POWDER TECHNOLOGY, vol.384, pp.17-28, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Representing an engineered mixture of coal fly ash, cement and water, cemented coal fly ash backfill (CCB) is typically employed for filling the openings created after coal excavation in the earth. A high rate of productivity for coal mines requires a high early-age strength backfill design. Therefore, the use of admixtures in CCB is key for accelerating the backfill setting time and augmenting short-and long-term strength. This study offers the effect of sodium silicate (SS) as an accelerator on early age mechanical and microstructure properties of CCB. SSbased admixture was used for a dosage of 0.5,1 and 1.5 wt% in CCB that contains 25 wt% ordinary Portland cement OPC and 75 wt% coal fly ash. Backfill setting time was done by using the Vicat system while its strength and pore structure were measured by using the uniaxial compressive strength test, and scanning electron microscopy and Hg intrusion porosimetry. Results display that use of SS in CCB increases its short-term strength gain up to 14% and shortens the mining cycle by cutting its setting time up to 58%. The microstructure analyses also indicate that CCB formulated with SS has a finer pore structure than that without admixture. The outcomes of the present study will be advantageous to evaluate both setting time and strength behavior of CCB used in coal mines, thereby causing the effective backfill plan in terms of money saving and easy operation.