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The Business Case for Slag. Daksh Baweja Principal Engineer Rinker Australia. Peter Ney Technical Services Manager Readymix. Highlights. We have known for a long time the benefits of slag in concrete Now widely used Concern over ongoing slag supply capability of our industry

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The Business Case for Slag

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The business case for slag l.jpg

The Business Case for Slag

Daksh Baweja

Principal Engineer

Rinker Australia

Peter Ney

Technical Services Manager


Highlights l.jpg


  • We have known for a long time the benefits of slag in concrete

  • Now widely used

    • Concern over ongoing slag supply capability of our industry

  • Slags provide solutions to future challenges

  • To address sustainability and other challenges we need

    • New methods of design/specification of concrete structures

    • Better ways to administer constructional requirements

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  • Slag – how was it used

    • Usage data from 1980’s in Australia and overseas

    • R&D on slag concrete structures

  • Current Use

  • Future issues

    • Construction and design of structures

    • Sustainable development

    • Slag positioning

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Use of GGBFS in Concrete (1986)(After Malhotra – SCM’s Review of North American ExperienceConcrete Workshop 88)

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Estimated Sales of GGBFS for Concrete(After Ryan – SCM’s Review of Australian Experience – Concrete Workshop 88)

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What Was Happening with Slag in Concrete in Early 1990’s

  • Many R&D programs under way

  • Durability of concrete a big issue in design and research

  • CSIRO and others doing significant research into slag and SCM’s

  • A big push to create awareness of the product in the market

    • Hinczak

    • Jones

    • Sirivivatnanon and Cao

  • ASA launched in 1991

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Where Was Slag Used?Earlier Australian Studies

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Slag Concretes InvestigatedEarlier Australian Studies

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Concrete Data After Long-Term Service

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How Were Slag Concretes Performing?Results from 1990

  • Slag concretes performed extremely well compared with portland cement concretes

  • Major causes of problems was low specified strengths

    • Knowledge of durability not available when structures constructed

  • Clearly, slag had a place in concrete construction

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  • Used both as

    • Blended cement and

    • Direct addition to concrete mixes

  • Often used in conjunction with other SCM’s

  • Used in Normal Class and Special Class concretes

  • Used as a binder and aggregate

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Extensively used


Western Australia

Used commonly




Recognition of product and what it can do

Slag Aggregates

Used where available

Incorporated into AS2758.1

Benefits recognised by some specifiers

Slag in Concrete

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Normal-Class Concrete

20 MPa to 50 MPa

Slump 20 mm to120 mm

Agg size: 10 mm, 14 mm or 20 mm

Density:2100 to 2800 kg/m3

AEA: Up to 5%

60% by volume

Special-Class Concrete

Addresses specific design requirement

More complex

Testing requirements need to be specified in design

f’c and slump (two major parameters)AS3600 and AS1379

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What Drives Concrete Specifications and Use

  • Design requirements

    • Compressive strength (f’c)

    • Mechanical properties

    • Durability properties

  • Constructional requirements

    • Pumping requirements

    • Placement requirements

    • Finishing requirements

  • Above requirements define materials

    • Binders (like slag)

    • Aggregates (including slag)

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Current Issues with Slag and Concrete Construction

  • Construction driving the agenda more

  • Areas were more information is needed

    • Sustainable development

      • Rating systems

      • Lack of knowledge (silos)

    • Early age behaviour of concrete

      • More optimised construction

      • Management of serviceability issues

  • Need to understand legislative framework of concrete (and slag) in construction

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State legislation (governs building)

Regulations & Codes

Provide advice

Legally enforceable

Cover things like


Building Code of Australia


Represent good practice (minimum)

Two types

Primary (called up by regulation)

Secondary (called up by primary document)



Overcome practical issues

Can have legal influence

Legislation, Codes, Standards & Guidelines

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Building Code of Australia

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Building Code of AustraliaGeneral Provisions

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Building Code of AustraliaStructure

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Structure Types in AS3600

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Supplement 1


Design of Concrete


Supply of Concrete


Supplement 1

AS1012 Concrete

AS3972 Cement

AS3582 Supplementary Cementitious Materials

AS2758 Aggregates

AS1478 Admixtures

Sampling and Testing

Constituent Materials

Concrete Standards RoadmapAS3600 and AS1379 under review

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Sustainable DevelopmentWhere to next?

  • Current rating systems have significant problems

    • Building fabric complex

    • Requirements legislated

    • Lot of data and knowledge

    • Not reflected in systems

  • Need a design framework to consider the many factors

  • Need a similar framework to consider constructional requirements

  • This needs to be economically viable

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Business Case for Slag

  • We knew a long time ago that it was a material of opportunity

  • Now widely used

  • Can provide solutions to future problems

  • To address sustainability and other challenges, new design and constructional frameworks needed

  • Need consistent supply of material

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