New insights into the hydration of slag in alkaline media using a micro-reactor approach

Prannoy Suraneni, Marta Palacios, Robert J. Flatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A micro-reactor approach, developed previously, is used to study the reactions of slag in alkaline media. Micron-sized gaps are milled in slag grains using a focused ion beam (FIB) and subsequently filled with alkaline solutions, leading to dissolution and hydration of the slag. After the hydration is stopped, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used to image the gaps. We present the effect of pH and nature of the alkaline solution on the slag dissolution and the hydrate morphology. The results obtained in this study confirm that the presence of aluminum and calcium in solution has a strong retarding effect on the slag dissolution. A major implication of these results is that in blended cements, the reactivity of slag probably suffers from the ions released by cement into solution. We show that strongly adsorbing superplasticizers inhibit the dissolution of slag, but only at lower alkali concentrations and C-S-H seeds may also inhibit the dissolution of slag under certain experimental conditions. The obtained results are compared and contrasted with results obtained for alite and tricalcium silicate previously reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalCement and Concrete Research
StatePublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkalis (D)
  • Dissolution
  • Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag (D)
  • Hydration (A)
  • SEM (B)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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