Steel fibre reinforced alkali-activated geopolymer concrete slabs subjected to natural gas explosion in buried utility tunnel

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Journal Article
Construction and Building Materials, 2020, 246
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Accidental gas explosions in the buried utility tunnels around the world have caused massive losses in economy and human lives. The buried utility tunnel with adequate blast resistance capacity is therefore required to withstand the possible accidental gas explosions. In this study, a novel construction material, alkali-activated steel fibre reinforced geopolymer composite is introduced and the blast resistance capacity of slabs made of this material is studied in a full-scale buried utility tunnel. Fly ash and S95 grade ground granulated blast-furnace slag powder (GGBS) were used as the major binders in this geopolymer concrete. The plain geopolymer concrete had a compressive strength of 61 MPa and the steel fibre reinforced geopolymer concrete had a compressive strength of 74 MPa. The elastic modulus of the plain geopolymer concrete was found to be lower than the conventional C30 concrete. The methane gas explosion test was conducted in a full-scale (12 m × 1.8 m × 0.6 m) tunnel segment to investigate the structural performance of selected slab specimen (1.8 m × 0.4 m × 0.09 m). The test results and numerical simulations of structural responses subjected to methane gas explosion are presented. The results indicate the fibre reinforced geopolymer concrete slab has good capacity to resist methane gas explosion load.
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