• Ola T. kader Building and Construction Engineering, Technical College of Mosul, Northern Technical University, Iraq
  • Eethar T. Dawood Building and Construction Engineering, Technical College of Mosul, Northern Technical University, Iraq



green mortar, steel slag, fly ash, metakaolin, ternary cement mortar.


Green mortar is a mortar that is environmentally friendly and that uses waste materials or by-products to reduce CO2 emissions that are produced during cement production. This study aims to produce a new type of green mortar by using ternary cement mixes with acceptable fresh and hardened properties. The materials used were metakaolin (10-20%), slag (15-30%), and fly ash (10-20%). The experimental work was divided into two steps. Firstly, metakaolin was replaced with various percentages of 10%, 15%, and 20%, and then the optimum percentage having the highest compressive strength was chosen to use in ternary mixes. Secondly, cement was replaced with a ternary mix (slag, fly ash, and metakaolin) with a replacement ratio of 40% and 50%. Properties were studied flowability, compressive strength, flexural strength, water absorption, dry density, ultra-sonic plus velocity test, The results show that using metakaolin as a partial replacement for cement decreased flowability and increased superplasticizer dosage. From the results can conclude the use of ternary mixes decreased the workability of mixes and increased the dosage of superplasticizers to 1.8% at 50% replacement of cement. The results of compressive strength showed an increase of 50.6% after replacing 10% metakaolin at 7 days and 17.35% after replacing ternary mixes with 15% slag, 15% fly ash, and 10% metakaolin, while flexural strength increased by 26.47% after replacing the same percent of metakaolin and by 10.4% after replacing a ternary mix with the same percent of materials. The results show that using 10% metakaolin decreased water absorption by 28.75% while increasing slag increased water absorption in ternary mixes. The results for dry density slightly decreased or increased with the increased replacement of ternary cement mixes from 1.2% to 0.33% compared with the control mix. The UPV test result increased by 5.4% in ternary cement mixes, and when replacing metakaolin with 10% and 15%, it increased UPV by 5.7% and 5.2%, respectively, at 28 days.


Liew, K. M., Sojobi, A. O., & Zhang, L. W. 2017. Green concrete: Prospects and challenges. Construction and Building Materials, 156: 1063–1095. DOI:

Verger, A., Fontdevila, C., & Zancajo, A. 2016. The privatization of education: A political economy of global education reform. Teachers College Press. DOI: .

Mohammadhosseini, H., Tahir, M. M., Sam, A. R. M., Lim, N. H. A. S., & Samadi, M. 2018. Enhanced performance for aggressive environments of green concrete composites reinforced with waste carpet fibers and palm oil fuel ash. Journal of Cleaner Production. 185: 252–265.DOI:

Mensah, J. 2019. Sustainable development: Meaning, history, principles, pillars, and implications for human action: Literature review. Cogent Social Sciences, 5(1): 1653531.DOI:

Mohammad-hosseini, H., Tahir, M. M., Sam, A. R. M., Lim, N. H. A. S., & Samadi, M. 2018. Enhanced performance for aggressive environments of green concrete composites reinforced with waste carpet fibers and palm oil fuel ash. Journal of Cleaner Production, 185: 252–265. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.051 .

Falayi, T., Okonta, F. N., & Ntuli, F. 2017. Desilication of fly ash and development of lightweight construction blocks from alkaline activated desilicated fly ash. International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 20(3): 233–253.DOI:

Mikulčić, H., Klemeš, J. J., Vujanović, M., Urbaniec, K., & Duić, N. 2016. Reducing greenhouse gasses emissions by fostering the deployment of alternative raw materials and energy sources in the cleaner cement manufacturing process. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136: 119–132. DOI:

Cao, Y., Wang, Y., Zhang, Z., Ma, Y., & Wang, H. 2021. Recent progress of utilization of activated kaolinitic clay in cementitious construction materials. Composites Part B: Engineering, 211: 108636.DOI: .

Fuller, A., Maier, J., Karampinis, E., Kalivodova, J., Grammelis, P., Kakaras, E., & Scheffknecht, G. 2018. Fly ash formation and characteristics from (co-) combustion of an herbaceous biomass and a Greek lignite (low-rank coal) in a pulverized fuel pilot-scale test facility. Energies, 11(6): 1581.DOI: .

Singh, A. K., Masto, R. E., Hazra, B., Esterle, J., & Singh, P. K. 2020. Genesis and Characteristics of Coal and Biomass Ash. In Ash from Coal and Biomass Combustion 15–36. Springer. DOI:

Saranya, P., Nagarajan, P., & Shashikala, A. P. 2018. Eco-friendly GGBS concrete: a state-of-the-art review. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 330(1): 12057.DOI:

Rajaram, M., Ravichandran, A., & Muthadhi, A. 2017. Studies on optimum usage of GGBS in concrete. Int J Innov Sci Res Technol, 2(5): 773–778. DOI: .

Dawood, E. T., & Abdual-kareem, M. 2022. An experimental study for utilization of slag (S) to produce sustainable mortar. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2386(1), 80015.DOI:

Teja, B., Kumar, T. J., & Krishna, P. B. 2018. An Experimental study on performance of Ternary blended high strength hybrid fibre reinforced concrete. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET), 5(02): 1815–1822.DOI: doi: 10.14456/ITJEMAST.2021.213 .

Teja, B., Kumar, T. J., & Krishna, P. B. (2018). An Experimental study on performance of Ternary blended high strength hybrid fibre reinforced concrete. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET), 5(02): 1815-1822

Wei, J., & Gencturk, B. 2019. Hydration of ternary Portland cement blends containing metakaolin and sodium bentonite. Cement and Concrete Research, 123: 105772.DOI:

Iraqi Standard Specification. 2010. Characteristics of OPC, Central Agency for Standardization and Quality Control, No. 5.

Iraqi Standard. 1984. The Ruins of the natural Resources used in the Concrete and Construction,Central Agency for Standardization and Quality Control, No. 45.

ASTM, C. 2013. 494: Standard Specifications for Chemical Admixtures for Concrete.[book auth.]. ASTM International. Annual Book of ASTM Standards. West Conshohocken: ASTM International.

Dawood, E. T., & Mhmood, M. S. 2021. Properties of binary blended cement mortars containing glass powder and steel slag powder. Engineering Transactions, 69(3): 243–256. doi. :

Aggregates, A. C. C.-09 on C. and C. 2013. Standard specification for coal fly ash and raw or calcined natural pozzolan for use in concrete. ASTM international.

ASTM C1437-15. 2015. "Standard Test Method for Flow of Hydraulic Cement Mortar," ASTM International.

Schmid, M., & Plank, J. 2020. Dispersing performance of different kinds of polycarboxylate (PCE) superplasticizers in cement blended with a calcined clay. Construction and Building Materials. 258: 119576. DOI: .

de, A. N., Oshogbunu, O., Olofinnade, O. M., Jolayemi, K. J., Oyebisi, S. O., Mark, O. G., & Awoyera, P. O. 2019. Effects of bamboo fibers and limestone powder on fresh properties of self-compacting concrete. Proceedings of 10th Interdependence between Structural Engineering and Construction Management, ISEC10. DOI: .

Hanif, A., Cheng, Y., Lu, Z., & Li, Z. 2018. Mechanical behavior of thin-laminated cementitious composites incorporating cenosphere fillers. ACI Materials Journal, 115(1): 117–127.DOI:

Akçaözoğlu, S., Çiflikli, M., Bozkaya, Ö., Atiş, C. D., & Ulu, C. 2021. Examination of mechanical properties and microstructure of alkali activated slag and slag‐metakaolin blends exposed to high temperatures. Structural, Concrete. DOI: .

Xiang, J., Liu, L., He, Y., Zhang, N., & Cui, X. 2019. Early mechanical properties and microstructural evolution of slag/metakaolin-based geopolymers exposed to karst water. Cement and Concrete Composites, 99: 140–150.DOI: .

Karakuzu, K., Kobya, V., Mardani-Aghabaglou, A., Felekoğlu, B., & Ramyar, K. 2021. Adsorption properties of polycarboxylate ether-based high range water reducing admixture on cementitious systems: A review. Construction and Building Materials. 312: 125366. DOI:

Cabinets, M., Rooms, M., Statements, B., & Mass, D. 2013. Standard test method for compressive strength of hydraulic cement mortars (using 2-in. or [50-mm] cube specimens) (ASTMC109/C109M − 13). 1–10.

Abdelmelek, N., Alimrani, N. S., Krelias, N., & Lubloy, E. 2021. Effect of elevated temperatures on microstructure of high strength concrete based-metakaolin. Journal of King Saud University-Engineering,Sciences.DOI: .

Bae, S., Meral, C., Oh, J., Moon, J., Kunz, M., & Monteiro, P. J. M. 2014. Characterization of morphology and hydration products of high-volume fly ash paste by monochromatic scanning x-ray micro-diffraction (μ-SXRD). Cement and Concrete Research, 59: 155–164. DOI: .

Jaraullah, M. N., Dawood, E. T., & Abdullah, M. H. 2022. Static and impact mechanical properties of ferrocement slabs produced from green mortar. Case Studies in Construction Materials, e00995.DOI: .

ASTM, A. (n.d.). C348-14 Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of Hydraulic-Cement Mortars, ASTM Int. West Conshohocken.

Dubey, S., Chandak, R., & Yadav, R. K. 2015. Experimental study of concrete with metakaolin as partial replacement of OPC. International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science,2(6). DOI: .

Sun, J., Dong, H., Wu, J., Jiang, J., Li, W., Shen, X., & Hou, G. 2021. Properties evolution of cement-metakaolin system with CSH/PCE nanocomposites. Construction and Building Materials, 282: 122707. DOI:

Abdelmelek.,N.,&Lubloy,E.2021 .Flexural strength of silica fume, fly ash, and metakaolin of hardened cement paste after exposure to elevated temperatures. J. Therm. Anal. Calorim., 1-11. DOI:

Morsy, M. S., Al-Salloum, Y. A., Abbas, H., & Alsayed, S. H. 2012. M. S. Morsy, Y. A. Al-Salloum, H. Abbas, and S. H. Alsayed, “Behavior of blended cement mortars containing nano-metakaolin at elevated temperatures,” Construction and Building Materials, 35: 900–905.DOI: .

International, A. 2002. ASTM C597-02 Standard Test Method for Pulse Velocity Through Concrete. ASTM International West Conshohocken, PA, USA.

Ferreiro, S., Herfort, D., & Damtoft, J. S. 2017. Effect of raw clay type, fineness, water-to-cement ratio and fly ash addition on workability and strength performance of calcined clay–limestone Portland cements. Cement and Concrete Research, 101: 1–12.DOI:

Bhutta, A., Farooq, M., & Banthia, N. 2019. Performance characteristics of micro fiber-reinforced geopolymer mortars for repair. Construction and Building Materials, 215: 605-612. ‏DOI: .

Dawood, E. T., Mohammed, W. T., & Plank, J. 2022. Performance of sustainable mortar using calcined clay, fly ash, limestone powder and reinforced with hybrid fibers. Case Studies in ConstructionMaterials,16: e00849. DOI: .

Dhandapani, Y., & Santhanam, M. 2020. Investigation on the microstructure-related characteristics to elucidate performance of composite cement with limestone-calcined clay combination. Cement and Concrete Research, 129: 105959.DOI:

ASTM. 2013. ASTM C642: Standard Test Method for Density, Absorption, and Voids in Hardened Concrete, ASTM International, United States. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, March, 1–3.

Abdelmelek, N., & Lubloy, E. 2021. The impact of metakaolin, silica fume and fly ash on the temperature resistance of high strength cement paste. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 1–12. DOI:

Zhu, G., Hao, Y., Xia, C., Zhang, Y., Hu, T., & Sun, S. 2013. Study on cementitious properties of steel slag. Journal of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Metallurgy, 49(2): 217–224. DOI: .

Foti, D., Lerna, M., Sabbà, M. F., & Vacca, V. 2019. Mechanical characteristics and water absorption properties of blast-furnace slag concretes with fly ashes or microsilica additions. Applied Sciences, 9(7): 1279. DOI: .

Dawood, E. T., Mhmood, M. S., & Malallah, M. A.-K. 2021. An Approach for Designing Different Sustainable and Economical Concrete Mixes. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1973(1): 12156. DOI:.




How to Cite

kader, O. T. ., & T. Dawood, E. . (2023). PERFORMANCE OF TERNARY CEMENT MORTAR USING STEEL SLAG, FLY ASH, AND METAKAOLIN. ASEAN Engineering Journal, 13(2), 125-133.