Friday, September 5, 2014

Are Steel Slags the Future of Sustainable Infrastructure?

Steel slag is a mixture of metal oxides and silicate, and is produced as a by-product during manufacture of iron and steel. However, iron and steel slag is non-metallic in nature and does not have hazardous materials.

Future of Sustainable Infrastructure
The construction industry is leaning towards use of slag for its properties and being environmental-friendly. There are different types of slag generated from the steel making process. The most common slags are Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag, LF slag and Steel Furnace Slag (SFS). Some of the world’s largest economies, including the USA, Brazil, European Union, China and Australia are using EAF and LD Slag for many applications.

Benefits of Steel Slag
  1. Steel slag is environment-friendly since it does not contain hazardous elements.
  2. Improves road safety by offering better skid resistance when used together with asphalt.
  3. Has agro benefits, including neutralizing highly acidic soils and use as a fertilizer.
  4. More durable than natural aggregate and can reduce maintenance costs when used as rail blast.
  5. Many top countries around the world as using steel slag in landfills.
Impact of Steel Slag in Construction Industry
Steel slag is playing a big role in the construction of roads, houses and other infrastructure. However, its adoption and use is not fully entrenched in the construction industry. To improve the adoption of the material in the industry, measures need to be taken to:
  • Identify areas and sectors where quality and quantity of slag can be used.
  • Provide carbon credits to companies that use slag in their constructions.
  • Treat slag as an important co-product in the manufacture of steel.
  • Involve various stakeholders to find optimal use opportunities for slag.
The application of slag in road construction, building blocks, cement manufacture, and agriculture make it an important product that should be paid attention to.

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