Amorphous silica and alumina of metakaolin are used to adjust the bulk composition of black (BSS) and white (WSS) steel slag to prepare alkali-activated (AAS) mortars consolidated at room temperature. The mix-design also includes also the addition of semi-crystalline matrix of river sand to the metakaolin/steel powders. The results showed that high strength of the steel slag/metakaolin mortars can be achieved with the geopolymerization process which was particularly affected by the metallic iron present into the steel slag. The corrosion of the Fe particles was found to be responsible for porosity in the range between 0.1 and 10 µm. This class of porosity dominated (~31 vol %) the pore network of B compared to W samples (~16 vol %). However, W series remained with the higher cumulative pore volume (0.18 mL/g) compared to B series, with 0.12 mL/g. The maximum flexural strength was 6.89 and 8.51 MPa for the W and B series, respectively. The fracture surface ESEM observations of AAS showed large grains covered with the matrix assuming the good adhesion bonds between the gel-like geopolymer structure mixed with alkali activated steel slag and the residual unreacted portion. The correlation between the metallic iron/Fe oxides content, the pore network development, the strength and microstructure suggested the steel slag's significant action into the strengthening mechanism of consolidated products. These products also showed an interesting adsorption/desorption behavior that suggested their use as coating material to maintain the stability of the indoor relative humidity.
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