Present concerns about global warming due to the greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere have pushed the cement industry to research alternatives to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Geopolymer binder may constitute a possible breakthrough in the development of sustainable materials: understanding the effectiveness and the influences of superplasticizers on geopolymer systems is one of the essential requirements for its large-scale implementation. This study aims to investigate the possibility of using commercially available chemical admixtures designed for OPC concrete, to improve fresh properties of fly ash-based geopolymers and mortars. A special emphasis is laid upon evaluating their influence on mechanical and microstructural characteristics of the hardened material realized under room-temperature curing conditions. Results indicate that the addition of a polycarboxylic ether-based superplasticizer, in the amount of 1.0 wt. % by mass of fly ash, promotes an improvement in workability without compromising the final strength of the hardened material. Moreover, the addition of the polycarboxylic ether- and acrylic-based superplasticizers induces a refinement in the pore structure of hardened mortar leading to a longer water saturation time.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited