Accelerating the reaction kinetics and improving the performance of Na2CO3-activated GGBS mixes

N.T. Dung, T.J.N. Hooper, C. Unluer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to accelerate the reaction kinetics and improve the performance of Na2CO3-activated ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) via the use of reactive MgO and hydromagnesite seeds. The effect of 3–10% MgO and 0.5–1% seeds on the reaction mechanisms of Na2CO3-activated pastes was evaluated by pH, isothermal calorimetry and setting time measurements. Compressive strength results were used to assess the mechanical performance of the Na2CO3-activated GGBS concrete. A thorough investigation involving XRD, TG-DTG, and 29Si and 27Al solid-state NMR was performed to investigate the evolution of different phases. The inclusion of MgO and seeds promoted the removal of CO32−, increasing the pH and accelerating the dissolution of GGBS. The improved reaction kinetics via the use of MgO and seeds led to samples with shortened setting times, increased hydration and enhanced performance (43 vs. 14 MPa at 28 days) when compared to the control sample.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105927
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Early online date24 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Granulated blast furnace slag (D)
  • MgO (D)
  • Acceleration (A)
  • Kinetics (A)
  • Compressive strength (C)


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