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Concrete with Fly Ash or Concrete Without It? - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When you work with a custom concrete supplier capable of providing concrete with and without fly ash, what should you do? What are the advantages of getting a concrete mix with fly ash in it?

What is Fly Ash?

Fly ash, the byproduct of coal burning process, is called a pozzolan, When coal is burned in today’s modern electric generating plants, combustion temperatures reach approximately 2800°F. The non-combustible minerals that naturally occur from burning coal form bottom ash and fly ash. Bottom ash is a light-weight aggregate material that falls to the boiler bottom for collection. Fly ash is the material that is carried off with the flue gases, where it is collected and can be stored in silos for testing and beneficial use classification.

The use of fly ash in concrete is far from a new phenomenon. Roman structures such as aqueducts, Coliseum and Pantheon used volcanic ash or pozzolana in their concrete thereby making more durable concrete structures that exist even today.

The chemical reaction between the fly ash and calcium hydroxide forms cement compounds, helping the concrete to create a more durable product.

What Does It Offer?

Fly ash used with cement — generally in the neighborhood of 15 to 40 percent for Class C fly ash and 15 to 30 percent for Class F — can make the concrete stronger than concrete that uses Portland cement alone.

The concrete will exhibit improved workability as well, in addition to requiring less water to achieve the same consistency as concrete without fly ash. This also makes it much easier to pump.

Additionally, with fly ash in the mixture, the amount of heat released by the concrete is reduced. In smaller projects, that impact may not be noticeable, but on a larger project too much internal heat can lead to cracking. In that way, a fly ash mixture can help reduce the potential for cracking.

Fly Ash causes concrete mixes to set slower; therefore, gives the finisher more time to finish the concrete in extremely high temperature days.

Economic Plus

Fly ash has the benefit of being an economical solution. It costs less than a straight cement mix. This means more money in your pocket.


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