The present invention relates to concrete, mortar and other hardenable mixtures comprising cement and fly ash for use in construction. The invention provides a method for increasing the rate of strength gain of a hardenable mixture containing fly ash by exposing the fly ash to an aqueous slurry of calcium oxide (lime) prior to its incorporation into the hardenable mixture. The invention further relates to such hardenable mixtures, e.g., concrete and mortar, that contain fly ash pre-reacted with calcium oxide. In particular, the fly ash is added to a slurry of calcium oxide in water, prior to incorporating the fly ash in a hardenable mixture. The hardenable mixture may be concrete or mortar. In a specific embodiment, mortar containing fly ash treated by exposure to an aqueous lime slurry are prepared and tested for compressive strength at early time points.
The research leading to the present invention was conducted with Government support under Contract No. DE-FG22-90PC90299 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.