Copper slag (CS), a by-product of copper smelting, is normally stockpiled, leading to wastes of resource and space as well as environment pollution. It has not been massively reutilized as a supplementary cementitious material in Portland cement due to its low reactivity. In the present study, CS is for the first time utilized as the base component to prepare an iron phosphate cement (IPC) by reacting with ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ADP) at room temperature. The influence of the raw materials mass ratio (CS/ADP) on the microstructure and performance of IPC pastes are investigated. It is found that the compressive strength of IPC pastes at all ages is not a monotonic function of CS/ADP, and the paste with CS/ADP of 2.0 gives the highest strengths, i.e., 26.8, 38.9 and 47.5 MPa at 1, 3 and 28 d, respectively. The crystalline phases including FeH2P3O10·H2O and FePO4 are formed as the main reaction products to bind the unreacted CS particles. The early age hydration of IPC is found to be a multi-stage process, involving the initial dissolution of ADP and iron-containing phases of CS, the formation of FeH2P3O10·H2O, the initial generation of FePO4, and the attainment of the hydration reaction equilibrium. Unlike the magnesium phosphate cement, a redox reaction of Fe(Ⅱ) into Fe(Ⅲ) occurs due to the suitable range of pH and oxidation-reduction potential of the IPC system during the hydration reaction.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant 21866018

Keywords and Phrases

Compressive strength; Copper slag; Hydration mechanism; Iron phosphate cement; Microstructure

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2022