Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Silica Fume and its Pozzolanic Action on Concrete

Silica fume is By-product of semiconductor industry which was first ‘obtained’ in Norway, in 1947, when environmental restraints made the filtering of the exhaust gases from the furnaces compulsory. 

The terms condensed silica fume, microsilica, silica fume and volatilized silica are often used to describe the by-products extracted from the exhaust gases of silicon, ferrosilicon and other metal alloy furnaces. However, the terms microsilica and silica fume are used to describe those condensed silica fumes that are of high quality, for use in the cement and concrete industry. 

Silica-fume shot-crete being used for repair of deteriorated bridge abutmentSilica Fume consists of very fine particles with a surface area ranging from 60,000 to 150,000 ft²/lb or 13,000 to 30,000 m²/kg, with particles approximately 100 times smaller than the average cement particle. Because of its extreme fineness and high silica content, Silica Fume is a highly effective pozzolanic material. Silica Fume is used in concrete to improve its properties. It has been found that Silica Fume improves compressive strength, bond strength, and abrasion resistance; reduces permeability of concrete to chloride ions; and therefore helps in protecting reinforcing steel from corrosion, especially in chloride-rich environments such as coastal regions.

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