Carbonation resistance of GGBS concrete

Chao Lye, Ravindra Dhir, Gurmel Ghataora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents an analysis of a 30 000 strong data matrix derived from 227 studies originating from 35 countries since 1968. Similar to the fly ash effect, the carbonation of concrete increases with the incorporation of ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), but the rate increases as GGBS content is increased. This effect is greater for concrete designed on an equal water/cement (w/c) basis to the corresponding Portland cement (PC) concrete than on an equal strength basis. The Eurocode 2 specification for XC3 carbonation exposure in terms of the characteristic cube strength of concrete (or its w/c ratio) may need to be increased (or decreased) with the addition of GGBS. Other influencing factors, including GGBS fineness, total cement content and curing, were also investigated. In some cases, the carbonation of in-service GGBS concrete has been estimated to exceed the specified cover before 50 years of service life. Measures to minimise the carbonation of GGBS concrete are proposed. Fully carbonated reinforced GGBS concrete is assessed to show a higher corrosion rate. In relation to PC concrete, the carbonation of GGBS concrete is essentially similar when exposed to 3–5% carbon dioxide accelerated or indoor natural exposure, and the conversion factor of 1 week accelerated carbonation equal to 0·6 year is established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-969
JournalMagazine of Concrete Research
Issue number18
Early online date16 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2016


  • carbonation
  • cement/cementitious materials
  • Sustainability


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