Supplementary cementing materials (SCMs) contribute to the properties of hardened concrete through hydraulic or pozzolanic activity. Typical examples are fly ashes, slag cement (ground, granulated blast-furnace slag), and silica fume. These can be used individually with portland or blended cement or in different combinations. Supplementary cementing materials are often added to concrete to make concrete mixtures more economical, reduce permeability, increase strength, or influence other concrete properties.
Fly ash, the most commonly used pozzolan in concrete, is a by-product of thermal power generating stations. Commercially available fly ash is a finely divided residue that results from the combustion of pulverized coal and is carried from the combustion chamber of the furnace by exhaust gases.