Harsco Metals & Minerals

Steel slag is well known to have very good resistance to abrasion and excellent anti-skid properties. New research has established that these qualities last longer than in natural aggregates over the whole life of the road.

The research was conducted by the Transport and Road Assessment Centre, University of Ulster, over a period of months, comparing slag and natural aggregates in asphalt roads. The results were presented by Nick Jones, Harsco Metals Slag Business Development Manager at the 2010 Global Slag Conference in Australia. They showed that the slag aggregates proved to be more skid resistant than limestone and performed better in terms of wear and fragmentation in dry or wet conditions.

The findings are significant because low abrasion and prolonged skid resistance leads to improved safety for longer, increased road life and a more cost-effective surfacing aggregate. The research did not look into the causes for slag’s higher resistance to ‘polishing’ compared to natural aggregates - this would be the subject of another study.