Utilization of Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Highway Applications

Recent transportation industry studies have highlighted a growing uncertainty regarding the availability of Class F fly ash along with a trend towards incorporating alternative supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) like raw or calcined natural pozzolans (e.g., calcined clay) and waste products (e.g., reclaimed/harvested coal ashes and ground ashes). Within the next 5 years, the industry is expected to face an urgent need for integrating these alternatives to produce sustainable and durable concrete for diverse highway applications. However, current standards may not allow the use of alternative SCMs or may not adequately evaluate their efficacy in mitigating durability issues such as alkali-silica reactivity (ASR), corrosion, freeze-thaw cycles, and oxychloride formation. Research under NCHRP Project 10-104, “Recommendations for Revision of AASHTO M 295 Standard Specification to Include Marginal and Unconventional Source Coal Fly Ashes,” proposed a research plan to enhance the AASHTO M 295 (ASTM C 618) specifications and to develop effective tests for measuring SCM reactivity, thus addressing issues related to unburned carbon, and ensuring uniformity. By improving the acceptance criteria, these efforts will promote the efficient utilization of traditional and alternative SCMs. However, the effects of alternative SCMs on vital concrete properties like workability, durability, and performance have not been comprehensively studied. To address these challenges, a comprehensive research approach is needed to help state departments of transportation (DOTs) and the transportation industry evaluate concrete mixtures containing alternative SCMs. The objective of this research is to develop a framework and complementary tools for state DOTs and the transportation industry to evaluate concrete mixtures containing alternative SCMs that provide a high probability of meeting specified requirements in highway applications. At a minimum, the research shall (1) investigate alternative SCMs' impact on concrete properties, (2) identify critical properties based on intended applications, and (3) propose appropriate test methods.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $750000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 18-21

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20240330
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902711
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 18-21
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2023 7:52PM