Long-term strength of alkali-activated mortars with steel fibres cured in various conditions

Minhao Dong, Mohamed Elchalakani, Ali Karrech, Bo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The long-term effect of extreme conditions, such as high concentrations of CO2, a combination of chloride and air, and sulfuric acid, on the performance of steel fibre reinforced alkali-activated fly ash and slag (AAFS) mortars was investigated. The selected conditions simulated the long-term exposure to the marine environment and had an influence on both the matrix and the fibres. Four AAFS mixes were analysed alongside a control ordinary Portland cement (OPC) mix. Mechanical properties such as the compressive strength, elastic moduli and ductility indices, as well as microscopic analyses were carried out. It was found that the AAFS was stable in most of the conditions. The primary way for its reduction in strength was through the neutralisation of pore fluids and the leaching of sodium cations. The addition of the short fibres could reduce the ingress of deleterious materials by limiting the development of cracks and allowing for the efficient use of higher activator ratios. The fibres were susceptible to corrosion by chloride and acid attacks. The relatively chemically stable environment of the AAFS provided protection to the embedded fibres. Based on this study, in a very aggressive environment, a combination of 1%-2% fibre by volume, with a high activator content in the AAFS mortar, could be the most suitable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number278
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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