Experimental investigations on performance of concrete incorporating Precious Slag Balls (PS Balls) as fine aggregates

  • Sharath, S. (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka) ;
  • Gayana, B.C. (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka) ;
  • Reddy, Krishna R. (Department of Civil and Materials Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago) ;
  • Chandar, K. Ram (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka)
  • Received : 2018.08.11
  • Accepted : 2019.05.10
  • Published : 2019.11.25


Substitution of natural fine aggregates with industrial by-products like precious slag balls (PS Balls) offers various advantages like technical, economic and environmental which are very important in the present era of sustainability in construction industry. PS balls are manufactured by subjecting steel slag to slag atomizing Technology (SAT) which imparts them the desirable characteristics of fine aggregates. The main objective of this research paper is to assess the feasibility of producing good quality concrete by using PS balls, to identify the potential benefits by their incorporation and to provide solution for increasing their utilization in concrete applications. The study investigates the effect of PS balls as partial replacement of fine aggregates in various percentages (20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%) on mechanical properties of concrete such as compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, and flexural strength. The optimum mix was found to be at 40% replacement of PS balls with maximum strength of 62.89 MPa at 28 days curing. Permeability of concrete was performed and it resulted in a more durable concrete with replacement of PS balls at 40% and 100% as fine aggregates. These two specific values were considered as optimum replacement is 40% and also the maximum possible replacement is 100%. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis was done and it was found that the PS balls in concrete were unaffected and with optimum percentage of PS balls as fine aggregates in concrete resulted in good strength and less cracks. Hence, it is possible to produce good workable concrete with low water to cement ratio and higher strength concrete by incorporating PS balls.


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