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Fly ash can be an expensive
replacement for Portland cement in
concrete, although using it improves
strength, segregation and ease of
pumping concrete, according to
construction experts. The rate of
substitution typically specified is 1
to 1. 5 pounds of fly ash to 1 pound of
cement. Nonetheless, the amount of
fine aggregate should be reduced to
accommodate fly ash additional volume.
Fly ash can be used as prime
material in blocks, paving or bricks.
However, one of the most important
applications is Portland cement
concrete (PCC) pavement. PCC
pavements use a large amount of
concrete. Substituting fly ash provides
significant economic benefits.
Fly ash has also been used for paving
roads and as embankment and mine
fills, and it’s gaining acceptance by the
federal government, specifically the
Federal Highway Administration.
Some small builders and housing
contractors are not that familiar with
fly ash products, which could have
different properties depending on
where and how they are obtained.
For this reason, fly ash applications
are encountering resistance from
traditional builders due to their
tendency to effloresce along with
major concerns about freeze/
Other major concerns about using
fly ash concrete include:
• slower strength gain.
• seasonal limitation
• increase in air entraining
• an increase of salt scaling
produced by higher fly ash.
Fly ash can be a cost-effective
substitute for Portland cement in
some markets. In addition, fly ash can
be recognized as an environmentally
friendly product because it is a
byproduct and has low embodied
energy. It’s also is available in two
colors, and coloring agents can be
added at the job site.
In addition, fly ash requires less
water than Portland cement and is
easier to use in cold weather. Other
• produces various set times.
• cold weather resistance
• higher strength gains,
depending on its use
• can be used as an admixtures
• can substitute for Portland cement
• considered a non-shrink material
• produces denser concrete and
smoother surface with sharper detail
• better workability
• reduces crack problems,
permeability and bleeding
• reduces heat of hydration
• produces lower water/cement ratio
for similar slums when compared to
no fly ash mixes
• reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Fly Ash Types
Today a little more than 50 percent
of the concrete placed in the U.S.
contains fly ash. Dosage rates vary
depending on the type of fly ash and
its reactivity level. Typically, Class
F fly ash is used at dosages of 15 to
25 percent by mass of cementitious
material, and Class C fly ash at 15
to 40 percent.
Class F fly ash, with particles
covered in a kind of melted glass,
greatly reduces the risk of expansion
due to sulfate attack as may occur in
fertilized soils or near coastal areas.
Class F are generally low-calcium
fly ashes with carbon contents less
than 5 percent but sometimes as high
as 10 percent.
Class C fly ash is also resistant to
expansion from chemical attack, has a
higher percentage of calcium oxide, and
is more commonly used for structural
concrete. This type of fly ash is typically
composed of high-calcium fly ashes with
carbon content less than 2 percent.
Martinez to lead FMCSA
The U.S. Senate
last month confirmed
Administrator of the
Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA).
His nomination had been reported
favorably on Nov. 11 by the Committee on
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
for consideration by the full Senate.
During his Oct. 31 confirmation
hearing, Martinez drew no opposition
from senators on the committee
during their questioning. At that time,
he voiced his support for upholding
the electronic logging device rule,
which kicked in on Dec. 18. He said
that as FMCSA chief, he would “first
and foremost abide by the Electronic
Logging Device (ELD) law, but also
have an open door policy and work with
all the impacted stakeholders.”
Most recently, Martinez served as
chief administrator of the New Jersey
Motor Vehicle Commission. He has
also served as the New York State
Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and
(Fly ash continued from page 17)