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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Water Content on Mechanical Strength and Microstructure of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/GGBFS Mortars Cured at Cold and Polar Regions

by Xiaobin Wei 1,2,*, Feng Ming 1,*, Dongqing Li 1, Lei Chen 1,2 and Yuhang Liu 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010138
Received: 27 November 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 29 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
Negative temperature curing is a very harmful factor for geopolymer mortar or concrete, which will decrease the strength and durability. The water in the geopolymer mixture may be frozen into ice, and the water content is a crucial factor. The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of water content on the properties of alkali-activated binders mortar cured at −5 °C. Fly ash (FA) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) were used as binders. Three groups of experiments with different water content were carried out. The prepared samples were investigated through uniaxial compression strength test, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for the determination of their compressive strength, microstructural features, phase, and composition. The results indicated that, the compressive strength of samples basically maintained 25.78 MPa–27.10 MPa at an age of 28 days; for 90 days, the values reached 33.4 MPa–34.04 MPa. The results showed that lower water content is beneficial to improving the early strength of mortar at −5 °C curing condition, while it has little impact on long-term strength. These results may provide references for the design and construction of geopolymer concrete in cold regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: geopolymer; water content; negative temperature; compressive strength; microstructure; elastic modulus geopolymer; water content; negative temperature; compressive strength; microstructure; elastic modulus
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Wei, X.; Ming, F.; Li, D.; Chen, L.; Liu, Y. Influence of Water Content on Mechanical Strength and Microstructure of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash/GGBFS Mortars Cured at Cold and Polar Regions. Materials 2020, 13, 138.

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