Prospect Market of GGBS Application
In China, quality Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag (GGBS) (fineness: 4200-4500cm²/g) produced with vertical roller mills are being used to substitute clinker in conventional cement manufacturing as well as to partially replace OPC for ready-mixed concrete production, for which the percentage of GGBS usage is typically at 10-15% and 20-25% respectively. Such low percentage of GGBS in the mixing ratio, however, whilst achieving the purpose of saving some costs, is insufficient in enhancing concrete structural durability. A long journey remains ahead for the newly established slag grinding industry to reach the day when all the inherent qualities of GGBS and its superior characteristics over fly ash or other pozzolanic materials are fully appreciated.
Taking the path experienced in other countries, China has used its increased amount of GGBS mainly as (a) clinker substitution in blended slag and normal cement production, and (b) supplementary cementitious material in ready-mixed and site-batched concrete production. At present, benefits derived from costs reduction is the direct and key driving force for the adoption of GGBS.
Further investigations show that cement manufactures in China are projected to produce a total of about 10Mt/year of GGBS in 2007, which amount is nearly fully used consumed by the cement plants in the production of slag cement, incorporating properly designed and efficient cement mixing equipment. Typical blended slag cements produced are P.S 42.5 and P.S 32.5 (complying with GB 1344) with GGBS contents of 25-35% and 50-60% respectively.
Due to the widely use of slag powder and the increasing demand of market, a unique phenomenon has emerged in that slag grinding industry has become a sector to be reckoned with, independent from the cement industry. Continuous expansion of existing slag grinding plants is foreseen in China in the next at least 5 years in order to maximize the utilization of its huge raw slag resource for producing high quality and value-added product of GGBS.
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