Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: geopolymers

23 Production of Geopolymers for Structural Applications from Fluidized Bed Combustion Bottom Ash

Authors: Thapelo Aubrey Motsieng


Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) is a clean coal technology used in the combustion of low-grade coals for power generation. The production of large solid wastes such as bottom ashes from this process is a problem. The bottom ash contains some toxic elements which can leach out soils and contaminate surface and ground water; for this reason, they can neither be disposed of in landfills nor lagoons anymore. The production of geopolymers from bottom ash for structural and concrete applications is an option for their disposal. In this study, the waste bottom ash obtained from the combustion of three low grade South African coals in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor was used to produce geopolymers. The geopolymers were cured in a household microwave. The results showed that the microwave curing enhanced the reactivity and strength of the geopolymers.

Keywords: bottom ash, geopolymers, coal, compressive strength

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22 Microwave Production of Geopolymers Using Fluidized Bed Combustion Bottom Ash

Authors: Osholana Tobi Stephen, Rotimi Emmanuel Sadiku, Bilainu Oboirien.o


Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) is a clean coal technology used in the combustion of low-grade coals for power generation. The production of large solid wastes such as bottom ashes from this process is a problem. The bottom ash contains some toxic elements which can leach out soils and contaminate surface and ground water; for this reason, they can neither be disposed in landfills nor lagoons anymore. The production of geopolymers from bottom ash for structural and concrete applications is an option for their disposal. In this study, the waste bottom ash obtained from the combustion of three low grade South African coals in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor was used to produce geopolymers. The geopolymers were cured in a household microwave. The results showed that the microwave curing enhanced the reactivity and strength of the geopolymers.

Keywords: bottom ash, coal, fluidized bed combustion (FBC) geopolymer, compressive strength

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21 Effect of Concentration of Alkaline and Curing Temperature on Compressive Strength of Geopolymer Concert

Authors: Nursah Kutuk, Sevil Cetinkaya


Geopolymers are becoming new concrete materials to use alongside cement, which are formed due to reaction between alumino-silicates and oxides with alkaline media. Silicates obtained from natural minerals or industrial wastes are used for geopolymer synthesis. Geopolymers have recently received wide attention because of their advantages over other cementitious material like Portland cement. Some of the advantages are high compressive strength, low environmental impact, chemical and fire resistance and thermal stability. In this study, geopolymers were prepared by using inorganic materials such as kaolinite and calcite. The experiments were carried out by varying the concentration of NaOH as 5, 10, 15 and 20 M, and at cure temperature of 22, 45 and 65 °C. Compressive strengths for each mixes at each cure temperature were measured. Results of the analyses indicated that the compressive strength of geopolymers did not increase steadily with increasing concentration of NaOH, but did increase steadily with increasing cure temperature. We examined the effect Na2SiO3/NaOH weight ratio on the properties of the geopolymers, too. It was seen that Na2SiO3/NaOH weight ratio was also important to prepare geopolymers that can be applied to construction industry.

Keywords: geopolymers, compressive strength, kaolinite, calcite

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20 Effect of Fly Ash Fineness on Sorption Properties of Geopolymers Based on Liquid Glass

Authors: Miroslava Zelinkova, Marcela Ondova


Fly ash (FA) thanks to the significant presence of SiO2 and Al2O3 as the main components is a potential raw material for geopolymers production. Mechanical activation is a method for improving FA reactivity and also the porosity of final mixture; those parameters can be analysed through sorption properties. They have direct impact on the durability of fly ash based geopolymer mortars. In the paper, effect of FA fineness on sorption properties of geopolymers based on sodium silicate, as well as relationship between fly ash fineness and apparent density, compressive and flexural strength of geopolymers are presented. The best results in the evaluated area reached the sample H1, which contents the highest portion of particle under 20μm (100% of GFA). The interdependence of individual tested properties was confirmed for geopolymer mixtures corresponding to those in the cement based mixtures: higher is portion of fine particles < 20μm, higher is strength, density and lower are sorption properties. The compressive strength as well as sorption parameters of the geopolymer can be reasonably controlled by grinding process and also ensured by the higher share of fine particle (to 20μm) in total mass of the material.

Keywords: alkali activation, geopolymers, fly ash, particle fineness

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19 Utilization of Aluminium Dross as a Main Raw Material for Synthesize the Geopolymers via Mechanochemistry Method

Authors: Pimchanok Puksisuwan, Pitak Laorattanakul, Benya Cherdhirunkorn


The use of aluminium dross as a raw material for geopolymer synthesis via mechanochemistry method was studied. The geopolymers were prepared using aluminium dross from secondary aluminium industry, fly ash from a biomass power plant and liquid alkaline activators, which is a mixture of sodium silicate solution (Na2SiO3) and sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) (Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio 4:1, 3:1 and 2:1). Aluminium dross consists mostly of alumina (Al2O3), silicon oxide (SiO2) and aluminium nitride (AlN). The raw materials were mixed and milled using the high energy ball milling method for 5, 10 and 15 minutes in order to reduce the particle size. The milled powders were uniaxially pressed into a cylinder die with the pressure of 2200 psi. The cylinder samples were cured in the sealed plastic bags for 3, 7 and 14 days at the room temperature and 60°C for 24 hour. The mechanical property of geopolymers was investigated. In addition, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were carried out in order to study the microstructure and phase structures of the geopolymers, respectively. The results showed that aluminium dross could enhance the mechanical property of geopolymers product by mechanochemistry method and meet the TISI requirements.

Keywords: aluminium dross, fly ash, geopolymer, mechanochemistry

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18 Prediction of Compressive Strength in Geopolymer Composites by Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System

Authors: Mehrzad Mohabbi Yadollahi, Ramazan Demirboğa, Majid Atashafrazeh


Geopolymers are highly complex materials which involve many variables which makes modeling its properties very difficult. There is no systematic approach in mix design for Geopolymers. Since the amounts of silica modulus, Na2O content, w/b ratios and curing time have a great influence on the compressive strength an ANFIS (Adaptive neuro fuzzy inference system) method has been established for predicting compressive strength of ground pumice based Geopolymers and the possibilities of ANFIS for predicting the compressive strength has been studied. Consequently, ANFIS can be used for geopolymer compressive strength prediction with acceptable accuracy.

Keywords: geopolymer, ANFIS, compressive strength, mix design

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17 Characterization of Coal Fly Ash with Potential Use in the Manufacture Geopolymers to Solidify/Stabilize Heavy Metal Ions

Authors: P. M. Fonseca Alfonso, E. A. Murillo Ruiz, M. Diaz Lagos


Understanding the physicochemical properties and mineralogy of fly ash from a particular source is essential for to protect the environment and considering its possible applications, specifically, in the production of geopolymeric materials that solidify/stabilize heavy metals ions. The results of the characterization of three fly ash samples are shown in this paper. The samples were produced in the TERMOPAIPA IV thermal power plant in the State of Boyaca, Colombia. The particle size distribution, chemical composition, mineralogy, and molecular structure of three samples were analyzed using laser diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy respectively. The particle size distribution of the three samples probably ranges from 0.128 to 211 μm. Approximately 59 elements have been identified in the three samples. It is noticeable that the ashes are made up of aluminum and silicon compounds. Besides, the iron phase in low content was also found. According to the results found in this study, the fly ash samples type F has a great potential to be used as raw material for the manufacture of geopolymers with potential use in the stabilization/solidification of heavy metals; mainly due to the presence of amorphous aluminosilicates typical of this type of ash, which react effectively with alkali-activator.

Keywords: fly ash, geopolymers, molecular structure, physicochemical properties.

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16 Recycling Carbon Fibers/Epoxy Composites Wastes in Building Materials Based on Geopolymer Binders

Authors: A. Saccani, I. Lancellotti, E. Bursi


Scraps deriving from the production of epoxy-carbon fibers composites have been recycled as a reinforcement to produce building materials. Short chopped fibers (5-7 mm length) have been added at low volume content (max 10%) to produce mortars. The microstructure, mechanical properties (mainly flexural strength) and dimensional stability of the derived materials have been investigated. Two different types of matrix have been used: one based on conventional Portland Cement and the other containing geopolymers formed starting from activated metakaolin and fly ashes. In the second case the materials is almost completely made of recycled ingredients. This is an attempt to produce reliable materials solving waste disposal problems. The first collected results show promising results.

Keywords: building materials, carbon fibres, fly ashes, geopolymers

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15 Alkali Activation of Fly Ash, Metakaolin and Slag Blends: Fresh and Hardened Properties

Authors: Weiliang Gong, Lissa Gomes, Lucile Raymond, Hui Xu, Werner Lutze, Ian L. Pegg


Alkali-activated materials, particularly geopolymers, have attracted much interest in academia. Commercial applications are on the rise, as well. Geopolymers are produced typically by a reaction of one or two aluminosilicates with an alkaline solution at room temperature. Fly ash is an important aluminosilicate source. However, using low-Ca fly ash, the byproduct of burning hard or black coal reacts and sets slowly at room temperature. The development of mechanical durability, e.g., compressive strength, is slow as well. The use of fly ashes with relatively high contents ( > 6%) of unburned carbon, i.e., high loss on ignition (LOI), is particularly disadvantageous as well. This paper will show to what extent these impediments can be mitigated by mixing the fly ash with one or two more aluminosilicate sources. The fly ash used here is generated at the Orlando power plant (Florida, USA). It is low in Ca ( < 1.5% CaO) and has a high LOI of > 6%. The additional aluminosilicate sources are metakaolin and blast furnace slag. Binary fly ash-metakaolin and ternary fly ash-metakaolin-slag geopolymers were prepared. Properties of geopolymer pastes before and after setting have been measured. Fresh mixtures of aluminosilicates with an alkaline solution were studied by Vicat needle penetration, rheology, and isothermal calorimetry up to initial setting and beyond. The hardened geopolymers were investigated by SEM/EDS and the compressive strength was measured. Initial setting (fluid to solid transition) was indicated by a rapid increase in yield stress and plastic viscosity. The rheological times of setting were always smaller than the Vicat times of setting. Both times of setting decreased with increasing replacement of fly ash with blast furnace slag in a ternary fly ash-metakaolin-slag geopolymer system. As expected, setting with only Orlando fly ash was the slowest. Replacing 20% fly ash with metakaolin shortened the set time. Replacing increasing fractions of fly ash in the binary system by blast furnace slag (up to 30%) shortened the time of setting even further. The 28-day compressive strength increased drastically from < 20 MPa to 90 MPa. The most interesting finding relates to the calorimetric measurements. The use of two or three aluminosilicates generated significantly more heat (20 to 65%) than the calculated from the weighted sum of the individual aluminosilicates. This synergetic heat contributes or may be responsible for most of the increase of compressive strength of our binary and ternary geopolymers. The synergetic heat effect may be also related to increased incorporation of calcium in sodium aluminosilicate hydrate to form a hybrid (N,C)A-S-H) gel. The time of setting will be correlated with heat release and maximum heat flow.

Keywords: alkali-activated materials, binary and ternary geopolymers, blends of fly ash, metakaolin and blast furnace slag, rheology, synergetic heats

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14 Geopolymer Stabilization of Earth Building Material for Construction 3D Printing

Authors: Timur Mukhametkaliyev


The earthen material possesses low compression strength, and it is highly sensitive to the water content. Different binders can be added (Portland cement or lime) to improve the durability and the mechanical characteristics of earthen material, but the production of these binders has high embodied energy and results in an increase in world CO₂ emission. Geopolymers are binders which can be synthesized at low temperature in alkaline solutions from raw materials consisting of amorphous aluminosilicates. Geopolymers are an attractive substitution of Portland cement and can be used as an excellent stabilization for earthen material. In this study, earthen material stabilized with geopolymer binder for use in construction 3D printing was developed. Construction 3D printing offers freedom of design, waste minimisation, customisation, reduced labour, and automation. For successful 3D printing, the properties of used material are the most important aspects because they require adaptability for extrusion and controlled time of hardening for the binder.

Keywords: 3D printing, building construction, geopolymer, architecture

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13 Effects of Different Calcination Temperature on the Geopolymerization of Fly Ash

Authors: Nurcan Tugrul, Funda Demir, Hilal Ozkan, Nur Olgun, Emek Derun


Geopolymers are aluminosilicate-containing materials. The raw materials of the geopolymerization can be natural material such as kaolinite, metakaolin (calcined kaolinite), clay, diatomite, rock powder or can also be industrial by-products such as fly ash, silica fume, blast furnace slag, rice-husk ash, mine tailing, red mud, waste slag, etc. Reactivity of raw materials in geopolymer production is very important for achieving high reaction grade. Fly ash used in geopolymer production has been calcined to obtain tetrahedral SiO₂ and Al₂O₃ structures. In this study, fly ash calcined at different temperatures (700, 800 and 900 °C), and Al₂O₃ addition (Al₂O₃ at min (0%) and max (100%)) were used to produce geopolymers. HCl dissolution method was applied to determine the geopolymerization percentage of samples and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy was used to find out the optimum calcination temperature for geopolymerization. According to obtained results, the highest geopolymerization percentage (0% alumina added geopolymer equal to 35.789%; 100% alumina added geopolymer equal to 40.546%) was obtained in samples using fly ash calcined at 800 °C.

Keywords: geopolymer, fly ash, Al₂O₃ addition, calcination

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12 Investigating Geopolymerization Process of Aluminosilicates and its Impact on the Compressive Strength of the Produced Geopolymers

Authors: Heba Fouad, Tarek M. Madkour, Safwan A. Khedr


This paper investigates multiple factors that impact the formation of geopolymers and their compressive strength to be utilized in construction as an environmentally-friendly material. Bentonite and Kaolinite were thermally calcinated at 750 °C to obtain Metabentonite and Metakaolinite with higher reactivity. Both source materials were activated using a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Thereafter, samples were cured at different temperatures. The samples were analyzed chemically using a host of spectroscopic techniques. The bulk density and compressive strength of the produced Geopolymer pastes were studied. Findings indicate that the ratio of NaOH solution to source material affects the compressive strength, being optimal at 0.54. Moreover, controlled heat curing was proven effective to improve compressive strength. The existence of characteristic Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) peaks at approximately 1020 cm-1 and 460 cm-1 which corresponds to the asymmetric stretching vibration of Si-O-T and bending vibration of Si-O-Si, hence, confirming the formation of the target geopolymer.

Keywords: calcination of metakaolinite, compressive strength, FTIR analysis, geopolymer, green cement

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11 Long-Term Mechanical and Structural Properties of Metakaolin-Based Geopolymers

Authors: Lenka Matulova


Geopolymers are alumosilicate materials that have long been studied. Despite this fact, little is known about the long-term stability of geopolymer mechanical and structural properties, so crucial for their successful industrial application. To improve understanding, we investigated the effect of four different types of environments on the mechanical and structural properties of a metakaolin-based geopolymer (MK GP). The MK GP samples were stored in laboratory conditions (control samples), in water at 20 °C, in water at 80 °C, and outside exposed to the weather. Compressive and tensile strengths were measured after 28, 56, 90, and 360 days. In parallel, structural properties were analyzed using XRD, SEM, and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Whereas the mechanical properties of the samples in laboratory conditions and in 20 °C water were stable, the mechanical properties of the outdoor samples and the samples 80 °C water decreased noticeably after 360 days. Structural analyses were focused on changes in sample microstructure (developing microcrack network, porosity) and identifying zeolites, the presence of which would indicate detrimental processes in the structure that can change it from amorphous to crystalline. No zeolites were found during the 360-day period in MK GP samples, but the reduction in mechanical properties coincided with a developing network of microcracks and changes in pore size distribution.

Keywords: geopolymer, long-term properties, mechanical properties, metakaolin, structural properties

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10 Fly-Ash/Borosilicate Glass Based Geopolymers: A Mechanical and Microstructural Investigation

Authors: Gianmarco Taveri, Ivo Dlouhy


Geopolymers are well-suited materials to abate CO2 emission coming from the Portland cement production, and then replace them, in the near future, in building and other applications. The cost of production of geopolymers may be seen the only weakness, but the use of wastes as raw materials could provide a valid solution to this problem, as demonstrated by the successful incorporation of fly-ash, a by-product of thermal power plants, and waste glasses. Recycled glass in waste-derived geopolymers was lately employed as a further silica source. In this work we present, for the first time, the introduction of recycled borosilicate glass (BSG). BSG is actually a waste glass, since it derives from dismantled pharmaceutical vials and cannot be reused in the manufacturing of the original articles. Owing to the specific chemical composition (BSG is an ‘alumino-boro-silicate’), it was conceived to provide the key components of zeolitic networks, such as amorphous silica and alumina, as well as boria (B2O3), which may replace Al2O3 and contribute to the polycondensation process. The solid–state MAS NMR spectroscopy was used to assess the extent of boron oxide incorporation in the structure of geopolymers, and to define the degree of networking. FTIR spectroscopy was utilized to define the degree of polymerization and to detect boron bond vibration into the structure. Mechanical performance was tested by means of 3 point bending (flexural strength), chevron notch test (fracture toughness), compression test (compressive strength), micro-indentation test (Vicker’s hardness). Spectroscopy (SEM and Confocal spectroscopy) was performed on the specimens conducted to failure. FTIR showed a characteristic absorption band attributed to the stretching modes of tetrahedral boron ions, whose tetrahedral configuration is compatible to the reaction product of geopolymerization. 27Al NMR and 29Si NMR spectra were instrumental in understanding the extent of the reaction. 11B NMR spectroscopies evidenced a change of the trigonal boron (BO3) inside the BSG in favor of a quasi-total tetrahedral boron configuration (BO4). Thanks to these results, it was inferred that boron is part of the geopolymeric structure, replacing the Si in the network, similarly to the aluminum, and therefore improving the quality of the microstructure, in favor of a more cross-linked network. As expected, the material gained as much as 25% in compressive strength (45 MPa) compared to the literature, whereas no improvements were detected in flexural strength (~ 5 MPa) and superficial hardness (~ 78 HV). The material also exhibited a low fracture toughness (0.35 MPa*m1/2), with a tangible brittleness. SEM micrographies corroborated this behavior, showing a ragged surface, along with several cracks, due to the high presence of porosity and impurities, acting as preferential points for crack initiation. The 3D pattern of the surface fracture, following the confocal spectroscopy, evidenced an irregular crack propagation, whose proclivity was mainly, but not always, to follow the porosity. Hence, the crack initiation and propagation are largely unpredictable.

Keywords: borosilicate glass, characterization, fly-ash, geopolymerization

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9 Effects of Elevated Temperatures on the Pumice Based Geoplymer Microstructure

Authors: Mehrzad Mohabbi Yadollahi, Pouneh Abdollahifard, Behzad Mokhtare, Majid Atashafrazeh


Geopolymers are believed to provide good fire resistance. The effects of elevated temperatures on mechanical and microstructural properties of pumice-based geopolymer were investigated in this study. Pumice based geopolymer was exposed to elevated temperatures of 200, 400, 600, and 800 ºC for 3 hours. The residual strength of these specimens was determined after cooling at room temperature and microstructures of these samples were investigated by FTIR and SEM analyses. Specimens which were initially grey turned reddish accompanied by the appearance of cracks as temperatures increased to 600 and 800 ºC.

Keywords: geopolymer, pumice, elevated temperature, SEM, FTIR

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8 Study of Fly Ash Geopolymer Based Composites with Polyester Waste Addition

Authors: Konstantinos Sotiriadis, Olesia Mikhailova


In the present work, fly ash geopolymer based composites including polyester (PES) waste were studied. Specimens of three compositions were prepared: (a) fly ash geopolymer with 5% PES waste, (b) fly ash geopolymer mortar with 5% PES waste, (c) fly ash geopolymer mortar with 6.25% PES waste. Compressive and bending strength measurements, water absorption test and determination of thermal conductivity coefficient were performed. The results showed that the addition of sand in a mixture of geopolymer with 5% PES content led to higher compressive strength, while it increased water absorption and reduced thermal conductivity coefficient. The increase of PES addition in geopolymer mortars resulted in a more dense structure, indicated by the increase of strength and thermal conductivity and the decrease of water absorption.

Keywords: fly ash, geopolymers, polyester waste, composites

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7 Characteristic on Compressive Strength of Blast Slag and Fly Ash Hybrid Geopolymer Mortar

Authors: G. S. Ryu, K. T. Koh, H. Y. Kim, G. H. An, D. W. Seo


Geopolymer mortar is produced by alkaline activation of pozzolanic materials such as fly ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) and fly ash (FA). Its unique reaction pathway facilitates rapid strength development in comparison with hydration of ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Geopolymer can be fabricated using various types and dosages of alkali-activator, which effectively gives a wider control over the performance of the final product. The present study investigates the effect of types of precursors and curing conditions on the fresh state and strength development characteristics of geopolymers, thereby comparatively exploring the effect of precursors from various sources of origin. The obtained result showed that the setting time and strength development of the specimens with the identical mix proportion but different precursors displayed significant variations.

Keywords: alkali-activated material, blast furnace slag, fly ash, flowability, strength development

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6 Mechanical and Micro-Structural Properties of Fly Ash Based Geopolymer with High-Temperature Exposure

Authors: Young-Cheol Choi, Joo-Hyung Kim, Gyu-Don Moon


This paper discusses the effect of Na2O (alkali) content, SiO2/Na2O mole ratio, and elevated temperature on the mechanical performance of fly-ash-based inorganic green geopolymer composites. Fly-ash-based geopolymers, which were manufactured with varying alkali contents (4–8 % of fly ash weight) and SiO2/Na2O mole ratios (0.6–1.4), were subjected to elevated temperatures up to 900 ºC ; the geopolymer composites and their performance were evaluated on the basis of weight loss and strength loss after temperature exposure. In addition, mineralogical changes due to the elevated temperature exposure were studied using x-ray diffraction. Investigations of microstructures and microprobe analysis were performed using mercury intrusion porosimetry. The results showed that the fly-ash-based geopolymer responded significantly to high-temperature conditions.

Keywords: fly ash, geopolymer, micro-structure, high-temperature, mechanical structural

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5 Experimental Study on Stabilisation of a Soft Soil by Alkaline Activation of Industrial By-Products

Authors: Mohammadjavad Yaghoubi, Arul Arulrajah, Mahdi M. Disfani, Suksun Horpibulsuk, Myint W. Bo, Stephen P. Darmawan


Utilising waste materials, such as fly ash (FA) and slag (S) stockpiled in landfills, has drawn the attention of researchers and engineers in the recent years. There is a great potential for usage of these wastes in ground improvement projects, especially where deep deposits of soft compressible soils exist. This paper investigates the changes in the strength development of a high water content soft soil stabilised with alkaline activated FA and S, termed as geopolymer binder, to use in deep soil mixing technology. The strength improvement and the changes in the microstructure of the mixtures have been studied. The results show that using FA and S-based geopolymers can increases the strength significantly. Furthermore, utilising FA and S in ground improvement projects, where large amounts of binders are required, can be a solution to the disposal of these wastes.

Keywords: alkaline activation, fly ash, geopolymer, slag, strength development

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4 Mechanical Performance of Geopolymeric Mortars Based on Natural Clay, Fly Ash and Metakaolin

Authors: W. Tahri, B. Samet, F. Pacheco-Torgal, J. L. Barroso de Aguiar, S. Baklouti


Infrastructure rehabilitation represents a multitrillion dollar opportunity for the construction industry. Since the majority of the existent infrastructures are Portland cement concrete based this means that concrete infrastructure rehabilitation is a hot issue to be dealt with. Geopolymers are novel inorganic binders with high potential to replace Portland cement based ones. So far very few studies in the geopolymer field have addressed the rehabilitation of deteriorated concrete structures. This paper discloses results of an investigation concerning the development geopolymeric repair mortars. The mortars are based on Tunisian natural clay plus calcium hydroxide, sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide. Results show that the geopolymeric mortar has a high compressive strength and a lower unrestrained shrinkage performance as long as partial replacement by metakaolin is carried out. The results also show that Tunisian calcined clay based mortars have hydration products with typical geopolymeric phases.

Keywords: geopolymeric mortars, infrastructure repair, compressive strength, shrinkage

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3 Geopolymerization Methods for Clay Soils Treatment

Authors: Baba Hassane Ahmed Hisseini, Abdelkrim Bennabi, Rabah Hamzaoui, Lamis Makki, Gaetan Blanck


Most of the clay soils are known as problematic soils due to their water content, which varies greatly over time. It is observed that they are used to be subject to shrinkage and swelling, thus causing a problem of stability on the structures of civil engineering construction work. They are often excavated and placed in a storage area giving rise to the opening of new quarries. This method has become obsolete today because to protect the environment, we are leading to think differently and opening the way to new research for the improvement of the performance of this type of clay soils to reuse them in the construction field. The solidification and stabilization technique is used to improve the properties of poor quality soils to transform them into materials with a suitable performance for a new use in the civil engineering field rather than to excavate them and store them in the discharge area. In our case, the polymerization method is used for bad clay soils classified as high plasticity soil class A4 according to the French standard NF P11-300, where classical treatment methods with cement or lime are not efficient. Our work concerns clay soil treatment study using raw materials as additives for solidification and stabilization. The geopolymers are synthesized by aluminosilicates materials like fly ash, metakaolin, or blast furnace slag and activated by alkaline solution based on sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) or a mixture of both of them. In this study, we present the mechanical properties of the soil clay (A4 type) evolution with geopolymerisation methods treatment. Various mix design of aluminosilicates materials and alkaline solutions were carried at different percentages and different curing times of 1, 7, and 28 days. The compressive strength of the untreated clayey soil could be increased from simple to triple. It is observed that the improvement of compressive strength is associated with a geopolymerization mechanism. The highest compressive strength was found with metakaolin at 28 days.

Keywords: treatment and valorization of clay-soil, solidification and stabilization, alkali-activation of co-product, geopolymerization

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2 Eco-Efficient Cementitious Materials for Construction Applications in Ireland

Authors: Eva Ujaczki, Rama Krishna Chinnam, Ronan Courtney, Syed A. M. Tofail, Lisa O'Donoghue


Concrete is the second most widely used material in the world and is made of cement, sand, and aggregates. Cement is a hydraulic binder which reacts with water to form a solid material. In the cement manufacturing process, the right mix of minerals from mined natural rocks, e.g., limestone is melted in a kiln at 1450 °C to form a new compound, clinker. In the final stage, the clinker is milled into a fine cement powder. The principal cement types manufactured in Ireland are: 1) CEM I – Portland cement; 2) CEM II/A – Portland-fly ash cement; 3) CEM II/A – Portland-limestone cement and 4) CEM III/A – Portland-round granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS). The production of eco-efficient, blended cement (CEM II, CEM III) reduces CO₂ emission and improves energy efficiency compared to traditional cements. Blended cements are produced locally in Ireland and more than 80% of produced cement is blended. These eco-efficient, blended cements are a relatively new class of construction materials and a kind of geopolymer binders. From a terminological point of view, geopolymer cement is a binding system that is able to harden at room temperature. Geopolymers do not require calcium-silicate-hydrate gel but utilize the polycondensation of SiO₂ and Al₂O₃ precursors to achieve a superior strength level. Geopolymer materials are usually synthesized using an aluminosilicate raw material and an activating solution which is mainly composed of NaOH or KOH and Na₂SiO₃. Cement is the essential ingredient in concrete which is vital for economic growth of countries. The challenge for the global cement industry is to reach to increasing demand at the same time recognize the need for sustainable usage of resources. Therefore, in this research, we investigated the potential for Irish wastes to be used in geopolymer cement type applications through a national stakeholder workshop with the Irish construction sector and relevant stakeholders. This paper aims at summarizing Irish stakeholder’s perspective for introducing new secondary raw materials, e.g., bauxite residue or increasing the fly ash addition into cement for eco-efficient cement production.

Keywords: eco-efficient, cement, geopolymer, blending

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1 Influence of Variable Calcium Content on Mechanical Properties of Geopolymer Synthesized at Different Temperature and Moisture Conditions

Authors: Suraj D. Khadka, Priyantha W. Jayawickrama


In search of a sustainable construction material, geopolymer has been investigated for past decades to evaluate its advantage over conventional products. Synthesis of geopolymer requires a source of aluminosilicate mixed with sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate at different proportions to maintain a Si/Al molar ratio of 1-3 and Na/Al molar ratio of unity. A comprehensive geopolymer study was performed with Metakaolin and Class C Fly ash as primary aluminosilicate sources. Synthesized geopolymer was analyzed for time-dependent viscosity, setting period and strength at varying initial moisture content, curing temperature and humidity. Different concentration of Ca(OH)₂ and CaSO₄.2H₂O were added to vary the amount of calcium contained in synthesized geopolymer. Influence of calcium content in unconfined compressive strength behavior of geopolymer were analyzed. Finally, Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) was performed to investigate the hardened product. It was observed that fly ash based geopolymer had shortened setting time and faster increase in viscosity as compared to geopolymer synthesized from metakaolin. This was primarily attributed to higher calcium content resulting in formation of calcium silicate hydrates (CSH). SEM-EDS was performed to verify the presence of CSH phases. Spectral analysis of geopolymer prepared by addition of Ca(OH)₂ and CaSO₄.2H₂O indicated higher CSH phases at higher concentration. It was observed that lower concentration of added calcium favored strength gain in geopolymer. However, at higher calcium concentration, decrease in strength was observed. Strength variation was also observed with humidity at initial curing condition. At 100% humidity, geopolymer with added calcium presented higher strength compared to samples cured at ambient humidity condition (40%). Reduction in strength in these samples at lower humidity was primarily attributed to reduction in moisture content in specimen due to the formation of CSH phases and loss of moisture through evaporation. For low calcium content geopolymers, with increase in temperature, gain in strength was observed with maximum strength observed at 200 ˚C. However, samples with higher calcium content demonstrated severe cracking resulting in low strength at elevated temperatures.

Keywords: calcium silicate hydrates, geopolymer, humidity, Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, unconfined compressive strength

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