Mechanically activated mine tailings for use as supplementary cementitious materials
Keywords:activation, reactivity, supplementary cementitious materials, Mine tailings
Two mine tailings are evaluated for their potential as supplementary cementitious materials. The mine tailings were milled using two different methods – ball milling for 30 minutes and disc milling for durations ranging from 1 to 15 minutes. The modified R3 test was carried out on the mine tailings to quantify their reactivity. The reactivity of the disc milled tailings is greater than those of the ball milled tailings. Strong correlations are obtained between milling duration, median particle size, amorphous content, dissolved aluminum and silicon, and reactivity of the mine tailings. The milling energy results in an increase in the fineness and the amorphous content, which do not appreciably increase beyond a disc milling duration of 8 minutes. The reactivity increases significantly beyond a certain threshold fineness and amorphous content. Cementitious pastes were prepared at 30% supplementary cementitious materials replacement level at a water-to-cementitious materials ratio of 0.40. No negative effects of the mine tailings were observed at early ages in cement pastes based on isothermal calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, demonstrating the potential for these materials to be used as supplementary cementitious materials.
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