Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 84092

Special Issue Editors

Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Via Roma 29, I-81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: sol-gel technology; biomaterials; bioglass; organic-inorganic hybrid materials; drug delivery; thin films
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Concrete is the most commonly used construction material worldwide, and many efforts have been carried out in recent years to improve their functional properties trying to increase, in the meantime, its sustainability. Concrete’s environmental impact is well known, linked both to the space it occupies in landfills and its highly energy-intensive manufacturing, thus branding the cement industry one of the largest CO2 emission sources. For this reason, both the sector industry and academy have devoted their studies to eco-sustainable materials able to maintain the specific properties of cements. Synthetic inorganic polymers based on aluminosilicate or phosphate have been recognized for almost twenty years now as geopolymers. Dissolved in a basic environment and prepared following a process known as geopolymerization, these materials are able to reach the chemical and mechanical properties of ceramic ones. Reactive inorganic raw materials, inert resources, and a geopolymeric resin are molded resulting in a composite with improved properties. Geopolymers can be exposed to high heat sources due to a great tolerance to high temperatures because they are non-combustible, do not develop gas or fumes, are not toxic, and do not explode as, contrary to traditional hydraulic cements, they do not contain water in their structure. In addition, they are eco-friendly and sustainable materials because waste and various kinds of industrial byproducts can be recycled as raw materials or inert fillers for their preparation at low processing temperatures, thus reducing production costs. In addition, these inorganic polymers have attracted growing attention because they have performances comparable to those of Portland cement but are able to reduce CO2 emissions.

We cordially invite experts in the field of geopolymers to submit papers to this Special Issue.

Keywords

  • Geopolymers
  • Inorganic polymers
  • Hybrid materials
  • Composite
  • Molding
  • Concrete
  • Sustainable materials
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Mechanical properties
  • Polymer composites
  • Metakaolin
  • Fly ash

Published Papers (24 papers)

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Editorial

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6 pages, 194 KiB  
Editorial
Geopolymers—Design, Preparation, and Applications
Polymers 2022, 14(5), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14050853 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1500
Abstract
Concrete is the most commonly used construction material worldwide, and many efforts have been carried out in recent years to improve its functional properties while also trying to increase its sustainability [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

10 pages, 1941 KiB  
Article
Low-Density Geopolymer Composites for the Construction Industry
Polymers 2022, 14(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14020304 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
The article presents preliminary results in studying reinforced and light-weight geopolymers, which can be employed in buildings, especially for walling. Such materials are very promising for the construction industry having great potential due to their favorable properties such as high mechanical strengths, low [...] Read more.
The article presents preliminary results in studying reinforced and light-weight geopolymers, which can be employed in buildings, especially for walling. Such materials are very promising for the construction industry having great potential due to their favorable properties such as high mechanical strengths, low thermal conductivity, and low density. Moreover, they also exhibit several advantages from an economic and ecological point of view. The present study exanimated the use of specific fillers for the metakaolin-based light-weight geopolymers, emphasizing the above-mentioned physical properties. This research also investigated the electromagnetic shielding ability of the carbon grid built into the light-weight geopolymer structure. According to the study, the most suitable materials to be used as fillers are polystyrenes, along with hollow ceramic microsphere and Liapor. The polystyrene geopolymer (GPP) achieves five times lower thermal conductivity compared to cement concretes, which means five times lower heat loss by conduction. Furthermore, GPP is 28% lighter than the standard geopolymer composite. Although the achieved flexural strength of GPP is high enough, the compressive strength of GPP is only 12 MPa. This can be seen as a compromise of using polystyrene as a filler. At the same time, the results indicate that Liapor and hollow ceramic microsphere are also suitable fillers. They led to better mechanical strengths of geopolymer composites but also heavier and higher thermal conductivity compared to GPP. The results further show that the carbon grid not only enhances the mechanical performances of the geopolymer composites but also reduces the electromagnetic field. Carbon grids with grid sizes of 10 mm × 15 mm and 21 mm × 21 mm can reduce around 60% of the Wi-Fi emissions when 2 m away from the signal transmitter. Moreover, the Wi-Fi emission was blocked when the signal transmitter was at a distance of 6 m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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21 pages, 26849 KiB  
Article
Modeling of Mechanical Properties of Silica Fume-Based Green Concrete Using Machine Learning Techniques
Polymers 2022, 14(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14010030 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 4077
Abstract
Silica fume (SF) is a frequently used mineral admixture in producing sustainable concrete in the construction sector. Incorporating SF as a partial substitution of cement in concrete has obvious advantages, including reduced CO2 emission, cost-effective concrete, enhanced durability, and mechanical properties. Due [...] Read more.
Silica fume (SF) is a frequently used mineral admixture in producing sustainable concrete in the construction sector. Incorporating SF as a partial substitution of cement in concrete has obvious advantages, including reduced CO2 emission, cost-effective concrete, enhanced durability, and mechanical properties. Due to ever-increasing environmental concerns, the development of predictive machine learning (ML) models requires time. Therefore, the present study focuses on developing modeling techniques in predicting the compressive strength of silica fume concrete. The employed techniques include decision tree (DT) and support vector machine (SVM). An extensive and reliable database of 283 compressive strengths was established from the available literature information. The six most influential factors, i.e., cement, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate, water, superplasticizer, and silica fume, were considered as significant input parameters. The evaluation of models was performed by different statistical parameters, such as mean absolute error (MAE), root mean squared error (RMSE), root mean squared log error (RMSLE), and coefficient of determination (R2). Individual and ensemble models of DT and SVM showed satisfactory results with high prediction accuracy. Statistical analyses indicated that DT models bested SVM for predicting compressive strength. Ensemble modeling showed an enhancement of 11 percent and 1.5 percent for DT and SVM compressive strength models, respectively, as depicted by statistical parameters. Moreover, sensitivity analyses showed that cement and water are the governing parameters in developing compressive strength. A cross-validation technique was used to avoid overfitting issues and confirm the generalized modeling output. ML algorithms are used to predict SFC compressive strength to promote the use of green concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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13 pages, 1278 KiB  
Article
Development of a Weighted Barite-Free Formate Drilling Mud for Well Construction under Complicated Conditions
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4457; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244457 - 19 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3204
Abstract
Construction of oil and gas wells at offshore fields often involves high formation pressure and the presence of swellable clay rocks in the section. In addition, productivity preservation is also an important aspect. For this purpose, it is necessary to reduce the solids [...] Read more.
Construction of oil and gas wells at offshore fields often involves high formation pressure and the presence of swellable clay rocks in the section. In addition, productivity preservation is also an important aspect. For this purpose, it is necessary to reduce the solids content of the drilling mud. The purpose of this work is to develop, improve, and study compositions of weighted drilling muds with low content of solids, on the basis of organic salts of alkali metals and polymers for the construction of wells prone to rock swelling and/or cavings, as well as drilling fluids for drilling-in the formation. In order to achieve the set goal the following is required: Analysis of existing drilling muds of higher density for drilling wells in unstable rock intervals and for drilling in the productive formation; analysis of experience in using drilling systems on the formic acid salts base and substantiation of requirements for flushing fluids during well construction; development and investigation of drilling mud compositions on the formate base; and the evaluation of inhibiting effect of systems containing organic salts, polymer reagents, and calcium carbonate on clay samples. The developed drilling mud is characterized by a high inhibiting ability that allows minimized mud-weighting by the natural solid phase. This reduces the volume of prepared mud and facilitates the regulation of its properties by reducing the dispersion of drilled cuttings; it eliminates problems related to hydration and the swelling of active clay rocks; and stabilizes unstable argillites prone to caving. The low solids content, low filtration rates, and inhibitory nature of the mud allows high stability of the rheological properties of the mud, and preserves oil and gas reservoir productivity under conditions of elevated formation pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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25 pages, 6742 KiB  
Article
Rice Husk Ash-Based Geopolymer Binder: Compressive Strength, Optimize Composition, FTIR Spectroscopy, Microstructural, and Potential as Fire-Retardant Material
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4373; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244373 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3628
Abstract
Compressive strength is an important property in construction material, particularly for thermal insulation purposes. Although the insulation materials possess high fire-retardant characteristics, their mechanical properties are relatively poor. Moreover, research on the correlation between fire-retardant and compressive strength of rice husk ash (RHA)-based [...] Read more.
Compressive strength is an important property in construction material, particularly for thermal insulation purposes. Although the insulation materials possess high fire-retardant characteristics, their mechanical properties are relatively poor. Moreover, research on the correlation between fire-retardant and compressive strength of rice husk ash (RHA)-based geopolymer binder (GB) is rather limited. In addition, previous studies on RHA-based GB used the less efficient one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) approach. In understanding the optimum value and significant effect of factors on the compressive strength, it was deemed necessary to employ statistical analysis and a regression coefficient model (mathematical model). The objective of the study is to determine the effect of different material behavior, namely brittle and ductile, on the compressive strength properties and the optimum material formulation that can satisfy both compressive strength and fire-retardant properties. The factors chosen for this study were the rice husk ash/activated alkaline solution (RHA/AA) ratio and the sodium hydroxide (NaOH) concentration. Compressive strength and fire-retardant tests were conducted as part of the experiments, which were designed and analyzed using the response surface methodology (RSM). The microstructure of geopolymer samples was investigated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Results showed that RHA/AA ratio was highly significant (p < 0.000) followed by NaOH concentration (p < 0.024). When the RHA/AA ratio was at 0.7 to 0.8 and the NaOH concentration was between 12 and 14 M, high compressive strength above 28 MPa was recorded. Optimum compressive strength of approximately 47 MPa was achieved when the RHA/AA ratio and NaOH concentration were 0.85 and 14 M, respectively. Brittle samples with low Si/Al ratio of 88.95 were high in compressive strength, which is 33.55 MPa, and showed a high degree of geopolymerization. Inversely, ductile samples showed low compressive strength and degree of geopolymerization. Water content within the geopolymer binder had a major effect on its fire-retardant properties. Semi-ductile GB showed the best fire-retardant properties, followed by semi-brittle and brittle GB. Using RHA as an aluminosilicate source has proven to be a promising alternative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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20 pages, 12386 KiB  
Article
Effect of K/Al Molar Ratio on the Thermo-Mechanical Properties of Metakaolinite-Based Geopolymer Composites
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3754; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213754 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
A metakaolinite-based geopolymer binder was prepared by using calcined claystone as the main raw material and potassium as the alkaline activator. Chamotte was added (65 vol%) to form geopolymer composites. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) was used to adjust the molar ratio of K/Al and [...] Read more.
A metakaolinite-based geopolymer binder was prepared by using calcined claystone as the main raw material and potassium as the alkaline activator. Chamotte was added (65 vol%) to form geopolymer composites. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) was used to adjust the molar ratio of K/Al and the effect of K/Al on thermo-mechanical properties of geopolymer composites was investigated. This study aimed to analyze the effect of K/Al ratio and exposure to high temperatures (up to 1200 °C) on the compressive and flexural strengths, phase composition, pore size distribution, and thermal dilatation. With an increasing K/Al ratio, the crystallization temperature of the new phases (leucite and kalsilite) decreased. Increasing content of K/Al led to a decline in the onset temperature of the major shrinkage. The average pore size slightly increased with increasing K/Al ratio at laboratory temperature. Mechanical properties of geopolymer composites showed degradation with the increase of the K/Al ratio. The exception was the local maximum at a K/Al ratio equal to one. The results showed that the compressive strength decreases with increasing temperature. For thermal applications above 600 °C, it is better to use samples with lower K/Al ratios (0.55 or 0.70). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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30 pages, 10673 KiB  
Article
Rice-Husk-Ash-Based Geopolymer Coating: Fire-Retardant, Optimize Composition, Microstructural, Thermal and Element Characteristics Analysis
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3747; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213747 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3163
Abstract
Geopolymer using aluminosilicate sources, such as fly ash, metakaolin and blast furnace slag, possessed excellent fire-retardant properties. However, research on the fire-retardant properties and thermal properties of geopolymer coating using rice husk ash (RHA) is rather limited. Additionally, the approach adopted in past [...] Read more.
Geopolymer using aluminosilicate sources, such as fly ash, metakaolin and blast furnace slag, possessed excellent fire-retardant properties. However, research on the fire-retardant properties and thermal properties of geopolymer coating using rice husk ash (RHA) is rather limited. Additionally, the approach adopted in past studies on geopolymer coating was the less efficient one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT). A better approach is to employ statistical analysis and a regression coefficient model (mathematical model) in understanding the optimum value and significant effect of factors on fire-retardant and thermal properties of the geopolymer coating. This study aims to elucidate the significance of rice husk ash/activated alkaline solution (RHA/AA) ratio and NaOH concentration on the fire-retardant and thermal properties of RHA-based geopolymer coating, determine the optimum composition and examine the microstructure and element characteristics of the RHA-based geopolymer coating. The factors chosen for this study were the RHA/AA ratio and the NaOH concentration. Rice husk was burnt at a temperature of approximately 600 °C for 24 h to produce RHA. The response surface methodology (RSM) was used to design the experiments and conduct the analyses. Fire-retardant tests and thermal and element characteristics analysis (TGA, XRD, DSC and CTE) were conducted. The microstructure of the geopolymer samples was investigated by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The results showed that the RHA/AA ratio had the strongest effect on the temperature at equilibrium (TAE) and time taken to reach 300 °C (TT300). For the optimization process using RSM, the optimum value for TAE and TT300 could be attained when the RHA/AA ratio and NaOH concentration were 0.30 and 6 M, respectively. SEM micrographs of good fire-resistance properties showed a glassy appearance, and the surface coating changed into a dense geopolymer gel covered with thin needles when fired. It showed high insulating capacity and low thermal expansion; it had minimal mismatch with the substrate, and the coating had no evidence of crack formation and had a low dehydration rate. Using RHA as an aluminosilicate source has proven to be a promising alternative. Using it as coating materials can potentially improve fire safety in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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12 pages, 3417 KiB  
Article
Using Geopolymer Technology on Synthesizing Leucite Ceramics
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3621; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213621 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2546
Abstract
The aim of this study is to assess the process of synthesizing potassium-based geopolymers (KGL) into leucite ceramics with regard to five variables, namely, alkaline solution ratio (R), sintering time (S), calcining temperature (T), mixing time (M), and curing time (C). Under these [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to assess the process of synthesizing potassium-based geopolymers (KGL) into leucite ceramics with regard to five variables, namely, alkaline solution ratio (R), sintering time (S), calcining temperature (T), mixing time (M), and curing time (C). Under these conditions, the specimens were tested by the viscosity test, the mechanical properties test, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to understand the geopolymerization reactions and the characteristics of the KGL network. The results indicate that a KOH to K2O/SiO2 ratio of 1:1 promotes the reaction within metakaolin. XRD analysis of the KGL shows that, when the temperature is 1100 °C, the phase transforms into the leucite phase. Moreover, XRD analysis, mechanical properties, and FTIR all indicate improved characteristics when the curing time increases from 1 to 8 h. This might be attributed to the enhancement of the strong interaction between the matrix and the alkaline solution upon achieving adequate time to complete the geopolymerization process and forming a more stable three-dimensional structure. The formulation which formed the purest leucite phase consisted of: a 1:1 alkaline solution ratio, 10 min mixing time, 8 h curing time, 1200 °C calcining temperature, and 2 h sintering time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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18 pages, 2179 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Compressive Strength and Time of Setting of Low-Calcium Fly Ash Geopolymer Paste Using Response Surface Methodology
Polymers 2021, 13(20), 3461; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203461 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
Approximately 2.78 Mt of coal fly ash is produced in the Philippines, with a low utilization rate. Using fly ash-based geopolymer for construction will lessen the load sent to landfills and will result in lower GHG emissions compared to OPC. It is necessary [...] Read more.
Approximately 2.78 Mt of coal fly ash is produced in the Philippines, with a low utilization rate. Using fly ash-based geopolymer for construction will lessen the load sent to landfills and will result in lower GHG emissions compared to OPC. It is necessary to characterize the fly ash and optimize the geopolymer components to determine if it can replace OPC for in situ applications. The activator-to-precursor ratio, the water-to-solids ratio, and the sodium hydroxide-to-sodium silicate ratio were optimized using a randomized I-optimal design from the experimental results of 21 runs with five replicates, for a total of 105 specimens of 50 mm × 50 mm × 50 mm paste cubes. The engineering properties chosen as the optimization responses were the unconfined compressive strength (UCS), the initial setting time, and the final setting time. The samples were also ambient-cured with the outdoor temperature ranging from 30 °C to 35 °C and relative humidity of 50% ± 10% to simulate the on-site environment. Runs with high unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and short setting times were observed to have a low water-to-solids (W/S) ratio. All runs with a UCS greater than 20 MPa had a W/S ratio of 0.2, and the runs with the lowest UCS had a W/S of 0.4. The initial setting time for design mixes with a W/S ratio of 0.2 ranged from 8 to 105 min. Meanwhile, five out of seven design mixes with a W/S ratio of 0.4 took longer than 1440 min to set. Specimens with an alkali activator ratio (NaOH/WG) of 0.5 (1:2) and 0.4 (1:2.5) also had significantly lower setting times than those with an alkali activator ratio of 1. The RSM model was verified through confirmatory tests. The results of the confirmatory tests are agreeable, with deviations from the expected UCS ranging from 0 to 38.12%. The generated model is a reliable reference to estimate the UCS and setting time of low-calcium FA geopolymer paste for in situ applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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13 pages, 33307 KiB  
Article
FT-IR Study, Thermal Analysis, and Evaluation of the Antibacterial Activity of a MK-Geopolymer Mortar Using Glass Waste as Fine Aggregate
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 2970; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13172970 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
Food containers made from glass are separately collected from urban solid waste at 76% in most parts of Europe. The cullet glass finds its way to re-melting, while the debris is often disposed of. With this contribution, we suggest an upcycling process where [...] Read more.
Food containers made from glass are separately collected from urban solid waste at 76% in most parts of Europe. The cullet glass finds its way to re-melting, while the debris is often disposed of. With this contribution, we suggest an upcycling process where glass debris is simply ground without any washing operation and added to an alkali-activated paste. Metakaolin-based geopolymer mortar added with coarsely ground glass waste as fine aggregate has been prepared via alkali activation with NaOH and Na-silicate. After 7, 14 and 28 days of room temperature curing time, the 3D geopolymer network was investigated by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Vibrational spectra revealed the geopolymerization occurrences, results which have been supported by both FT-IR deconvoluted spectra and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Finally, the antibacterial properties were investigated against both gram-negative (E. coli) and gram-positive (E. faecalis) bacterial strains. The results suggest the ability of the 28 days cured geopolymers to inhibit the growth of the gram-negative bacterium assayed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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20 pages, 4599 KiB  
Article
Effect of Waste Ceramic Powder on Properties of Alkali-Activated Blast Furnace Slag Paste and Mortar
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2817; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162817 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2660
Abstract
Every year, ceramic tile factories and the iron smelting industry produce huge amounts of waste ceramic tiles and blast furnace slag (BFS), respectively. In the field of construction materials, this waste can be used as a raw material for binders, thus reducing landfill [...] Read more.
Every year, ceramic tile factories and the iron smelting industry produce huge amounts of waste ceramic tiles and blast furnace slag (BFS), respectively. In the field of construction materials, this waste can be used as a raw material for binders, thus reducing landfill waste and mitigating environmental pollution. The purpose of this study was to mix waste ceramic powder (WCP) into BFS paste and mortar activated by sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide to study its effect on performance. BFS was partially replaced by WCP at the rate of 10–30% by weight. Some experimental studies were conducted on, for example, the fluidity, heat of hydration, compressive strength testing, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), electrical resistivity, sulfuric acid attack, and chloride ion diffusion coefficient. Based on the results of these experiments, the conclusions are: (1) increasing the amount of waste ceramic powder in the mixture can improve the fluidity of the alkali-activated paste; (2) adding waste ceramic powder to the alkali-activated mortar can improve the resistance of the mortar to sulfuric acid; (3) adding waste ceramic powder to the alkali-activated mortar can increase the diffusion coefficient of chloride ions; (4) the early strength of alkali-activated mortar is affected by the Ca/Si ratio, while the later strength is affected by the change in the Si/Al ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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26 pages, 8181 KiB  
Article
Optimisation of GBFS, Fly Ash, and Nano-Silica Contents in Alkali-Activated Mortars
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2750; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162750 - 16 Aug 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2745
Abstract
Although free-cement-based alkali-activated paste, mortar, and concrete have been recognised as sustainable and environmental-friendly materials, a considerable amount of effort is still being channeled to ascertain the best binary or ternary binders that would satisfy the requirements of strength and durability as well [...] Read more.
Although free-cement-based alkali-activated paste, mortar, and concrete have been recognised as sustainable and environmental-friendly materials, a considerable amount of effort is still being channeled to ascertain the best binary or ternary binders that would satisfy the requirements of strength and durability as well as environmental aspects. In this study, the mechanical properties of alkali-activated mortar (AAM) made with binary binders, involving fly ash (FA) and granulated blast-furnace slag (GBFS) as well as bottle glass waste nano-silica powder (BGWNP), were opti-mised using both experimentally and optimisation modelling through three scenarios. In the first scenario, the addition of BGWNP varied from 5% to 20%, while FA and GBFS were kept constant (30:70). In the second and third scenarios, BGWNP (5–20%) was added as the partial replacement of FA and GBFS, separately. The results show that the combination of binary binders (FA and GBFS) and BGWNP increased AAM’s strength compared to that of the control mixture for all scenarios. In addition, the findings also demonstrated that the replacement of FA by BGWNP was the most significant, while the effect of GBFS replacement by BGWNP was less significant. In particular, the highest improvement in compressive strength was recorded when FA, GBFS, and BGWNP were 61.6%, 30%, and 8.4%, respectively. Furthermore, the results of ANOVA (p values < 0.0001 and high F-values) as well as several statistical validation methods (R > 0.9, RAE < 0.1, RSE < 0.013, and RRSE < 0.116) confirmed that all the models were robust, reliable, and significant. Similarly, the data variation was found to be less than 5%, and the difference between the predicted R2 and adj. R2 was very small (<0.2), thus confirming that the proposed non-linear quadratic equations had the capability to predict for further observation. In conclusion, the use of BGWNP in AAM could act as a beneficial and sustainable strategy, not only to address environmental issues (e.g., landfill) but to also enhance strength properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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21 pages, 8547 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Fibrous Reinforcement on the Polycondensation Degree of Slag-Based Alkali Activated Composites
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2664; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162664 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
Alternative cementitious binders, based on industrial side streams, characterized by a low carbon footprint, are profitably proposed to partially replace Portland cement. Among these alternatives, alkali-activated materials have attracted attention as a promising cementitious binder. In this paper, the chemical stability of the [...] Read more.
Alternative cementitious binders, based on industrial side streams, characterized by a low carbon footprint, are profitably proposed to partially replace Portland cement. Among these alternatives, alkali-activated materials have attracted attention as a promising cementitious binder. In this paper, the chemical stability of the matrix, in fiber-reinforced slag-based alkali-activated composites, was studied, in order to assess any possible effect of the presence of the reinforcement on the chemistry of polycondensation. For this purpose, organic fiber, cellulose, and an inorganic fiber, basalt, were chosen, showing a different behavior in the alkaline media that was used to activate the slag fine powders. The novelty of the paper is the study of consolidation by means of chemical measurements, more than from the mechanical point of view. The evaluation of the chemical behavior of the starting slag in NaOH, indeed, was preparatory to the understanding of the consolidation degree in the alkali-activated composites. The reactivity of alkali-activated composites was studied in water (integrity test, normed leaching test, pH and ionic conductivity), and acids (leaching in acetic acid and HCl attack). The presence of fibers does not favor nor hinder the geopolymerization process, even if an increase in the ionic conductivity in samples containing fibers leads to the hypothesis that samples with fibers are less consolidated, or that fiber dissolution contributes to the conductivity values. The amorphous fraction was enriched in silicon after HCl attack, but the structure was not completely dissolved, and the presence of an amorphous phase is confirmed (C–S–H gel). Basalt fibers partly dissolved in the alkaline environment, leading to the formation of a C–N–A–S–H gel surrounding the fibers. In contrast, cellulose fiber remained stable in both acidic and alkaline conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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18 pages, 3519 KiB  
Article
Efficient Addition of Waste Glass in MK-Based Geopolymers: Microstructure, Antibacterial and Cytotoxicity Investigation
Polymers 2021, 13(9), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13091493 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Reuse of waste glass can significantly decrease the quantity of waste to be treated or disposed of in landfills, allowing to both diminish the ecological damage and to reduce the costs of transportation for removal. Geopolymer mixes with diverse percentages (20, 50 and [...] Read more.
Reuse of waste glass can significantly decrease the quantity of waste to be treated or disposed of in landfills, allowing to both diminish the ecological damage and to reduce the costs of transportation for removal. Geopolymer mixes with diverse percentages (20, 50 and 60 wt%) and with different grain size ranges (37 μm < diam < 53 μm; 75 μm < diam < 105 μm) of waste glass and the residual part of pure metakaolin were prepared by addition of NaOH and sodium silicate as alkaline activator solutions. The effect of waste glass on the mechanical and microstructure of new geopolymers has been explored in this study. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) evidenced the reactivity of waste glass in terms of Si–O and Si–O–Al bonds, more evident for the finer waste glass powder. The consolidation of the materials has been established by reduced weight loss in water and decreased pH and ionic conductivity of the eluate after 7, 14 and 28 days of curing at room temperature. The decrease of the mechanical properties with waste glass content was less evident for the finer glassy powders, yet the value of about 4-5 MPa indicates their potential use as non-structural materials. The consolidated final materials were tested for their effects on the microbial growth of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis after 24 and 48 h, respectively. The samples showed a very limited and absent inhibition zone, for fine and coarse grain size ranges, respectively. Finally, the cytotoxicity tests accomplished the ecological valuation of the final consolidated products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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26 pages, 7446 KiB  
Article
Novel Magnetic Inorganic Composites: Synthesis and Characterization
Polymers 2021, 13(8), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13081284 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
The addition of magnetic particles to inorganic matrices can produce new composites exhibiting intriguing properties for practical applications. It has been previously reported that the addition of magnetite to concrete improves its mechanical properties and durability in terms of water and chloride ions [...] Read more.
The addition of magnetic particles to inorganic matrices can produce new composites exhibiting intriguing properties for practical applications. It has been previously reported that the addition of magnetite to concrete improves its mechanical properties and durability in terms of water and chloride ions absorption. Here we describe the preparation of novel magnetic geopolymers based on two different matrices (G1 without inert aggregates and G2 with inert quartz aggregates) containing commercial SrFe12O19 particles with two weight concentrations, 6% and 11%. The composites’ characterization, including chemical, structural, morphological, and mechanical determinations together with magnetic and electrical measurements, was carried out. The magnetic study revealed that, on average, the SrFe12O19 magnetic particles can be relatively well dispersed in the inorganic matrix. A substantial increase in the composite samples’ remanent magnetization was obtained by embedding in the geopolymer SrFe12O19 anisotropic particles at a high concentration under the action of an external magnetic field during the solidification process. The new composites exhibit good mechanical properties (as compressive strength), higher than those reported for high weight concretes bearing a similar content of magnetite. The impedance measurements indicate that the electrical resistance is mainly controlled by the matrix’s chemical composition and can be used to evaluate the geopolymerization degree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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21 pages, 3458 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Metakaolin-Based Geopolymer with Cathode Ray Tube Glass
Polymers 2021, 13(7), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13071149 - 03 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
Geopolymers can be treated as an environmentally friendly alternative for concrete and enables utilization of various wastes. This paper focuses on the possibility of application of discarded cathode ray tube (CRT) glass inside a metakaolin-based geopolymer in the form of an aggregate, providing [...] Read more.
Geopolymers can be treated as an environmentally friendly alternative for concrete and enables utilization of various wastes. This paper focuses on the possibility of application of discarded cathode ray tube (CRT) glass inside a metakaolin-based geopolymer in the form of an aggregate, providing an ecological method of recycling of this hazardous material. The main goal of this paper was to develop an optimal composition of a new geopolymer and to describe its behavior under varying curing conditions. A geopolymer made of different mixtures was subjected to flexural and compressive strength tests. The density, mass loss, temperature changes, and metals leaching were determined as well. The results demonstrated that neither the content of CRT glass nor the curing regime has a significant influence on the mechanical behavior. However, the strength of the geopolymer containing 50% CRT glass by mass increased with time in contrast to a geopolymer with a higher CRT glass content. The development of temperature inside the mixture was dependent on the amount of metakaolin. The concentration of toxic metals in an aqueous extract decreased considerably after the encapsulation of CRT glass inside the geopolymer. The presented results indicate that discarded CRT glass can be considered an aggregate for a metakaolin-based geopolymer. The new material shows high strength and makes the CRT glass safe for the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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21 pages, 43640 KiB  
Article
Rice Husk Ash/Silicone Rubber-Based Binary Blended Geopolymer Coating Composite: Fire Retardant, Moisture Absorption, Optimize Composition, and Microstructural Analysis
Polymers 2021, 13(6), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13060985 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2993
Abstract
Geopolymer coating using rice husk ash (RHA) as the aluminosilicate source has shown excellent fire retardant properties. However, incorporation of rice husk ash into the geopolymer matrix increased water absorption properties of the polymer composite. As such, silicone rubber (SiR) was introduced to [...] Read more.
Geopolymer coating using rice husk ash (RHA) as the aluminosilicate source has shown excellent fire retardant properties. However, incorporation of rice husk ash into the geopolymer matrix increased water absorption properties of the polymer composite. As such, silicone rubber (SiR) was introduced to improve the moisture absorption and fire retardant properties of the composite. Additionally, the less efficient one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) approach was conventionally used in past studies on the RHA-based geopolymer composite. In understanding the optimum value and significant effect of factors on the fire retardant and moisture absorption properties of the binary blended geopolymer coating composite, the use of statistical analysis and regression coefficient model (mathematical model) was considered essential. The objectives of this study are to identify the significant effect of factors on moisture absorption and fire retardant properties, to determine the optimum composition, and to study the microstructure of the rice husk ash/silicone rubber (RHA/SiR)-based binary blended geopolymer coating composite. The RHA/AA and SiR/Ge ratios were chosen as factors, and the response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to design experiments and conduct analyses. Fire retardant and moisture absorption tests were conducted. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the microstructure of geopolymer samples. The RHA/alkaline activator (AA) and SiR/Ge ratios were shown to have a significant effect on the responses (temperature at equilibrium and moisture absorption). The high ratio of RHA/AA and SiR/Ge resulted in a lower temperature at equilibrium (TAE) below 200°C and at moisture absorption below 16%. The optimum formulation for the geopolymer coating composite can be achieved when the RHA/AA ratio, SiR/Ge ratio, and sodium hydroxide concentration are set at 0.85, 0.70, and 14 M, respectively. SEM micrographs of samples with good fire retardant properties showed that the char residue of the geopolymer composite coating, which is a layer of excess silicone rubber, is porous and continuous, thus providing a shielding effect for the layer of geopolymer underneath. The sample with good moisture absorption showed the formation of a thin outer layer of silicone rubber without any cracks. The unreacted SiR formed a thin layer beneath the geopolymer composite matrix providing a good moisture barrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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25 pages, 4631 KiB  
Article
Practical Prediction Models of Tensile Strength and Reinforcement-Concrete Bond Strength of Low-Calcium Fly Ash Geopolymer Concrete
Polymers 2021, 13(6), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13060875 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1988
Abstract
There have been a few attempts to develop prediction models of splitting tensile strength and reinforcement-concrete bond strength of FAGC (low-calcium fly ash geopolymer concrete), however, no model can be used as a design equation. Therefore, this paper aimed to provide practical prediction [...] Read more.
There have been a few attempts to develop prediction models of splitting tensile strength and reinforcement-concrete bond strength of FAGC (low-calcium fly ash geopolymer concrete), however, no model can be used as a design equation. Therefore, this paper aimed to provide practical prediction models. Using 115 test results for splitting tensile strength and 147 test results for bond strength from experiments and previous literature, considering the effect of size and shape on strength and structural factors on bond strength, this paper developed and verified updated prediction models and the 90% prediction intervals by regression analysis. The models can be used as design equations and applied for estimating the cracking behaviors and calculating the design anchorage length of reinforced FAGC beams. The strength models of PCC (Portland cement concrete) overestimate the splitting tensile strength and reinforcement-concrete bond strength of FAGC, so PCC’s models are not recommended as the design equations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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18 pages, 5135 KiB  
Article
Investigation on Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer-Based Carbon Textile/Basalt Fiber Hybrid Composite
Polymers 2021, 13(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050751 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2249
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental research on the mechanical properties of the hybrid composite thin-plates of the short basalt fibers (CBFs)/carbon textile-reinforced geomortar. The effect of fiber contents and lengths of CBFs on the flexural behavior of carbon textile-reinforced geopolymer specimens (TRGs) was [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental research on the mechanical properties of the hybrid composite thin-plates of the short basalt fibers (CBFs)/carbon textile-reinforced geomortar. The effect of fiber contents and lengths of CBFs on the flexural behavior of carbon textile-reinforced geopolymer specimens (TRGs) was investigated by the four-point flexural strength and Charpy impact test. The experimental results of hybrid TRGs, on the one hand, were compared with reference TRGs, without CBF addition; on the other hand, they were compared with the results of our previous publication. According to the mixing manner applied, fresh geomortar indicated a marked reduction in workability, increasing the CBF loading. Furthermore, using CBFs with lengths of 12 mm and 24 mm makes it easy to form the fiber clusters in geomortar during mixing. According to all the CBF loadings used, it was found that TRGs showed a significant improvement in both static and dynamic flexural strength. However, the failure mode of these TRGs is similar to that of the reference TRGs, described by the process of fiber debonding or simultaneously fiber debonding and collapse. In comparison with our prior work results, neither the CBF dose levels nor the fiber lengths used in this work have yielded a positive effect on the failure manner of TRGs. According to the results of the Charpy impact test, this reveals that the anchoring capacity of textile layers in geomortar plays an important role in specimens’ strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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17 pages, 18918 KiB  
Article
Physical and Chemical Relationships in Accelerated Carbonation Conditions of Alkali-Activated Cement Based on Type of Binder and Alkali Activator
Polymers 2021, 13(4), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13040671 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
Alkali-activated cements prepared from aluminosilicate powders, such as blast furnace slag and fly ash, are rapidly attracting attention as alternatives to cement because they can significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared to conventional cement concrete. In this study, we investigated the relationship between [...] Read more.
Alkali-activated cements prepared from aluminosilicate powders, such as blast furnace slag and fly ash, are rapidly attracting attention as alternatives to cement because they can significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared to conventional cement concrete. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the physical and chemical changes by accelerated carbonation conditions of alkali-activated cements. Alkali-activated cements were prepared from binders composed of blast furnace slag and fly ash as well as alkali activators sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide. Physical changes were analyzed from compressive strength, pH, and neutralization depth, and chemical changes were analyzed from XRD, TG-DTG, and 29Si MAS NMR. The C–(N)–A–S–H structure is noted to change via carbonation, and the compressive strength is observed to decrease. However, in the case of Na-rich specimens, the compressive strength does not decrease by accelerated carbonation. This work is expected to contribute to the field of alkali-activated cements in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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15 pages, 4483 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Development and Performance Evaluation of Marble-Waste-Based Geopolymer Concrete
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12091924 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3381
Abstract
The key objective of this study was to develop marble-based geopolymer concrete and examine the viability of its application as a sustainable structural material for the construction industry. The results of the research demonstrated that marble-based geopolymer concrete can be developed, and its [...] Read more.
The key objective of this study was to develop marble-based geopolymer concrete and examine the viability of its application as a sustainable structural material for the construction industry. The results of the research demonstrated that marble-based geopolymer concrete can be developed, and its physical/mechanical properties were shown to have a very good performance. According to various experimental tests and a large-scale ready-mixed plant test, it was found that the marble-based geopolymer concrete displayed a good workability and was not easily influenced by temperature changes. The results showed that marble-based geopolymer concrete has an excellent potential for further engineering development in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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Review

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40 pages, 130808 KiB  
Review
Roles of Waste Glass and the Effect of Process Parameters on the Properties of Sustainable Cement and Geopolymer Concrete—A State-of-the-Art Review
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 3935; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13223935 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4065
Abstract
Recent research has revealed the promising potential of using waste glass (WG) as a binder or inert filler in cement and geopolymer concrete to deliver economic and environmental benefits to the construction sector. However, the outcomes obtained by different research groups are scattered [...] Read more.
Recent research has revealed the promising potential of using waste glass (WG) as a binder or inert filler in cement and geopolymer concrete to deliver economic and environmental benefits to the construction sector. However, the outcomes obtained by different research groups are scattered and difficult to compare directly because of isolated process parameters. In this study, the roles and impacts of WG and process parameters on the performance of WG-added cement and geopolymer concrete are critically reviewed. This study reveals that the chemical and mineralogical composition, and particle size of WG, mix proportion, activation, and curing condition of concrete are the most important parameters that affect the dissolution behavior of WG and chemical reactivity between WG and other elements in concrete; consequently, these show impacts on properties of concrete and optimum WG level for various applications. These parameters are required to be optimized based on the guidelines for high pozzolanicity and less alkali–silica reactivity of WG in concrete. This review provides a critical discussion and guidelines on these parameters and the chemistry of WG in cement and geopolymer concrete for best practice and highlights the current challenges with future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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26 pages, 10069 KiB  
Review
Waste Glass in Cement and Geopolymer Concretes: A Review on Durability and Challenges
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2071; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132071 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 50 | Viewed by 6512 | Correction
Abstract
Every year, the world is producing around 100 million tons of waste glass (WG), the majority of them are going to landfills that create massive environmental problems. One approach to solve this problem is to transform waste glass into construction materials. Glass is [...] Read more.
Every year, the world is producing around 100 million tons of waste glass (WG), the majority of them are going to landfills that create massive environmental problems. One approach to solve this problem is to transform waste glass into construction materials. Glass is recyclable; however, the melting temperature of the glass is highly dependent on its colour that requires sorting before recycling. To overcome this challenge, many researchers and end-users are using broken glass in concrete either as a binder or aggregates. While significant investigations have done in this area, however, the outcomes of these studies are scattered, and difficult to reach a firm conclusion about the effectiveness of WG in concrete. In this study, the roles of WG and its impact on microstructural and durability properties for both cement and geopolymer concrete are critically reviewed. This review reveals that the amorphous silica in WG effectively participate to the hydration and geopolymerization process and improve concrete microstructural properties. This behaviour of WG help to produce durable concrete against shrinkage, chemical attack, freeze-thaw action, electrical and thermal insulation properties. The optimum replacement volume of binders or natural aggregates and particle size of WG need to be selected carefully to minimise the possible alkali-silica reaction. This review discusses a wide range of parameters for durability properties and challenges associated with WG concrete, which provides necessary guidelines for best practice with future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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Other

1 pages, 155 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Siddika et al. Waste Glass in Cement and Geopolymer Concretes: A Review on Durability and Challenges. Polymers 2021, 13, 2071
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061068 - 08 Mar 2022
Viewed by 947
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geopolymers - Design, Preparation, Applications)
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