Mechanical Properties of Geopolymer Concrete: Applicability of Relationships Defined by AS 3600

Concrete Institute of Australia
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Conference Proceeding
Concrete 2013, 2013
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Geopolymers are new inorganic polymer binders; synthesised from aluminosilicate powders such as fly ash and blast furnace slag with alkali activators and producing good binding properties similar to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). This new generation binding material has a potential application in structural and non-structural concretes, fire resistant composites and ceramics. Previous research around the world has suggested that geopolymer binders possess superior engineering, mechanical and durability properties over conventional Portland cement. The process of setting and hardening of geopolymer concrete is based on different chemistry called Polymerization instead of Hydration in OPC. The silicon and aluminium oxides in the source materials are activated by a combination of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate in presence of water to form a sodium aluminosilicate paste called Geopolymer which has binding properties similar to CSH in OPC. In this study, some engineering and mechanical properties of different grades of Geopolymer concrete were tested and evaluated according to relevant Australian Standards and compared against the same grade of OPC concrete. Australian Standard AS 3600 describesinterrelationships between different mechanical properties of concrete such as compressive strength and uniaxial tensile strength and compressive strength and flexural tensile strength. From this study, it is found that uniaxial tensile and flexural tensile strengths attained by the geopolymer concretes investigated were higher than those prescribed by AS 3600 for the given grade of concrete. Modulus of elasticity, however, was found to be similar to calculated values provided by AS 3600 for similar grades of concrete. This suggests that geopolymer concretes of the type investigated may be used in selected structures using design procedures currently available. Further verification work on this is currently under way.
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