Nanoindentation on micromechanical properties and microstructure of geopolymer with nano-SiO<inf>2</inf> and nano-TiO<inf>2</inf>

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Journal Article
Cement and Concrete Composites, 2021, 117, pp. 1-11
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Fly ash-based geopolymers incorporated with 2% nano-SiO2 (NS)/nano-TiO2 (NT) particles were subjected to microstructural and statistical nanoindentation analysis. With the addition of both types of nanoparticles, the compressive strength of geopolymer and the micromechanical properties of N-A-S-H gel were increased. NS exhibited higher reinforcement effect than NT on macro-strength. However, NT more significantly enhanced gel micromechanical properties. NT and especially the NS were found to have a positive effect on the early reaction rate of geopolymer. After 28 days, the gel proportion obtained by Backscattered electron (BSE) images analysis was close values of 49.16%, 55.69% and 54.02% for reference sample and NS, NT reinforced geopolymer, which were more than two times of that from the statistical nanoindentation. The effects of NS and NT on microstructure, gel proportion and gel micromechanical properties were discussed to reveal the macro-strength reinforcement mechanism. The results obtained from different techniques were also compared and discussed.
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