Effects of initial SiO2/Al2O3 molar ratio and slag on fly ash-based ambient cured geopolymer properties

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Abstract

Geopolymers cured at ambient temperature are of high interest since they provide promising environmentally friendly alternative to cement. This paper discusses the effect of the initial molar ratio of SiO2/Al2O3 and fly ash replacement with ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) on the properties of fly ash-based geopolymers. Geopolymer mixtures developed in this study are user-friendly (SiO2/Na2O larger than 1.4) and suitable for producing self-compacting geopolymer concrete at ambient temperature. Results showed that the increase in SiO2/Al2O3 ratio accelerated the setting of fly ash-slag geopolymer systems, which was quite different from that reported for metakaolin-based geopolymers. An increasing–decreasing trend in compressive strength was observed by increasing the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio. The maximum compressive strength achieved when the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio was 3.37 (Si/Al = 1.68). The higher compressive strength at this ratio could be related to the alumina-silica bondings in the amorphous area, which comprised more than 81%-84% of geopolymer microstructure. Furthermore, the study revealed that the decrease in fly ash replacement with GGBFS prolonged the setting of geopolymer mixtures and reduced their compressive strength significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123527
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Volume293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021

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