The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 55-05 [Active (Synthesis)]

Use and Availability of Supplementary Cementitious Materials for Concrete
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/27/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: Global Sustainable Solutions, LLC
Principal Investigator: Jamshid Armaghani
Effective Date: 10/25/2023
Completion Date: 4/25/2023
Fiscal Year: 2024

Preliminary Scope

It is common practice to use supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) in the production of concrete.  The use of SCMs as a partial replacement for cement results in more durable, higher performing concrete, lower energy consumption, and reduced green gas emissions.  The most common SCMs are industrial byproducts such as fly ash, ground granulated blast-furnace slag (slag cement), and silica fume. There are also some natural pozzolans being used in the concrete industry such as calcined shale, calcined clay, and metakaolin. There are many beneficial effects of using SCMs for both fresh and hardened concretes, including enhanced workability, reduction in bleeding, reduction in the heat of hydration, strength gain with time, and reduced permeability and improved resistance to chemical distress.  The level of improvement achieved differs among the SCMs. Although fly ash is the most commonly used SCM, others are also being used due to a shortage of fly ash.  

The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT practices for using SCMs in concrete.  

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to): 

  • SCMs permitted by state DOT specifications;
  • Process for selecting the types and replacement rates of SCMs;
  • Documented benefits of using a particular SCM;
  • Alternates adopted when preferred SCMs are not available;
  • State DOT policies and guidelines for the use of SCMs (temperature, mixing, etc.); and
  • Practices for controlling the quality of SCMs.

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected DOTs for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):

  • Sutter, L. L. Supplementary Cementitious Materials - Best Practices for Concrete Pavements. FHWA Tech Brief No. FHWA-HIF-16-001. Federal Highway Administration, 2016. 
  • Al-Shmaisani, S., Kalina, R., O’Quinn, K., Jang, J. K., Rung, M., Ferron, R., and Juenger, M.   Supplementary Cementitious Materials: Assessment of Test Methods for New and Blended Materials. Report No. FHWA/TX-21-0-6966-1, Center for Transportation Research, The University of Texas Austin, Austin, 2021.
  • Subedi, S., Arce, G. A., Hassan, M. M., Huang, O., Radovic, M., and Hossain, Z. Evaluation of Alternative Sources of Supplementary Cementitious Materials for Concrete Materials. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2676 (6). Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, 2022, pp. 287-301.

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel Meeting: September 28, 2023, Washington, D.C.
Conference Call: October 20, 2023, 2:30-3:30 pm EST
Second Panel Meeting: July 9, 2024, Washington, D.C.

Panel Members
Dr. Robert P. Spragg, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
M. Shabbir Hossain, Virginia Department of Transportation
Dr. Andrew Boeckmann, Dan Brown and Associates, PC
Dr. Jiong Hu, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Maria Masten, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Andy Naranjo, Texas Department of Transportation
Joseph Stilwell, Maine Department of Transportation
Hailey Goodale, Colorado Department of Transportation
Nancy M. Whiting, Transportation Research Board

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