Predicting the degree of reaction of supplementary cementitious materials in cementitious pastes using a pozzolanic test

Sivakumar Ramanathan, Hoon Moon, Michael Croly, Chul Woo Chung, Prannoy Suraneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A pozzolanic test that can correctly identify pozzolanic materials is key in the search for alternative supplementary cementitious material (SCMs). Determination of the degree of reaction of these alternative SCMs in cementitious pastes is also important, as the reactivity of certain SCMs can be quite low. Since typical methods to determine SCM degree of reaction can be complex and laborious, the current study explores whether parameters obtained from a newly developed pozzolanic test can potentially be used to develop a simple method for determining the degree of reaction of SCMs. In the pozzolanic test, (cumulative) heat release and calcium hydroxide consumption of SCMs from a mixture of SCM and calcium hydroxide (water-to-solids ratio 0.9, pH 13.5, and testing temperature of 50 °C) are measured. Corresponding values of cumulative heat release and calcium hydroxide consumption of SCMs in a cementitious paste are also measured at two different water-cementitious materials (w/cm) ratios. The ratio between the values of cumulative heat release and the calcium hydroxide consumption in the cementitious paste and the pozzolanic test are considered to be measures of degree of reaction. Four different SCMs – class F fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag, metakaolin, and undensified silica fume were tested in this study. The effect of temperature and w/cm on degree of reaction were assessed. Degree of reaction values obtained from this method were compared with those from obtained from a portlandite consumption method suggested in literature and from typical values suggested in literature. Good correlation (R2 = 0.87) is obtained for the degree of reaction values determined here using the calcium hydroxide ratio and the portlandite consumption method. The degree of reaction values increase as the temperature increases but do not strongly depend on w/cm. The degree of reaction values are in general agreement with the range of values obtained from literature, however, this range is rather large, and the values depend strongly on the method used to determine degree of reaction. These preliminary results are promising and suggest that this method may potentially be used to provide information about pozzolanicity and degree of reaction of various SCMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-630
Number of pages10
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - Apr 20 2019



  • Isothermal calorimetry
  • Pozzolanicity
  • Supplementary cementitious materials
  • Thermogravimetric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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