Slag cement is a recovered material from the iron production process and because of this, reduces the environmental impact of concrete mixtures. Additionally, slag cement is very effective in reducing permeability and increasing durability in concrete. Click the links below to learn more on slag cement and how it creates a more sustainable concrete.
- Reduces portland cement in concrete resulting in:
- Reduces the urban heat island effect by increasing the reflectivity of concrete.
- Increases structure life by improving the durability of concrete to various types of deradation such as corrosion of reinforcing steel, external and internal chemical attack and cracking due to thermal stress.
- Recovers an industrial byproduct when incorporated into concrete or other construction applications.
- Avoids Disposal of blast furnace slag, when beneficially utilized.
Click here to download an information sheet on Slag Cement and the Environment.
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- Slag cement has been in worldwide use since the late 1800's, and was used in projects such as the Paris Underground, and the Empire State Building
- During the last 10 years, there has been over 29 million metric tons of slag cement consumed in the U.S. saved the equivalent:
- Carbon dioxide emissions of 4.1 million passenger cars;
- Energy consumption of 596,000 homes;
- Virgin materials to produce enough portland cement for 22,000 lane-miles of 8-inch thick concrete roads
- Slag cement can replace up to 50% of portland cement in most common concrete mixtures, and up to 80% in massive concrete elements and other specialized structures.
- Replacing portland cement with slag cement in concrete can save up to 59% of the embodied carbon dioxide emissions and 42% of the embodied energy required to manufacture concrete and its constituent materials.
- The EPA recognizes the benefits of using slag cement, and requires (in EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines) that Federally-funded projects, in most cases, include slag cement in concrete specifications.
- If all the blast furnace slag in the U.S. was converted into slag cement and used in concrete (and other applications), an additional 7.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 35 trillion BTUs of energy could be saved. This would increase the current level of savings by more than 200%!
SCA provides several resources to designers, specifiers and contractors, to establish the sustainable benefits in a project, and to ensure that applications with slag cement are specified and constructed properly:
- Life Cycle Assessment Calculator for Slag Cement in Ready Mixed Concrete. The calculator shows the environmental impacts of specific mix designs against industry benchmarks.
- LEED™ Guide: Using Slag Cement in Sustainable Construction, a detailed manual for achieving LEED-NC points with slag cement (updated for LEED-NC 2.1, 2.2 and 3.0).
- Slag Cement and LEED™ (SCIC No. 28), an information sheet summarizing how slag cement can help achieve LEED-NC points.
- Life Cycle Inventory of Slag Cement Concrete, a whitepaper detailing energy, emissions, and materials required to produce concrete with slag cement, and establishing the savings when compared to non-slag concrete. This report is based on the following technical investigations, which were developed in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14041:
- Slag Cement and the Environment (SCIC No. 22), an information sheet summarizing the sustainable benefits of slag cement.
- Concrete Proportioning (SCIC No. 2), an information sheet that provides guidance regarding appropriate levels of slag cement to use for specific applications.
- Suggested Specification Provisions for Slag Cement in Concrete (SCIC No. 13), an information sheet that details appropriate specification language to incorporate slag cement for general and special concrete applications.
- Slag Cement and Life Cycle Prediction Models (SCIC No. 23), an information sheet that discusses how service life prediction models can help designers determine appropriate strategies (including the use of slag cement) that produce durable concrete which will last for a given service life.
- Life-365, is a standard model developed for predicting the Service Life and Life-Cycle Cost of Reinforced Concrete exposed to chlorides. SCA is a partner in the development of the current Version 2.2.2, which is available as a free download at Life-365.
- Lifecycle 365 Software v.2.2 :
software designed to estimate the service life and life-cycle costs of alternative concrete mixture designs proportions and life-cycle costs of alternative concrete mixture designs proportions and corrosion protection systems. It follows research-based methodology developed by the Life-365 Consortium I and II groups of companies, that gives estimates on the effects of design, chloride exposure, environmental temperature, high-performance concrete mixture proportions, surface barriers, and steel types on the service life and life-cycle cost of steel-reinforced concrete structures.
This simple and transparent model provides a fundamental tool for design consultants to use for estimating the service life and life cycle costs of alternate protection systems in their design of steel-reinforced concrete structures that will be exposed to chlorides.
- EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG), EPA website describing requirements for using recycled/recovered materials in Federally-funded projects