Performance of a Single Source of Low-Grade Clay in a Limestone Calcined Clay Cement Mortar

Kwabena Boakye, Morteza Khorami, Messaoud Saidani, Eshmaiel Ganjian, Mark Tyrer, Andrew Dunster

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The high kaolinite content of metakaolin makes it valuable to other industries, thereby affecting its availability and affordability for the production of limestone calcined clay cement (LC3). This work presents a study on the potential utilization of low-grade clay in place of pure metakaolin in the preparation of LC3 for mortar formulations. CEM I was partially substituted with calcined clay and limestone by 20, 30, 40, and 50 wt.%. The weight ratio of calcined clay and limestone was maintained at 2:1 for all mixes and the water-to-binder ratio was 0.48. X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and isothermal conduction calorimetry were used to study the hydration process and products after 28 days. Mechanical and durability assessments of the LC3 mortar specimens were conducted. LC3 specimens (marked LC20%, LC30%, LC40%, and LC50%) trailed the control sample by 1.2%, 4%, 9.8%, and 18%, respectively, at 28 days and 1.6%, 2.3%, 3.6%, and 5.5%, respectively, at 91 days. The optimum replacement of OPC clinker, calcined clay, and limestone was 20% (LC20%).
Original languageEnglish
Article number93
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.


  • limestone calcined clay cement
  • low-grade calcined clay
  • limestone
  • hydration
  • durability
  • drying shrinkage


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