Building Damage from Expansive Steel Slag Backfill

by Carl B. Crawford,
Kenneth N. Burn,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 6, Pg. 1325-1334

Document Type: Journal Paper


Expanding steel slage backfill was unexpectedly found to be the cause of vertical movements of the floor of a basementless building that resulted in significant damage to window and door frames. Five years after construction some parts of the building were still heaving at a rate of 1 cm per yr. Swelling properties of the slag when exposed to different conditions of temperature and humidity are reported. Characteristics of iron blast furnace and steel open hearth furnace slags are described and on this basis it is advocated that only blast furnace slags be used in cases where long-term volume changes cannot be tolerated. Use of other slags in such circumstances should be prohibited unless accompanied by specific evidence that they will not expand.

Subject Headings: Steel | Slag | Backfills | Steel frames | Blasting effects | Vertical loads | Floors | Windows

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