Influence of the synergy between mineral additions and Portland cement in the physical-mechanical properties of ternary binders


  • Á. Fernández Eduardo Torroja Institute for Construction Science, IETcc-CSIC
  • M. C. Alonso Eduardo Torroja Institute for Construction Science, IETcc-CSIC
  • J. L. García-Calvo Eduardo Torroja Institute for Construction Science, IETcc-CSIC
  • B. Lothenbach Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Concrete and Construction Chemistry



Blended cement, Hydration, Physical properties, Mechanical properties


The paper deals with the synergistic effect of mineral additions on the physical-mechanical performance of ternary blends prepared with different Portland cements (PC). The effect in setting and heat flow release is also analyzed. The mineral additions used are blast furnace slag (BFS), fly ash (FA) and limestone filler (LF). PCs with different C3A and alkali content have been tested to study the synergy in ternary blends. Ternary binders with PC low in C3A and alkali content achieve similar mechanical strength gain as plain PC and refinement of pore size distribution from early hydration ages due to the acceleration of PC hydration induced by the mineral additions. In contrast, ternary binders with PC higher in C3A and alkali content have a delayed in mechanical strength at early hydration ages, but significantly higher at long hydration times.


Download data is not yet available.


The European Cement Association.

Schneider, M.; Romer, M.; Tschudin, M.; Bolio, H. (2011) Sustainable cement production-present and future. Cem. Concr. Res. 41, 642–650.

Damtoft, J.S.; Lukasik, J.; Herfort, D.; Sorrentino, D.; Gartner, E.M. (2008) Sustainable development and climate change initiatives. Cem. Concr. Res. 38, 115–127.

Deja, J.; Uliasz-Bochencyzk, A.; Mokrycki, E. (2010) CO2 emissions from Polish cement industry. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 4, 583–588.

De Weerdt, K.; Kjellsen, K.O.; Sellevold, E.; Justnes, H. (2011) Synergy between fly ash and limestone powder in ternary cements. Cem. Concr. Comp. 33, 30–38.

Roy, D.M, (1999) Alkali-activated cements Opportunities and challenges. Cem. Concr. Res. 29, 249–254.

Puertas, F.; Fernández-Jiménez, A. (2003) Mineralogical and microstructural characterisation of alkali-activated fly ash/slag pastes. Cem. Concr. Comp. 25, 287–292.

Puertas, F.; Torres-Carrasco, M. (2014) Use of glass waste as an activator in the preparation of alkali-activated slag. Mechanical strength and paste characterization. Cem. Concr. Res. 57, 95–104.

Sanjuán, M.Á. (2013) Los cementos ternarios y visión general del futuro de las normas de especificaciones de cementos comunes, Madrid. docs/3_Los_cementos_ternarios_y_visi%F3n_general_del_futuro.pdf.

Wu, Z.; Naik, T.R. (2002) Properties of concrete produced from multicomponent blended cements. Cem. Concr. Res. 32, 1937–1942.

Carrasco, M.F.; Menéndez, G.; Bonavetti, V.; Irassar, E.F. (2005) Strength optimization of "tailor-made cement" with limestone filler and blast furnace slag. Cem. Concr. Res. 35, 1324–1331.

Bonavetti, V.; Donza, H.; Menéndez, G.; Cabrera, O.; Irassar, E.F. (2003) Limestone filler cement in low w/c concrete: A rational use of energy, Cem. Concr. Res. 33, 865–871.

Ortega, J.M.; Sánchez, I.; Climent, M.Á. (2013) Influence of different curing conditions on the pore structure and the early age properties of mortars with fly ash and blastfurnace slag. Mater. Construcc. 63, 219–234.

Bijen, J. (1996) Benefits of slag and fly ash. Constr. Build. Mat 10, 309–314.

Menéndez, G.; Bonavetti, V.; Irassar, E.F. (2003) Strength development of ternary blended cement with limestone filler and blast-furnace slag. Cem. Concr. Composites 25, 61–67.

Hale, W.M.; Freyne, S.F.; Bush Jr., T.D.; Russell, B.W. (2008) Properties of concrete mixtures containing slag cement and fly ash for use in transportation structures. Constr. Build. Mat. 22, 1990–2000.

Ghrici, M.; Kenai, S.; Said-Mansour, M. (2007) Mechanical properties and durability of mortar and concrete containing natural pozzolana and limestone blended cements. Cem. Concr. Composites 29, 542–549.

Yilmaz, B.; Olgun, A. (2008) Studies on cement and mortar containing low-calcium fly ash, limestone, and dolomitic limestone. Cem. Concr. Comp. 30, 194–201.

Hoshino, S.; Yamada, K.; Hirao, H. (2006) XRD/Rietveld analysis of the hydration and strength development of slag and limestone blended cement. Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology 4, 357–367.

Elkhadiri, I.; Diouri, A.; Boukhari, A.; Aride, J.; Puertas, F. (2002) Mechanical behaviour of variuos mortars made by combined fly ash and limestone in Moroccan Portland cement. Cem. Concr. Res. 32, 1597–1603.

Fernández, Á.; García Calvo, J.L.; Alonso, M.C. (2015) The Ordinary Portland Cement composition to optimize the synergies of mineral additions of ternary binders in hydration process. Cem. Concr. Comp., in evaluation.

De Weerdt, K.; Ben Haha, M.; Le Saout, G.; Kjellsen, K.O.; Justnes, H.; Lothenbach, B. (2011) Hydration mechanisms of ternary Portland cements containing limestone powder and fly ash, Cem Concr. Res. 41, 279–291.

Alonso, M.C.; García Calvo, J.L.; Sánchez, M.; Fernández, Á. (2012) Ternary mixes with high mineral additions contents and corrosion related properties. Materials and Corrosion 63, 1078–1086.

Dehuai, W.; Zhaoyuan, C. (1997) On predicting compressive strengths of mortars with ternary blends of cement, GGBFS and Fly Ash. Cem. Concr. Res. 27, 487–493.

Schöler, A.; Lothenbach, B.; Winnefeld, F.; Zajac, M. (2015) Hydration of quaternary Portland cement blends containing blast-furnace slag, siliceous fly ash and limestone powder. Cem. Concr. Comp. 55, 374–382.

Chindaprasirt, P.; Jaturapitakkul, C.; Sinsiri, T. (2005) Effect of fly ash fineness on compressive strength and pore size of blended cement paste. Cem. Concr. Comp. 27, 425–428.

Bogue, R.H (1929). Calculation of the compounds in Portland cement. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry 1, 192–197.

Rahhal, V.; Talero, R. (2008) Calorimetry of Portland cement with metakaolins, quartz and gypsum additions. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 91, 825–834.

Baert, G.; Hoste, S.; De Schutter, G.; De Belie, N. (2008) Reactivity of fly ash in cement paste studied by means of thermogravimetry and isothermal calorimetry. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim. 94, 485–492.

Oey, T.; Kumar, A.; Bullard, J.W.; Neithalath, N.; Sant, G. (2013) The filler effect: the influence of filler content and surface area on cementitious reaction rates, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 96, 1978–1990.

Berodier, E.; Scrivener, K. (2014) Understanding the filler effect on the nucleation and growth of C-S-H, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 97, 3764–3773.

Mounanga, P.; Khokhar, M.I.A.; El Hachem, R.; Loukili, A. (2011) Improvement of the early-age reactivity of fly ash and blast furnace slag cementitious systems using limestone filler. Materials and Structures 44, 437–453.

Torrenti, J.M.; Bendboudjema, F. (2005) Mechanical threshold of cementitious materials at early age, Materialsand Structures 38, 299–304.

Gesoglu, M.; Özbay, E. (2007) Effect of mineral admixtures on fresh and hardened properties of self-compacting concretes: binary, ternary and quaternary systems. Materials and Structures 40, 923–937.

Brooks, J.J.; Megat Johari, M.A.; Mazloom, M. (2000) Effect of admixtures on the setting times of high-strength concrete. Cem. Concr. Comp. 22, 293–301.

Sáez del Bosque, I.F.; Martínez-Ramírez, S.; Blanco-Varela, M.T. (2015). Calorimetric study of the early stages of the nanosilica-tricalcium silicate hydration. Effect of the temperature. Mater. Construcc. 65.

Gawlicki, M.; Nocún-Wczelik, W.; Bak, L. (2010) Calorimetry in the studies of cement hydration. Setting and hardening of Portland cement-calcium aluminate cement mixtures. J Therm Anal Calorim 100, 571–576.

D. Jansen, F. Goetz-Neunhoeffer, B. Lothenbach, J. Neubauer (2012) The early hydration of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC): An approach comparing measured heat flow with calculated heat flow from QXRD. Cem Concr Res, 42, 134–138.

Ballim, Y.; Graham, P.C. (2009) The effects of supplementary cementing materials in modifying the heat of hydration of concrete. Materials and Structures 42, 803–811.

Soroka, I.; Stern, N. (1977) The effect of fillers on strength of cement mortars. Cem. Concr. Res. 7, 449–456.

Berry, E.E.; Hemmings, R.T.; Cornelius, B.J. (1990) Mechanisms of hydration in high volume fly ash pastes and mortars. Cem. Concr. Comp. 12, 253–261.

Güneyisi, E.; Gesoglu, M. (2008) Properties of self-compacting mortars with binary and ternary cementitious blends of fly ash and metakaolin. Materials and Structures 41, 1519–1531.

Voglis, N.; Kakali, G.; Chaniotakis, E.; Tsivilis, S. (2005) Portland-limestone cement, their properties and hydration compared to those of other composite cement. Cem. Concr. Comp. 27, 191–196.

Feldman, R.F.; Carette, G.G.; Malhotra, V.M. (1990) Studies on of development of physical and mechanical properties of high-volume fly ash-cement pastes. Cem. Concr. Comp. 12, 245–251.

Ben Haha, M.; De Weerdt, K.; Lothenbach, B. (2010) Quantification of the degree of reaction of fly ash. Cem. Concr. Res. 40, 1620–1629.

Deschner, F.; Münch, B.; Winnefeld, F.; Lothenbach, B. (2013) Quantification of fly ash in hydrated blended Portland cement pastes by backscattered electron imaging. Journal of Microscopy 251, 188–204. PMid:23789966



How to Cite

Fernández, Á., Alonso, M. C., García-Calvo, J. L., & Lothenbach, B. (2016). Influence of the synergy between mineral additions and Portland cement in the physical-mechanical properties of ternary binders. Materiales De Construcción, 66(324), e097.



Research Articles