Current methods for determining sulfate resistance of fly ash concrete often require several years of testing. An accepted method that can be used to predict sulfate resistance in a few days does not exist. A hypothesis is submitted as a possible step towards development of a comprehensive theory. The sulfate reactivity of fly ash is characterized by its chemical composition. One high calcium fly ash was shown to react similarly to blast-furnace slags. Sulfate resistance of comparable fly ash concretes is shown to correlate with ash composition; therefore, based on chemical composition of fly ash, a sulfate resistance factor R is proposed. The factor is the ratio (C-5)/F, where C is calcium oxide and F is ferric oxide in percent. When R is less than 1.5, a fly ash should improve the sulfate resistance.
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