Comparison of Testing Methods for Evaluating the Resistance of Alkali-Activated Blast Furnace Slag Systems to Sulfur Dioxide

Alkali-activated systems (AAS) represent an ecologically and economically sustainable inorganic binder as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). One of the main benefits of AAS is their durability in aggressive environments, which can be equal or even better than that of OPC. In this paper, the influence of the type of alkaline activator in alkali-activated blast furnace slag (AAS) in terms of resistance to sulfur dioxide corrosion was investigated. The durability testing process was based on the CSN EN ISO 3231 standard and simultaneously compared with mortar samples prepared by using Blastfurnace cement CEM III/A 32.5R. The degradation progress was evaluated by employing several different methods such as observing the compressive strength development, weight change evaluation, non-destructive testing methods like ultrasound or impact echo technique, or visual phenolphthalein technique. Subsequently, fundamental characterization of samples by the XRD method was performed during the degradation test. The obtained results indicate that none of the testing methods used could be prioritized over others to determine the resistance of AAS against the action of sulfur dioxide. For this reason, the durability testing of AAS remains an issue, and the development of specific standards considering the behavior of AAS seems necessary.
Materials . 2022, vol. 15, issue 4, p. 1-16.
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