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CONCRETE BASED ON FLY ASH AS GEOPOLYMER reports

CONCRETE BASED ON FLY ASH AS GEOPOLYMER reports

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Published by: Naveen Naidu on Apr 04, 2011
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Geopolymer Concrete
GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE
 
Abstract
Limestone and clay are the prime raw materials used in the manufacturing of Portlandcement and quarrying of them is becoming the source of environmental degradation. Pastfew researches showed that in coming years limestone will be hardly available for cementproduction. Besides that, carbon footprints due to cement production are causing globalwarming. In addition to this, waste disposal is also becoming a global issue because of scarcity and expensiveness of landfillsPolymeric concrete utilizes waste materials such as Fly Ash (FA) and Rice Husk Ash(RHA) together with alkaline solution (NaOH & NaSiO
2
), which results in a green binder toreplace cement. This study focuses on complete elimination of Portland cement for production of concrete. This study incorporates Fly Ash as base source material inpolymeric concrete. Polymeric concrete gives higher compressive strength and tensilestrength values for external exposure curing as well as better development of microstructurefor the same, compare to ordinary concrete
1. Introduction
Concrete usage around the world is second only to water. Ordinary Portland cement(OPC) is conventionally used as the primary binder to produce concrete. Theenvironmental issues associated with the production of OPC are well known. The amount of the carbon dioxide released during the manufacture of OPC due to the calcination of limestone and combustion of fossil fuel is in the order of one ton for every ton of OPCproduced. In addition, the extent of energy required to produce OPC is only next to steel andaluminium.On the other hand, the abundant availability of fly ash worldwide creates opportunity toutilize this by-product of burning coal, as a substitute for OPC to manufacture concrete.When used as a partial replacement of OPC, in the presence of water and in ambienttemperature, fly ash reacts with the calcium hydroxide during the hydration process of OPC to form the calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel. The development and applicationof high volume fly ash concrete, which enabled the replacement of OPC up to 60% bymass is a significant development. (Malhotra 2002; Malhotra and Mehta 2002),In 1978, Davidovits (1999) proposed that binders could be produced by a polymericreaction of alkaline liquids with the silicon and the aluminium in source materials of geological origin or by-product materials such as fly ash and rice husk ash. He termedthese binders as geopolymers.Page 1
 
Geopolymer Concrete
2. Materials in Geopolymer Concrete2.1 Fly Ash
 A waste material from power stations, fly ash has been used as a mineral admixturecomponent of Portland-pozzolans blended cement for nearly 60 years. This, the largest useof fly ash, consumes about 10 percent of fly ash produced throughout the world. Another 10-15 percent is used for construction, building materials and beneficiation applications.Remaining 75-80 percent is disposed of as waste.According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee, fly ash is defined as
The finely divided residue that results from the combustion of ground or powdered coal and that is transported by flue gasses from the combustion zone to the particle removal system’ 
(ACI Committee 232 2004)
 
’ . Fly ash is removed from the combustion gases bythe dust collection system, either mechanically or by using electrostatic precipitators, beforethey are discharged to the atmosphere. Fly ash particles are typically spherical, finer thanPortland cement and lime, ranging in diameter from less than 1 µm to no more than 150 µm.The chemical composition is mainly composed of the oxides of silicon (
SiO
2
),aluminium (
Al
2
O
3
), iron (
Fe
2
O
3
), and calcium (CaO), whereas magnesium, potassium,sodium, titanium, and sulphur are also present in a lesser amount. The major influence onthe fly ash chemical composition comes from the type of coal (Malhotra andRamezanianpour 1994).
Table 1. Chemical composition ashweight%
SiO
2
Al
2
O
3
Fe
2
O
3
CaO MgO SO
3
2
O Na
2
O TiO
2
P
2
O
5
fly ash
53.79 32.97 5.51 1.84 0.92 0.46 1.76 0.37 2.1 0.15
Use of Fly Ash in Concrete
One of the efforts to produce more environmentally friendly concrete is to reduce theuse of OPC by partially replacing the amount of cement in concrete with by-productsmaterials such as fly ash. As a cement replacement, fly ash plays the role of an artificialpozzolan, where its silicon dioxide content reacts with the calcium hydroxide from thecement hydration process to form the calcium silicate hydrate (C- S-H) gel. The sphericalshape of fly ash often helps to improve the workability of the fresh concrete, while itssmall particle size also plays as filler of voids in the concrete, hence to produce denseand durable concrete.An important achievement in the use of fly ash in concrete is the development of highvolume fly ash (HVFA) concrete that successfully replaces the use of OPC in concrete up to60% and yet possesses excellent mechanical properties with enhanced durabilityperformance. HVFA concrete has been proved to be more durable and resource-efficientthan the OPC concrete.The HVFA technology has been put into practice, for example theconstruction of roads in India, which implemented 50% OPC replacement by the fly ash(Malhotra 2002).Page 2
 
Geopolymer Concrete
2.2 Alkaline Solutions
A combination of sodium silicate solution and sodium hydroxide solution was used toreact with the aluminium and the silica in the fly ash.The sodium silicate solution comprised Na
2
O=14.7%, SiO
2
=29.4%, and water=55.9%by mass. Sodium hydroxide (commercial grade with 97% purity) pellets were dissolved inwater to make the solution. .
3. GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE
In this work, fly ash-based geopolymer is used as the binder, instead of Portland or other hydraulic cement paste, to produce concrete. The fly ash-based geopolymer pastebinds the loose coarse aggregates, fine aggregates and other un-reacted materials together toform the geopolymer concrete, with or without the presence of admixtures. The manufactureof geopolymer concrete is carried out using the usual concrete technology methods.As in the case of OPC concrete, the aggregates occupy about 75-80 % by mass, ingeopolymer concrete. The silicon and the aluminium in the fly ash react with an alkalineliquid that is a combination of sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide solutions to formthe geopolymer paste that binds the aggregates and other un-reacted materials.Geopolymers are members of the family of inorganic polymers. The chemicalcomposition of the geopolymer material is similar to natural zeolitic materials, but themicrostructure is amorphous instead of crystalline. The polymerisation process involves asubstantially fast chemical reaction under alkaline condition on Si-Al minerals that result ina three- dimensional polymeric chain and ring structure consisting of Si-O-Al-O bonds, asfollows (Davidovits 1999):M
n [
-(SiO
2
)
z
– 
AlO
2
]
n.
wH
2
O (2-1)Where: M = the alkaline element or cation such as potassium, sodium or calcium; thesymbol
– 
indicates the presence of a bond, n is the degree of polycondensation or polymerization; z is1,2,3, or higher, up to 32.Geopolymerization involves the chemical reaction of alumino-silicate oxides (Si2O5,Al2O2) with alkali polysilicates yielding polymeric Si – O – Al bonds. Polysilicates aregenerally sodium or potassium silicate supplied by chemical industry or manufactured fine silica powder as a by-product of ferro-silicon metallurgy.Equation 2-2 shows an example of polycondensation by alkali into poly.The schematic formation of geopolymer material can be shown as described byEquations (2-2) and (2-3) (van Jaarsveld et al. 1997; Davidovits 1999):Page 3

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