With the US steel industry struggling, they have just been dealt another blow. The Ohio Department of Transport has established a new specification for slag supplied for roads and highways.
Typically, steel producers supply blast furnace slag, (a by-product of steel production) as a sub-base for road surfaces, prior to the laying of the pavement. This provides a viable disposal route for steel manufacturers.
Following an alleged contamination of natural water from slag leaching, the Ohio Department of Transport carried out testing of slags and established, Supplemental Specification 1027.
Under Specification 1027, the slags supplied for road bases must now have a pH of between 6 and 9 (although Indiana has raised this to 10.5), and must be tested for total dissolved solids and conductivity.
The steel industry in Ohio, which produces about a quarter of the USA’s slag could stand to lose as much as $2.3 million annually in slag income and as well as having to deal with disposal costs estimated at $55 million a year. Slag processing costs would also be likely to increase, while the ramifications could be more widespread, if other states follow the lead of the Ohio Department of Transport.
For more information on slags, click here.