This study followed the first 20 h of flyash geopolymerization at 70 °C using time resolved Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS). The extent of dissolution of the amorphous phase of the flyash was determined to range from 29% to 54% for the different formulations trialed. The dissolution rate of the flyash significantly reduced after the first 5 h for all samples. During the formation stage of the geopolymer there were significant temporal variations in the chemistry of the dissolved solution due to the rate of flyash dissolution, with a relative standard deviation of 20%, 57% and 24% for the Si/Al, Na/Al and H/Si ratios, respectively. Utilizing the Power Law, scattering in the low angle region of the WAXS pattern combined with the geopolymer peak area yielded a measure which correlated with the compressive strength—providing a new method to measure the flyash dissolution and geopolymer formation processes independently. The evolution of several zeolite-like phases was followed, noting there are different formation mechanisms involved even within the same sample. Four samples were examined with compressive strengths ranging from 14(2)–50(9) MPa, each was synthesized with flyash from Collie Power Station (Western Australia) activated with sodium silicate solution of varying concentrations.
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