Mix design of concrete for prestressed concrete sleepers using blast furnace slag and steel fibers

Hyun Oh Shin, Jun Mo Yang, Young Soo Yoon, Denis Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The application of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) and steel fibers in prestressed concrete railway sleepers was investigated in this study. The use of GGBFS was considered as an eco-friendly material aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and energy consumption as well as to enhance the durability performance of railway sleepers. Steel fibers improves the durability and structural performance in terms of crack control and reduction of spalling and can replace shear reinforcement. The mix proportions of the concrete incorporating GGBFS (56% GGBFS) and GGBFS with steel fibers (56% GGBFS and 0.75% steel fibers) were determined through a series laboratory tests and a life cycle assessment. These mixes satisfied the requirements of the Korean Railway Standard and resulted in improved flexural capacity as well as less CO2 emissions compared with current railway sleepers. Using these mixes, a total of ninety prestressed concrete sleepers were produced in a factory under the same manufacturing process as current railway sleepers, and their mechanical properties as well as durability performance were evaluated. The mix with partial replacement of Type III Portland cement by GGBFS showed an improved resistance to chloride ion penetration and freeze-thaw cycles compared with the concrete used for current railway sleepers. However, these mixes were more vulnerable to carbonation. The mix with GGBFS and steel fibers (mix BSF) showed a slightly better durability performance than the mix with GGBFS only (mix BS), including better carbonation and freeze-thaw resistances. The mix BSF showed decreased chloride ion penetration depth than mix BS but showed a slightly higher chloride ion diffusion coefficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Industrial Strategic technology development program ( 10063488 , Development of Earthquake Resisting Reinforced Concrete using grade 700 MPa Reinforcing Bars for enhancement of seismic safety) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( NRF-2014R1A6A3A03056173 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Durability performance
  • Ground granulated blast furnace slag
  • Mechanical property
  • Mix proportion
  • Prestressed concrete sleeper
  • Steel fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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