Enhancement of the pozzolanic activity of natural clays by mechanochemical activation

Ilda Tole, Francesco Delogu, Elsa Qoku, Karin Habermehl-Cwirzen, Andrzej Cwirzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Replacement of cement with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) is a proven method to reduce clinker in cement and contribute to decreased CO2 emissions. Natural clays are commonly occurring materials that do not possess pozzolanic activity in their original state. Mechanochemical activation (MCA) can be an alternative and sustainable method to enhance their reactivity. In this study, the pozzolanic reactivity of three natural clays, originating from Sweden, was analyzed after the application of MCA in a planetary ball mill. Strength activity index (SAI), Frattini test, and conductivity test were used to evaluate the pozzolanic reactivity. All processed clays by MCA have achieved a SAI greater than 100%, while the Frattini test indicated an improved pozzolanic activity of samples containing a higher amount of clay minerals. The obtained results show that MCA could improve the pozzolanic reactivity, but the effect depends on the mineralogical composition and particle size of the clays.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128739
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number17 October 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Grinding
  • Blended Cement
  • Pozzolan
  • SCMs
  • Clays


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