The initial/secondary absorption and compressive strength of alkali-activated slag (AAS) paste has been investigated. Emphasis has been given to secondary absorption of AAS paste based on the method described in ASTM C1585-04 [Standard Test Method for Measurement of Rate of Absorption of Water by Hydraulic Cement Concretes, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2004, pp. 1–4]. The paste was produced by activating blast furnace slag with sodium hydroxide/potassium hydroxide and sodium silicate solution. The major parameters studied were alkali content, silicate content, and the type of activator. Experimental investigation revealed that initial rate of absorption (Si) and secondary rate of absorption (Ss) decreases with increase in alkali and silicate content up to a certain limit with an increase in compressive strength. The maximum compressive strength was found to be 50.40 MPa for the specimens having lowest sorptivity. It was also found that the sorptivity ratio (Si/Ss) plays a significant role on compressive strength in turn on the durability of AAS composites. This paper is an attempt to introduce the simple method of measuring initial and secondary sorptivity described in ASTM C1585-04 to study the strength and durability of AAS. The microstructure study was carried out using SEM/EDAX.
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