Effect of copper slag as a fine aggregate on the properties of cement mortars and concrete

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An experimental investigation was conducted to study the effect of using copper slag as a fine aggregate on the properties of cement mortars and concrete. Various mortar and concrete mixtures were prepared with different proportions of copper slag ranging from 0% (for the control mixture) to 100% as fine aggregates replacement. Cement mortar mixtures were evaluated for compressive strength, whereas concrete mixtures were evaluated for workability, density, compressive strength, tensile strength, flexural strength and durability. The results obtained for cement mortars revealed that all mixtures with different copper slag proportions yielded comparable or higher compressive strength than that of the control mixture. Also, there was more than 70% improvement in the compressive strength of mortars with 50% copper slag substitution in comparison with the control mixture. The results obtained for concrete indicated that there is a slight increase in density of nearly 5% as copper slag content increases, whereas the workability increased significantly as copper slag percentage increased compared with the control mixture. A substitution of up to 40-50% copper slag as a sand replacement yielded comparable strength to that of the control mixture. However, addition of more copper slag resulted in strength reduction due to the increase in the free water content in the mix. Also, the results demonstrated that surface water absorption decreased as copper slag content increases up to 50% replacement. Beyond that, the absorption rate increased rapidly and the percentage volume of the permeable voids was comparable to the control mixture. Therefore, it is recommended that up to 40-50% (by weight of sand) of copper slag can be used as a replacement for fine aggregates in order to obtain a concrete with good strength and durability requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-938
Number of pages6
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Cement mortar
  • Concrete
  • Copper slag
  • Durability
  • Industrial by-products
  • Strength
  • Waste material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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