Viability of the use of construction and demolition waste aggregates in alkali-activated mortars




Mortars, Alkali activated mortars, Construction and demolition waste (C&DW) aggregates, Mechanical performance, Fire resistance, Shrinkage


This study explores the technological feasibility of using construction and demolition waste (C&DW) as recycled aggregate in alkali activated mortars, ascertaining the mechanical and microstructural behavior. Shrinkage behavior of alkali activated slag mortars (AAS) and fire resistance of alkali activated fly ash (AAFA) incorporating recycled aggregates have been also tested Normalized siliceous sand and two types of recycled concrete aggregates were used in the mixes at different proportions. The findings showed that water demand was higher in mortars prepared with recycled aggregate. Partial replacement (20% - 80/20) of conventional aggregate with the recycled material was also observed to yield mortars with high mechanical strength, although total porosity also rose. Total replaclement, gave worse mechanical performance however. Fire resistance and shrinkage studies conducted indicated that alkaline cement mortars prepared with 80/20 recycled aggregated exhibit acceptable performance.


Download data is not yet available.


Pacheco-Torgal, F., Labrincha, L. (2013). Review: The future of construction materials research and the seventh UN Millennium Development Goal: A few insights. Construc. Build. Mat., 40: 729–737.

Puertas, F., Santos, R., Alonso, M.M., del Río, M. (2015). Alkali-activated cement mortars containing recycled clay-based construction and demolition waste. Ceram. Silikaty, 59: 202–210.

Müller, H., Haist, M., Vogel, M. (2014). Assessment of the sustainability potential of concrete and concrete structures considering their environmental impact, performance and lifetime. Construc. Build. Mat., 67: 321–337.

European Commision, Towards a circular economy, Available: [Last access: july 2017].

Palomo, A., Krivenko, P., García-Lodeiro, I., Kavalerova, E., Maltseva, O., Fernández-Jimenez, A. (2014). A review on alkaline activation: new analytical perspectives. Mater. Construcc., 64, [315] e022.

Provis, J., Palomo, A., Shi, C. (2015). Advances in understanding alkali-activated materials. Cem. Concr. Res. 78: 110–125.

Villaquirán-Caicedo, M., Mejía de Gutierrez, R., Gallego, N. (2017). A Novel MK-based Geopolymer Composite Activated with Rice Husk Ash and KOH: Performance at High Temperature. Mater. Construcc. 67, [326] e117.

Fernández-Jimenez, A., Puertas, F. (197). Alkali-activated slag cements: Kinetic studies. Cem. Concr. Res. 27: 359–368.

Puertas, F., Palacios, M., Manzano, H., Dolado, J., Rico, A., Rodríguez, J. (2011). A model for the C-A-S-H gel formed in alkali-activated slag cements, J. Europ. Cer. Soc., 31: 2043–2056.

Martín Morales, M. (2013). El residuo de construcción y demolición (RCD) como árido en la elaboración de prefabricados no estructurales. PhD Thesis. Univ. Granada (In spanish)

Vegas, I., Iba-ez, J., Lisbona, A., Sáez de Cortazar, A., Frías, M. (2011). Pre-normative research on the use of mixed recycled aggregates in unbound road sections. Construc. Build. Mat. 25., [5], 2674–2682.

Fernández-Ledesma, E., Jiménez, J., Ayuso, J., Corinaldesi, V., Iglesias-Godino, F. (2016). A proposal for the maximum use of recycled concrete sand in masonry mortar design. Mater. Construcc., 66, [321] e075.

Shi, X., Collins, F., Zhao, X., Whang, Q. (2012). Mechanical properties and microstructure analysis of fly ash geopolymeric recycled concrete. J. Haz. Mater, 237–238, 20–29. PMid:22954605

Behera, M., Bhattacharyya, S., Minocha, A., Deoliya, R., Maiti, S. (2014) Recycled aggregate from C&D waste & its use in concrete. A breakthrough towards sustainability in construction sector. A review, Construc. Build. Mat. 68: 501–516.

Puertas, F., Barba, A., Gazulla, M., Gómez, M., Palacios, M., Martínez-Ramirez, S. (2006). Ceramic wastes as raw materials in portland cement clinker fabrication.·characterization and alkalineactivation. Mater. Construcc., 56: [281], 73–84.

Allahverdi, A., Kani, E. (2009). Construction waste as raw materials for geopolymer binders. Int. J. Civ. Engin. 7: [3], 154–160.

Reig, L., Tashima, M., Borrachero, M.V., Monzó, J., Cheeseman, C., Payá, J. (2013). Properties and microstructure of alkali-activated red clay brick waste. Construc. Build. Mat, 43: 98–106.

Robayo-Salazar, R.A., Rivera, J., Mejía de Gutiérrez, R. (2017). Alkali-activated building materials made with recycled construction and demolition wastes. Construc. Build. Mat. 149: 130–138.

Rakhimova, N., Rakhimov, R. (2015). Alkali-activated cements and mortars based on blast furnace slag and red clay brick waste. Mat. Desig. 85: 324–331.

Shaikh, F. (2016) Mechanical and durability properties of fly ash geopolymer concrete containing recycled coarse aggregates, Int.l J. Sust. Built Envir. 5: 277–287.

Parthiban, K., Mohan, K.S.R. (2017). Influence of recycled concrete aggregates on the engineering and durability properties of alkali activated slag concrete, Construc. Build. Mat. 133: 65–72.

UNE-EN 196-2:2014. Method of testing cement - Part 2: Chemical analysis of cement, 2014.

UNE-EN 80243, 1999. Cement test metyhods. Chemical analysis. Determination of free calcium oxyde: ethylenglycol method.

Hooton, R., Emery, J. (1983). Glass content determination and strength development predictions for vitrified blast furnace slag. 1st Int. Conf. on the fly ash, silica fume, slag and other mineral by products in concrete, Montebello, Quebec, Canada.

Arjuman, P., Silbee, M., Roy, D. (1997). Quantitative determination of the crystalline and amorphous phases in low calcium fly ash, 10th International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement, Gotheburg.

UNE 80122:1991, Methods of testing cement. Determination of fineness (Blaine method).

UNE-EN-1744-1, 1999. Tests for chemical properties of aggregates. part 1: chemical analysis.

UNE-80-217:91, 1991. Methods of testing cement. Determination of chloride, carbon dioxide and alkali content.

Valverde-Espinosa, I. (1993). Caracterización de aridos para hormigón en la depresión de Granada, PhD Thesis. Univ. Granada (In spanish)

Valverde-Espinosa, I. (2014). Los áridos carbonatados de Granada en relación con algunas prescripciones de la EH-91, Technical report (in spanish).

EN-1097-6:2001/A1:2006, Tests for mechanical and physical properties of aggregates Part 6: Determination of particle density and water absorption.

UNE-EN 933-1: 2012, Tests for geometrical properties of aggregates - Part 1: Determination of particle size distribution - Sieving method.

UNE-EN196-1, 2011 Methods of testing cements. Determination of strength.

Puertas, F., Varga, C., Alonso, M.M. (2014). Rheology of alkali-activated slag pastes. Effect of the nature and concentration of the activating solution, Cem. Concr. Comp.,53, 279–288.

Palacios, M., Banfill, P., Puertas, F. (2008). Rheology and setting of alkali-activated slag pastes and mortars: Effect of organic admixture, ACI Mater. J, 105: 140–148.

Alonso, M.M., Gismera, S., Blanco, M.T., Lanzón, M., Puertas, F. (2017). Alkali-activated mortars: Workability and rheological behaviour. Construc. Build. Mat. 145: 576–587.

UNE-EN-1015-3: 2000. Methods of test for mortar for masonry. Part 3: Determination of consistence of fresh mortar (by flow table).

Silva, R., De Brito, J., Dhir. R.K. (2016). Performance of cementitious renderings and masonry mortars containing recycled aggregates from construction and demolition wastes. Construc. Build. Mat. 105: [15] 400–415.

Corinaldesi, V., Moriconi, G. (2009). Behaviour of cementitious mortars containing different kinds of recycled aggregate. Construc. Build. Mat. 23: 289– 94.

Yildrim, S., Meyer, C., Herfellner, S. (2015). Effects of internal curing on the strength, drying shrinkage and freeze–thaw resistance of concrete containing recycled concrete aggregates. Construc. Build. Mat. 91: 288–296.

Angulo-Ramírez, D., Mejía de Gutiérrez, R., Puertas, F. (2017). Alkali-activated Portland blast-furnace slag cement: Mechanical properties and hydration. Construc. Build. Mat.140: 119–128.

Fernández-Jiménez, A., Palomo, J.G., Puertas, F. (1999). Alkali-activated slag mortars: Mechanical strength behaviour. Cem. Concr. Res. 29, [8]: 1313–1321.

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

Luna-Galiano, Y., Fernández-Pereira, C., Izquierdo, M. (2016). Contributions to the study of porosity in fly ash-based geopolymers. Relationship between degree of reaction, porosity and compressive strength. Mater. Construcc., 66: [324], e098.

Palacios, M: Puertas, F. (2007). Effect of shrinkage-reducing admixtures on the properties of alkali-activated slag mortars and pastes. Cem. Concr. Res. 37: 691–702.

Medjigbodo, S., Bendimerad, A., Roziere, E., Loukili, A. (2018). How do recycled concrete aggregates modify the shrinkage and self-healing properties?. Cem. Concr. Comp. 86: 72–86.

Lee, N., Abate, S., Kim, H-K. (2018). Use of recycled aggregates as internal curing agent for alkali-activated slag system. Construc. Build. Mat. 159: 286–296.

Martin, A., Pastor, J., Palomo, A., Fernández-Jimenez, A. (2015). Mechanical behaviour at high temperature of alkali-activated aluminosilicates (geopolymers), Construc. Build. Mat. 93: 1188–1196.

Pan, Z., Tao, Z., Cao, Y., Wuhrer, R., Murphy, T. (2018). Compressive strength and microstructure of alkali-activated fly ash/slag binders at high temperature. Cem. Concr. Comp. 86: 9–18.



How to Cite

Alonso, M. M., Rodríguez, A., & Puertas, F. (2018). Viability of the use of construction and demolition waste aggregates in alkali-activated mortars. Materiales De Construcción, 68(331), e164.



Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 > >>