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Slag Cement Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about slag cement, and links to the Slag Cement in Concrete (SCIC) information sheet series that provides more detail.  If you have questions that are not answered here, email SCA at info@slagcement.org, or call 847-977-6920.
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What is slag cement (ground granulated blast furnace slag)? 
Slag cement (also called ground granulated blast furnace slag) is a hydraulic cement produced during the reduction of iron ore to iron in a blast furnace.  Molten slag is tapped from a blast furnace, rapidly quenched with water ("granulated"), dried and ground to a fine powder.  The rapid quenching "freezes" the molten slag in a glassy state, which   more...
How do I find a slag cement supplier? 
SCA member companies supply over 95 percent of the slag cement in the U.S.   Click here  to download a listing of member company sales offices, arranged by state.  These sales offices will be able to let you know about the availability of slag cement in your area.   more...
What is the history of slag cement? 
Slag cement use can be traced to the 1700’s when the material was combined with lime to make mortars.    The first United States production was in 1896. Until the 1950’s, granulated slag was used in the manufacture of blended portland cements, or as raw feedstock to make cement clinker.    However, in the 1950’s, slag cement became available in   more...
What is slag cement used for? 
Slag cement is most widely used in concrete, either as a separate cementitious component or as part of a blended cement.    It works synergistically with portland cement to increase strength, reduce permeability, improve resistance to chemical attack and inhibit rebar corrosion.    Slag cement is used in virtually all concrete applications:     more...
Does slag cement change the hardened properties of concrete? 
Slag cement improves many of the strength and durability properties of hardened  concrete.   Slag cement is a hydraulic binder that, like portland cement, reacts with water to form cementitious material (calcium-silicate hydrate or CSH).    It also, similar to a pozzolan, consumes by-product calcium hydroxide from the hydration of portland cement   more...
Does slag cement change the plastic and early age properties of concrete? 
Slag cement generally improves workability, finishability and pumpability of plastic concrete.  It may provide a small decrease in water demand ( see  SCIC #5 ). Slag cement will tend to increase time of initial set, which is often a benefit in warm weather.  In cooler weather, accelerators, heated materials or lowering the percentage of slag   more...
What are the enviromental benefits of using slag cement? 
Production of slag cement creates a value-added product from a material—blast furnace slag—that otherwise might be destined for disposal. Not only does the making of slag cement lessen the burden on landfills, but it also reduces air emissions at steel plants through the granulation process (as compared to the traditional air cooling process).      more...
What specifications govern the use of slag cement in concrete? 
Slag cement, when used as a separate component in a concrete mixture, is specified through ASTM C 989  Specification for Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag for Use in Concrete and Mortar .    When used as a component in blended cement, one of two specifications are used:    ASTM C595,  Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements  or ASTM C1157,    more...
How much slag cement do I include in a concrete mixture? 
The amount of slag cement added to a concrete mixture, as a percentage of cementitious material by weight, normally ranges from 20 to 80 percent.  The amount for a specific project depends on several factors including application, early and later age strength requirements, durability requirements and ambient temperature to name a few.    more...
What is the difference between slag cement and slag aggregate? 
Slag cement is the hydraulic cement that results when molton slag from an iron blast furnace is rapidly quenched with water, dried and ground to a fine powder.  The rapid quenching ("granulation") "freezes" slag cement in a glassy state and imparts cementitious properties to the product when ground finely.  Blast furnace slag aggregate comes in two   more...
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