Properties of Alkali-Activated Concrete Made Using the Optimum Combinations of Precursor Materials and Activation Parameters

Ibrahim N.A. Al-Duais, Shamsad Ahmad*, Mohammed A. Al-Osta, Mohammed Maslehuddin, Tawfik A. Saleh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the results of a study conducted to investigate the properties of alkali-activated concrete (AAC) mixtures prepared using the optimum combinations of four precursor materials (red mud, limestone powder, silicomanganese fume, and natural pozzolana) and four activation parameters (activator to precursor ratio, silica modulus, sodium hydroxide molarity, and water to precursor ratio). In order to examine the beneficial effects of inclusion of ordinary portland cement (OPC) and curing regimes on the properties of AAC, three dosages of OPC (in the range of 10% to 30% by weight) and two types of curing (steam and air curing) were considered. Tests were conducted on the mixtures of AAC to determine different properties that included the density, void ratio, water absorption, compressive and tensile strengths, modulus of elasticity, drying shrinkage, and loss of weight and strength after exposure to acid and sulfate salt solutions. Additionally, microstructural investigations (x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy) were conducted on the alkali-activated binders to justify the trends of the experimental data pertaining to different properties of the AAC mixtures. The results of the tests indicated that the properties of AAC were significantly affected by inclusion of OPC and curing regimes. It was found that almost all properties of the AAC were significantly enhanced when the OPC dosage was increased from 10% to 20%. Further, the AAC mixtures having more than 10% OPC exhibited better properties as compared to the traditional OPC concrete mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04024042
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Acid attack
  • Alkali-activated binders (AABs)
  • Concrete
  • Drying shrinkage
  • Mechanical properties
  • Sulfate attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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