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Post-thermal properties of Portland cement concrete made with copper slag as fine aggregates

N. Suresh (Department of Civil Engineering, The National Institute of Engineering, Mysuru, India)
Manjunatha M. (Department of Civil Engineering, NMAM Institute of Technology, Nitte, India)

Journal of Structural Fire Engineering

ISSN: 2040-2317

Article publication date: 11 March 2021

Issue publication date: 24 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of elevated temperature on mechanical and physical properties of concrete specimens obtained by substituting the river sand with copper slag (CS) at proportions of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. The specimens were heated in an electric furnace up to 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 C and kept at these temperatures for 2 h duration. After the specimens were cooled in the furnace, mass loss, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), compressive strength, split tensile strength (STS), flexural strength (FS) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) values were determined. No spalling occurred in the specimens after subjected to elevated temperature. The surface cracks were observed only in specimens exposed to 600 C. The maximum reduction in compressive strength and STS at 600C is 50.3% and 36.39% for referral mix (NC), 18% and 16% for specimens with 100% CS (MCS4). The reduction in MOE of specimens is observed to be high as copper slag content increases with increasing temperature. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies are carried out to examine the changes in micro-structures of specimens after exposed to elevated temperatures.


After casting of concrete specimens, it is cured for 28 days. After attainment of 28 days age, the concrete specimens is taken out from the curing tank and allowed to dry for 2 days to remove any moisture content in the specimens to prevent explosive spalling during the time of heating. The prepared concrete specimen is subjected to temperatures of 100°C, 200°C, 300°C, 400°C, 500°C and 600°C up to 2 h duration. The physical test, mechanical test and SEM studies are carried out after cooling of specimens to room temperature (RT). The quality of concrete specimens is measured by conducting UPV test after cooling to RT.


The post-thermal strength properties of concrete specimens with copper slag contents are higher than referral mix concrete. The reduction of MOE of concrete specimens is more with incremental in copper slag content with increase in temperatures. Furthermore, the quality of concrete specimens is ranging from “good to medium” up to 500C temperatures based on UPV test.


In this research work, the natural sand is fully replaced with copper slag materials in the concrete mixes. The post-thermal strength properties like residual compressive strength, residual STS, residual FS and residual MOE is higher than referral mix after subjected to elevated temperature conditions. Higher density and toughness properties of copper slag materials will contribute to concrete strength. The effect of elevated temperature is more on MOE of concrete specimens having higher copper slag contents when comparing to specimens compressive strength.



The author would like to thank The National Institute of Engineering, Mysuru, for supporting this experimental research work and providing facilities at the Building Fire Research Centre.


Suresh, N. and M., M. (2021), "Post-thermal properties of Portland cement concrete made with copper slag as fine aggregates", Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 173-192.



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