What is it about?

This work studies the mixture of the two types of slags, because the reducing slag (also called ladle slag) is a fine powder with cementing properties that can enhance the behavior of the mixture while avoiding the milling process. Toward the application in granular layers of transport infrastructures, the testing procedures to study the geotechnical behavior of this innovative stabilized mixture are discussed combining chemical, durability, environmental, and hydromechanical analysis. Seismic wave velocity measurements with ultrasonic transducers provide the elastic stiffness evolution with time derived from the cementation given by the ladle slag. Unconfined compression strength and permeability results were used to propose an index parameter to correlate the mixture dosage to the observed hydromechanical performance. Durability measurements with wetting and drying cycles, as well as swelling and leaching test results, are also presented.

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Why is it important?

An index ratio was proposed using the mixture porosity and the volumetric content of the ladle slag, and this ratio demonstrated to have a high correlation degree with unconfined compression strength, elastic stiffness, accumulated loss of mass and permeability at 28 days, indicating that this methodology developed for natural soils is still useful to describe the behaviour of artificial materials such as steel slags. The permeability tests performed at 1 and 28 days revealed a significant reduction during this period, indicating that curing time needs to be specified when performing permeability tests. The increase in stiffness due to cementation is preventing additional degradation.


The sustainable use of resources requires new strategies to transform industrial byproducts into raw materials for other applications. This approach, inspired by circular economy fundamentals, can be successfully applied in transportation infrastructures where a significant amount of natural raw materials is generally required.

Nelson Gomes Mica
CONSTRUCT-GEO Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Experimental Investigation to Analyze the Effect of Cementation on the Geomechanical Behavior of Steel Slag Mixtures, Geotechnical Testing Journal, August 2023, ASTM International,
DOI: 10.1520/gtj20220248.
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