Investigation on compressive strength development and drying shrinkage of ambient cured powder-activated geopolymer concretes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Civil Engineering, 2016, 14 (1), pp. 72 - 83
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Engineers Australia. Geopolymer is an inorganic polymer binding material, generally formed by the reaction between aluminosilicate materials and alkali activator solution. Previous researches on geopolymer concrete around the world suggested that geopolymer concrete possess superior mechanical and durability properties over ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete, such as higher indirect tensile strength and resistance to sulphate attack. Generally, fly ash-based geopolymer concrete was cured in elevated temperature for higher early age strength because of their longer setting time in ambient temperature. Published engineering properties of geopolymer concrete cured at ambient temperature are not abundant. In this research, two types of powder-activated geopolymer binders were used as binding material. A detailed study of compressive strength and drying shrinkage of different grades (40, 50, 65 and 80 MPa) of geopolymer and OPC concrete with different workability levels (normal-workable and super-workable) were carried out. All the concrete specimens were cured at standard laboratory temperature. The compressive strength development of geopolymer concrete in early age was relatively lower than OPC concrete; however, the later age strength was significantly higher. The drying shrinkage of geopolymer concrete was similar to OPC concrete of same grade and complied with Australian Standard 1379; however, it was higher than estimated values from Australian Standard 3600. The drying shrinkage results of this study were higher than drying shrinkage of accelerated cured geopolymer concretes in previous investigations. Super workable concrete exhibited higher drying shrinkage than normal workable concrete of same grade.
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