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Ferrochrome slag aggregate: physical-chemical characteristics and potential use in lightly cemented road bases

Chewe Kambole (Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, The Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia)
Phil Paige-Green (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Williams Kehinde Kupolati (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Julius Musyoka Ndambuki (Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)

World Journal of Engineering

ISSN: 1708-5284

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 11 January 2023

122

Abstract

Purpose

Most developing countries simply dump ferrochrome slag as waste which occupies huge areas of useful land. The purpose of this study is to underscore the significance of reusing ferrochrome slag as a sustainable and eco-friendly road aggregate material, with the added benefits of preventing possible environmental pollution and promoting sustainable mining of non-renewable construction materials.

Design/methodology/approach

Physical-mechanical characteristics were investigated using various South African National Standards test procedures. Chemical and mineralogical characteristics were evaluated using the X-ray fluorescence and the X-ray diffraction techniques, respectively. The toxicity characteristic leaching procedure test was used to evaluate the slag’s environmental suitability. Using two cement types, cement proportions of 1%, 2% and 3% of the slag aggregate weight mixed with optimum moisture content of the non-treated compacted slag were used to make lightly cemented ferrochrome slag aggregate (LCFSA) composites, subsequently tested for compressive strength.

Findings

Ferrochrome slag aggregates have excellent physical-mechanical characteristics that conform to international specifications for use in road base construction. The slag can be classified as non-hazardous solid waste. However, in acidic environments, some toxic elements may leach from the slag and pollute the environment. Optimum cement contents of 2.3% (CEM II) and 2.6% (CEM VB) can be mixed with the slag to produce LCFSA for road bases.

Originality/value

No research was found in literature on the use of LCFSA in road bases. This research, therefore, presents new data on mix design and strength properties of LCFSA as well as some physical-chemical characteristics of coarse ferrochrome slag aggregate.

Keywords

Citation

Kambole, C., Paige-Green, P., Kupolati, W.K. and Ndambuki, J.M. (2023), "Ferrochrome slag aggregate: physical-chemical characteristics and potential use in lightly cemented road bases", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 93-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJE-12-2020-0666

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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