Effect of white mud on properties of alkali activated slag

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White mud is a solid waste from the papermaking industry, composed mainly of CaCO3 and residual alkali metal ions (such as Na+, Mg2+). In the current study, the feasibility of using white mud as partial replacement of slag in alkali activated materials is explored. The fluidity, setting time, autogenous shrinkage, mechanical properties, hydration products and microstructure of alkali activated slag containing different amount of white mud are studied. The results show that adding white mud reduces the fluidity of freshly mixed paste, setting time and autogenous shrinkage. The ions released from the white mud participate in the polymerization reaction, accelerate the hydration reaction in the early stage, and promotes the precipitation of Mg-Al and the formation of hydrotalcite. However, excessive quantities of white mud (above 15% of the binder) leads to the reduction of compressive strength. As the content of white mud is enhanced, the Ca/(Si + Al) ratio of the gel increases and the degree of polymerization is reduced. It has been shown that white mud has potential reactivity and can partially replace slag to prepare new alkali activated materials.