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How does pulverized fly ash function as cement replacement?

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Pulverized fly ash is a type of pozzolans. It is a siliceous or aluminous material which possesses no binding ability by itself. When it is in finely divided form, they can react with calcium hydroxide in the presence of moisture to form compounds with cementing properties.

During cement hydration with water, calcium hydroxide is formed which is non-cementitious in nature. However, when pulverized fly ash is added to calcium hydroxide, they react to produce calcium silicate hydrates which is highly cementitious. This results in improved concrete strength. This explains how pulverized fly ash can act as cement replacement.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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