This paper demonstrates the transformation of the industrial residue (copper slag) of a Swedish mining and smelting company “Boliden”, through geopolymerization, into advanced building materials. The main objective of this experimental study is the assessment of the appropriate conditions for the preparation of alkali-activated slag-based geopolymer pastes with further foaming production, by aluminum powder addition. The alkaline-activating solution used was KOH, at a constant concentration (8 M). The effect of crucial operating parameters, such as S/L ratio (3.5–4.5 g/mL) and aluminum powder addition (0.12%–0.22%), on the geopolymer paste were studied, in order to achieve the optimum rheological conditions of the slurry. The physical properties of the materials were examined after the appropriate curing process (24 h at 70 °C), with density values ranging between 805 and 1100 kg/m3
. The mechanical performance of the materials ranged between 1.28 and 2 MPa (compressive strength), and from 0.25 to 0.85 MPa (flexural strength), indicating the strong correlation of physical and mechanical properties. To assess the porosity and the size distribution of the voids, image processing techniques were applied on digital images of selected samples. According to these results, the synthesized materials exhibit similar, or even better, properties than the current concrete porous materials.
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