coal in power stations, etc. The present paper presents a comparative study on the properties on concrete containing fly ash obtained from two different sources, Drax Power Station, UK and Manjung Power Station, Malaysia. Fly ash obtained from Malaysia contained 11?47%CaO and its particles were coarser than the fly ash obtained from Drax, UK, which contained less calcium oxide (2?55%). Malaysian fly ash concrete required more water to achieve the targeted slump of 555 mm of fresh concrete, such concrete showed 4 to 7% high porosity and 27 to 36% low compressive strength as compared with the porosity and compressive strength of the concrete made with Drax, UK fly ash.
Keywords: Fly Ash, Slump, Total porosity, Compressive strength, Porositystrength relationship

Introduction
Fly ash is a byproduct obtained from combustion of pulverised coal in thermal power plants. Its physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties are dependent on the type and source of coal, type of combustion system, combustion temperature, type of pollution control system used, etc. World annual utilisation of coal for generating electricity in power stations is y486109 ton, which produces y66108 ton of y ash.1 The pozzolanic and cementitious properties of y ash make it a useful cement replacement material for producing high performance concrete. Its major constituents are SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, and CaO; their relative percentages mainly depend on the type of coal burned at the power plant. Fly ash obtained from burning of bituminous coals like anthracite contains relatively low amounts of calcium oxide, CaO and is known as low calcium y ash. Burning of sub-bituminous coals like lignite results in ash with higher CaO content and may be called high calcium y ash. ASTM classies low calcium y ash as class F and the high calcium y ash as class C.2 Low calcium y ash with proper composition possesses pozzolanic properties, where as high calcium y ash has hydraulic properties. In the last decade, y ash has increasingly been used as a major cement replacement material. Despite this, .80% is disposed of as waste material.3

At present y28% of electricity in Malaysia is generated by pulverised coal ring, which consumes y86106 ton of coal annually and 65% generated by natural gas. In order to reduce the dependency on natural gas as a main fuel for electricity generation, in 2004 the government of Malaysia decided that by 2010 the share of coal in the fuel mix for electricity generation would rise to y40%. Increased use of coal burning in thermal power plants will increase the production of y ash to an estimated 2?56106 to 36106 ton per annum. The purpose of the present study was to establish research data on properties of concrete incorporating y ash as obtained from Malaysian sources and to compare this with the properties of concrete containing y ash from UK sources. Research on y ash in concrete in UK and Europe is very well established and included as standard in code documents of the new BritishEuro standards, BS EN 450 (Ref. 4) and establishing comparison to the present work may help the concrete manufacturer in Malaysia to appropriately use the Malaysian y ash in concrete production. For this purpose, a set of laboratory tests were conducted at the University of Leeds UK (UL) and a contemporary set of laboratory tests were conducted at the University Technology PETRONAS (UTP) in Malaysia. Identical concrete mix proportions were used and a constant value of 555 mm of slump was maintained in both labs.

Experimental
Department of Civil Engineering, University Technology PETRONAS, 31750, Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia *Corresponding author, email nasirshafiq@petronas.com.my

Material properties and mix proportion


Six different concrete mixes were prepared with binder (OPC and y ash), sand and gravel in the ratio by weight
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Published by Maney on behalf of the Institute Received 25 April 2005; accepted 30 July 2007 DOI 10.1179/174367607X228089

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Comparison of engineering and durability properties of cement concrete

Table 1 Chemical composition of y ash obtained from different sources Percentage, % Oxide composition SiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3 CaO MgO SO3 K2O Na2O Specific gravity fineness, m2 kg21 Drax, UK 50.20 28.59 13.17 2.55 1.28 0.57 2.39 0.98 2.40 306 Manjung, Malaysia 56.39 17.57 9.07 11.47 0.98 0.55 1.98 1.91 2.37 243

porosity and oxygen permeability at 3, 7, 28, 90 and 180 days. For each of the tests, compressive strength, total porosity and oxygen permeability three samples were tested. Concrete cubes of dimension 15061506150 mm were cast in standard steel moulds for compressive strength test, according to British Standards BS 8110, 1997. For total porosity test 50 mm diameter 40 mm thick cylindrical discs were cored from concrete planks of dimensions 4006200640 mm. Oven dried cylindrical discs those were used for the total porosity test were preserved in air/water tight bags for onwards use for the oxygen permeability test. Twenty four hours after casting, all specimens cubes and planks were stripped from the moulds and samples were placed in water bath for curing until the designated ages for testing.

of 1 : 2?33 : 3?5 were chosen based on achieving maximum packing of aggregates and minimum porosity. Three of the mixes denoted by UK0, UK30 and UK40 were prepared at UL and the other three MY0, MY30 and MY40 were made at UTP; 0, 30 and 40 in the above mix designation indicates the percentage of partial replacement of cement by y ash in concrete. The OPC used complied with the requirements of BS EN 197-1.5 Ordinary Portland cement, OPC from Castle Cement UK was used for concrete mixes produced in UK where OPC from Malayan Cement Malaysia was used for concrete mixes made in Malaysia. Sand and the gravels conforming to BS 882 (Ref. 6) were used as ne and coarse aggregates respectively. For concrete mixes produced at the University of Leeds, UK y ash from Drax power station was used; it was ASTM Class F y ash, for concrete mixes prepared at the UTP, Malaysia y ash was obtained from Manjung power station at Lumut, Perak. Chemical composition and physical properties of y ash as obtained from two different sources are given in Table 1, the data of Malaysian y ash was furnished by the material supplier and results were certied by the SIRIM Berhad Malaysia; the Malaysian standards institute. Table 2 shows the details of concrete mixes, their proportions and targeted slump values. In order to compare the properties of the two sets of concrete mixes prepared in UK and Malaysia; workability of all concrete mixes in terms of slump was targeted to 555 mm. For all concrete mixes various trials of water/binder (w/b) ratio were chosen until the targeted slump value was achieved, chosen w/b ratio for all concrete mixes is given in Table 2. The slump was kept constant to reect Malaysian site practice.

Testing of specimen
Compressive strength

Concrete cubes at the dened ages were tested in accordance with British Standards, BS 1881, Part 116;7 a universal hydraulic testing machine with a maximum capacity of 500 kN was used to test the specimens.
Total porosity

Total porosity of concrete was determined by a vacuum saturation method developed by RILEM CP 113 (Ref. 8) and explained by Shaq and Cabrera.9 At the dened ages for testing, three 50 mm diameter discs were cored out from concrete planks. Total Porosity of the samples was determined using equation as below P%~ Ws {Wd |100 Ws {Ww (1)

where P is the total porosity in percentage, Ws is the mass of saturated samples measured in the air Wd is the mass of oven dried samples measured in the air, and Ww mass of saturated samples measured in water, all mass measurements are in g.
Measurement of oxygen permeability

Casting, preparation and curing of specimens


Concrete samples were cast and cured to provide samples for determining the compressive strength, total
Table 2 Details of concrete mixes Cement, OPC Mix type UK0 UK30 UK40 MY0 MY30 MY40 kg m23 325 227.5 195 325 227.5 195 Source Castle cement Fly ash, FA kg m23 0 97.5 130 0 97.5 130 Source

Oxygen permeability of cylindrical concrete samples of 50 mm diameter and 40 mm thick was determined using recently installed permeability testing rigs in the Concrete Technology Laboratory at UTP. The permeability rigs at UTP were fabricated according to the design of the permeability rigs installed at UL. Cylindrical concrete samples that were previously used for determination of total porosity were preserved in air/ water tight bags for onwards use for measurement of oxygen permeability. The coefcient of oxygen permeability was calculated by modied Darcys equation (2) as follows9

Sand kg m23 757 757 757 757 757 757

Gravel kg m23 1137 1137 1137 1137 1137 1137

Slump mm 555 555 555 555 555 555 w/c* 0.550 0.490 0.480 0.560 0.525 0.515

Drax, UK

Malayan cement

Manjung, MY

*Water cement ratio.

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1 Total porosity P of different concrete with 1 standard deviation, %

2 Compressive strength fcu of different concrete with 1 standard deviation, MPa

2mpout QL K~ 2 A pin {p2 out

(2)

where K is the intrinsic permeability of concrete in m2, m is dynamic viscosity of owing uid (for oxygen at 20uC, dynamic viscosity is 2?02610216 N s m22) pout is the outlet pressure, that is equal to 1 bar at standard temperature and pressure, and pin is the inlet pressure, which was kept between 1 to 4 bar,9 q is the gas ow rate in m3 s21, L is the thickness in mm and A is the crossectional area of c in m2 of cylindrical disc.

Comparing the effects of y ash obtained from Drax, UK and Manjung, Malaysia on total porosity of concrete, it was noted that concrete containing Drax UK y ash yielded 47% lower porosity that the total porosity of concrete containing Malaysian y ash. It is due to the fact that the y ash obtained from Drax is ner than the Malaysian y ash as shown in Table 1. The total porosity of concrete is an important characteristic that controls its compressive strength and durability.

Concrete compressive strength


Figure 2 illustrates the compressive strength test results of different concrete mixes. It was noted that at early ages up to 14 days y ash concrete exhibited 3548% lower compressive strength as compared to the compressive strength of concrete containing no y ash. Fly ash is a pozzolanic material and its effect on strength starts after 28 days when the pozzolanic reaction starts. It was observed that after 28 days, concrete containing y ash continued to gain compressive strength, whereas concrete without y ash gained ,5% further strength after 28 days. After 90 days and 180 days UK y ash concrete exhibited about 42% and 7780% increment in strength respectively as compared to the 28 days strength. Similarly, with concrete mixes containing Malaysian y ash, increments of 5052% and 6575% were observed. From the preceding discussion, it can be noted that there was almost similar trend in post 28 days strength development for concrete containing UK and Malaysian y ash. At 180 days, about 37% higher compressive strength of UK y ash concrete was observed as compared to no y ash concrete, whereas slightly lowered strength was observed with concrete contained Malaysian y ash. Compressive strength of concrete containing Malaysian y was observed 2746% lower than the corresponding concrete mixes containing UK y ash. It is due to facts that the UK y ash is ner and possessed low calcium oxide as compared to the Malaysian y ash, which caused the higher pozzolanic reaction in UK y ash concrete than the Malaysian y ash concrete.

Results and discussion


Fly ash from Drax UK versus from Manjung Malaysia
Chemical analysis of y ashes obtained from two sources is given in Table 1, it was observed that the y ash obtained from Drax, UK contained very low calcium oxide as 2?55% and the y ash obtained from Manjung, Malaysia contained 11?47%CaO. The silica content was determined as 50 and 56% respectively in UK and Malaysian ashes. There are huge differences between the UK and the Malaysian y ash. Not only are the Si contents different, but so are the Al contents, and the Si/Al ratios are 2 and 3 for the UK and Malaysian y ash respectively. Fineness modulus of the two ashes shows that the ash obtained from Malaysia was coarser than the ash obtained from Drax UK. In general based on the chemical analysis results, it would be expected that the UK y ash possess better pozzolanic properties than that of Malaysian ash.

Properties of fresh concrete


The target value of slump of 555 mm was kept constant for all concrete mixes. It was observed (Table 2) that the y ash reduced the water demand. Comparing the w/(czf) ratio it was noted that the UK y ashes reduced the w/(czf) ratio to ,0?5 while achieving the target slump. Therefore, concrete mixes incorporating Drax, UK y ash would be more workable with less water demand; hence higher durability can be achieved.

Total porosity of concrete


Figure 1 shows the values of total porosity of different concrete samples. It was observed that the total porosity of concrete mixes made with 100% cement was 514% higher than the total porosity of the concrete containing y ash at all ages of testing.

Total porositystrength relationship


In Fig. 3 compressive strength of both mixes are plotted against their respective values of the total porosity. The correlation between porosity and strength was nonlinear,10 with a power function as the best tted curve. It is observed that there is a wider gap between two tted

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4 Coefcient of oxygen permeability log K of different concrete with 1 standard deviation, m2 3 Total porosity P and compressive strength fcu relationship with 1 standard deviation

curves at higher porosity as 11%; such gap tends to become closer at lower porosity as 8%, the probable reason would be differences in laboratory conditions, material properties and ambient environmental conditions between UK and Malaysia.

to ve times higher than the coefcient of permeability of the corresponding concrete mix containing y ash. Lower coefcient of oxygen permeability of y ash containing concrete can enhance the durability of concrete than the concrete containing no y ash.

Relationship between porosity, compressive strength and permeability


All three parameters porosity, compressive strength and permeability control the durability of concrete and to some extent all these parameters are interrelated. Cabrera (1989),11 presented two models; one for OPC concrete and the other for y ash concrete of the relationship between porosity, compressive strength and oxygen permeability, the models are well accepted by researches and referred in many publications. Cabrera (1989) model for OPC mixes   :54z1:11 log P log K~{15 fcu (3) 2 :71 R ~0 Cabrera (1989) model for OPC/PFA mixes   P log K~{15:95z1:01 log fcu R ~0:85
2

Oxygen permeability
Table 3 shows the measured coefcients of oxygen permeability of different concrete mixes; their corresponding logarithmic values are plotted in Fig. 4. Coefcient of oxygen permeability followed the same trend as observed in porosity and compressive strength. In general, Malaysian mixes showed higher permeability as compared to their corresponding UK mixes. Effects of age were also observed to be very signicant on lowering the permeability of the same mix. For example for concrete mix UK0, coefcient of permeability, K at the age of three days was measured 21 times higher than the coefcient of permeability measured at the age of 90 days. Similarly, for concrete mix, MY0 the coefcient of permeability at the age of 3 days was obtained as 24 times higher than the coefcient of permeability measured at the age of 90 days. In case of UK concrete mixes containing y ash, the coefcient of permeability at the age of 3 days was measured 4247 times more than the coefcient of permeability measured at the age of 90 days, similarly for Malaysian y ash mixes coefcient of oxygen permeability at the age of three days was measured 3538 times greater than that measured at the age of 90 days. More signicant reduction in y ash mixes at later age is due to faster pozzolanic reaction took place after the age of 28 days. In general coefcient of oxygen permeability of concrete mixes containing no y ash was measured four
Table 3 Coefcient of oxygen permeability K of different concrete mixes, m2 Coefficient of oxygen permeability K, m2 Age at testing, day Mix type UK0 UK30 UK40 MY0 MY30 MY40 3 7.16E-17 3.22E-17 3.51E-17 1.42E-16 1.20E-16 1.18E-16 7 4.23E-17 9.73E-18 1.08E-17 7.66E-17 4.90E-17 5.24E-17 28 1.01E-17 1.92E-18 2.25E-18 1.94E-17 1.30E-17 1.47E-17 90 3.36E-18 7.06E-19 7.27E-19 5.81E-18 3.14E-18 2.98E-18

(4)

Similarly for the present research study porosity, permeability and compressive strength results for concrete containing no y ash and concrete containing y ash were plotted in Fig. 5, the following statistical correlations were obtained. Porosity, compressive strength and permeability relationship for no y ash concrete   P log K~{14:93z3:10 log fcu (5) R2 ~0:81 Porosity, compressive strength and permeability relationship for y ash concrete   P log K~{15:88z2:89 log fcu (6) R2 ~0:95 When compared the correlations obtained in the present study for with that presented by Cabrera (1989)   there were some difference found in the coefcient of log
P fcu

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5 Relationship between porosity to compressive strength ratio log (P/fcu) and coefcient of oxygen permeability, log K with 1 standard deviation

however values of constant are quite comparable, the   difference between coefcients of log fP would be due cu to wide range of data included in Cabrera (1989) model.

9. While there appeared to be differences between the UK and Malaysian systems, the errors in the measurements mean that such differences should be treated with caution.

Conclusions
Based on the above results and discussions following conclusions are made. 1. There are differences between the UK and the Malaysian y ash. Not only are the Si contents different, but also are the Al contents, and the Si/Al ratios are 2 and 3 for the UK and Malaysian y ash respectively. Malaysian y ash is much coarser than the UK y ash and that the Ca contents are also different. 2. Workability, compressive strength and total porosity of concrete were affected by both source and amount of y ash. 3. Fly ash obtained from Manjung Power Station, Malaysia was coarse and contained a higher content of calcium oxide as compared to the y ash obtained from Drax Power Station, UK. 4. Concrete containing Manjung, Malaysia y ash required more water to achieve the targeted slump of 55 5 mm; thus exhibited lower strength and higher porosity as compared with the concrete made of Drax, UK y ash. 5. At early age up to 14 days compressive strength in y ash concrete was developed to a very low level as compared to the strength developed in control mix. 6. At the age of 180 days y ash concrete showed better strength than control concrete. 7. Effects of age on the coefcient of oxygen permeability were more signicant on y ash concrete than the OPC concrete. 8. Coefcient of permeability of y ash concrete was reduced to y20% of the coefcient of permeability of OPC concrete.

Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge students and technicians Mr Lau, Mr Fong and Mr Johan for producing test data at Concrete Technology Laboratory at UTP, Tronoh, Malaysia. The authors would like to extend the acknowledgement to the department of civil engineering at University of Leeds for providing data on UK concrete.

References
1. International energy outlook, Report of Energy Information Administration, USA, 2007. 2. American Standards for Testing of Materials, ASTM C61880, 1980. 3. P. K. Mehta: Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on Fly ash, slag, silica fume and natural pozzolans in concrete, Trondheim, Norway, June 1989, ACI-CANMAT, 143. 4. Fly ash for concrete: definitions, requirements and conformity criteria, BS EN 450-1, BSI, 2005. 5. BS EN 197-1, Specifications for Portland cement, BSI, London, 2002. 6. Specifications for aggregates from natural sources for concrete, BS 882, BSI, London, 1992. 7. Method for determination of compressive strength of concrete, BS 1881, Part 116, BSI, London, 1983. 8. RILEM: Mater. Struct., 1984, 17, (101), 393394. 9. N. Shafiq and J. G. Cabrera: Cement Concr. Compos., 2004, 26, 381387. 10. K. Wesche: Fly ash in concrete: properties and performance; 1991, London, RILEM. 11. J. G. Cabrera, A. R. Cusens and C. J. Lynsdale: Proc. IABSE Symp. on Durability of structures, Vol. 57/1, 249254; 1989, Lisbon, IABSE.

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