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IJIRST International Journal for Innovative Research in Science & Technology| Volume 3 | Issue 03 | August 2016

ISSN (online): 2349-6010

Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab


Elements Reinforced with Different Types of
Wiremesh
Vinu P
M. Tech Student
Department of Civil Engineering
GAT, Bengaluru

Dr. Ramesh Manoli


Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
GAT, Bengaluru

Dr. M T Prathap Kumar


Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
GAT, Bengaluru

Shiva Kumar KS
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
GAT, Bengaluru

Abstract
The aim of this experimental investigation carried out is to know the flexural strength of hardened Geopolymer concrete
elements reinforced with different types of wire meshes in which the Geopolymer concrete is made using GGBS and Fly ash in
equal proportions as the Cementacious materials and sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate as the alkaline activators. The
elements such as slabs and beams are cast using the Geopolymer concrete and different wire meshes keeping the size of the slab
as 700mm x 150mm x 30mm. The beams are made of size 700mm x 150mm x 150mm. Three types of meshes were used such as
square woven metal mesh, square welded metal mesh and hexagonal expanded metal mesh. These meshes were placed inside the
beam, slab elements in one two and three layers each, cured under the sun for 7 days and 14 days, and tested the beams for
flexure and the slabs for deflection. The obtained results were then plotted in a graph and the feasibility of using the type and
layer of meshes were identified.
Keywords: ferrocement, Geopolymer concrete, metal mesh, Sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate as alakaline activators
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
I.

INTRODUCTION

General:
The aim of this experimental investigation carried out is to know the flexural strength of hardened Geopolymer concrete
elements reinforced with different types of wire meshes in which the Geopolymer concrete is made using GGBS and Fly ash in
equal proportions as the Cementacious materials and the alkaline activators used are sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide. The
elements such as slabs and beams are cast using the Geopolymer concrete and different wire meshes keeping the size of the slab
as 700mm x 150mm x 30mm. The beams are made of size 700mm x 150mm x 150mm. Three types of meshes were used such as
square woven metal mesh, square welded metal mesh and hexagonal expanded metal mesh. These meshes were placed inside the
beam and slab elements in one two and three layers each and cured under the sun for 7 days and 14 days and tested the beams for
flexure and the slabs for deflection. The obtained results were then plotted in a graph and the feasibility of using the type and
layer of meshes were identified
Ferrocement is used widely in many places. High tensile properties and high tensile strength, resilience, ductility, resistance to
cracking, ability to undergo large deflection before collapse, impact resistance and toughness, strength to weight ratio all these
properties being very higher makes ferrocement a very versatile material. Even though the slabs made of ferrocement and other
products are used in India for either structural or non-structural purposes the standard test and procedure for design are not
carried out. Hence, here is an attempt to study the behaviour of Geopolymer ferrocement slab and beam elements in flexure.
Geopolymer concrete is a concrete consisting of materials like Fly ash or GGBS or combination of both instead of cement,
coarse and fine Aggregates and Alkaline activators instead of water. Reaction of aluminates and silicate bearing materials with
an activator gives the Geopolymer concrete. generally, waste materials such as fly ash obtained from the nuclear reactors or
ground granulated blast furnace slag from iron and metal production are used as the binders, which facilitates easy disposal of
such wastes. Fly ash based Geopolymer concrete is a new material in which Portland cement need not be present as a binder.
Though Geopolymer can be manufactured from various materials which are rich in alumina and silicate like fly ash, ground
granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and meta- kaolin etc., fly ash and GGBS based Geopolymers are very popular.
The objective of this experimental investigation was mainly to develop a viable housing component that could be used as a
multipurpose structural element. Experimental studies were carried out on Geopolymer ferrocement slab and beam elements. In
this context, multipurpose structural elements are meant as Geopolymer ferrocement elements, which can be used as both floor

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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and wall elements. Ferrocement slab which were stiffened by square and rectangular sections were found to be suitable shapes
for such elements. In this experiment, Geopolymer ferrocement elements having the shape of rectangle were chosen.
Stages in Polymerization Process:
A fast chemical reaction under the influence of high alkaline condition on Silica or Aluminium minerals will results in a
polymeric chain of three-dimensions and the ring structure involving Silica-Oxygen-Aluminium-Oxygen bond which causes the
geopolymerisation is as expressed below.
Mn[-(SiO2)zAlO2]n.wH2O
Where: M is the cation or alkaline element such as sodium, potassium, and calcium, n is the degree of polymerization, z is in
the order 1, 2, 3, or higher, upto 32.
The model made by Glukhovsky divides the process of geopolymerisation into the following three stages:
1) destruction-coagulation;
2) coagulation-condensation;
3) condensation-crystallization.
In recent studies, different authors have elaborated and extended the theories of Glukhovsky and used the knowledge gained
about the process of synthesising zeolitic in order to explain the process of Geopolymerisation as a whole Fig1 represents a
simplified reaction for the Geopolymerisation mechanism. This reaction mechanism outlines the key processes occurring in the
transformation of a solid aluminosilicate source into a synthetic alkali aluminosilicate

Fig.1: Geopolymerisation Process

Applications:

Nuclear Radioactive and toxic waste containers.


Manufacture of Bricks, block sand ceramics.
Foundry gears-warmth resistant composites.
Industry Sealants.
Chemically resistant wall panels.
Sewer pipeline products.
Sleepers for Railways.
Fiber strengthened laminates.
Strengthening of concrete structures.
II. MATERIALS AND METHODOLOGY

The materials used in the present study are as follows


Class F Fly ash

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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GGBS
Coarse aggregates of 12mm down size
Sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate as alakaline activators
Water
Mesh reinforcements (3 types)
Effect of Curing on Compressive Strength of Geopolymer Concrete Cubes:

The sizes of the specimens for the compressive strength test are fixed as Cubes of 150mm x 150mm x 150 mm. The moulds are
prepared for the above required sizes of the specimen. The moulds are cleaned and oiled for required size. The Cubes were cast
without any reinforcements just to know the time required by the Geopolymer concrete mix to attain the target strength.The
cubes of dimension 150 mm x 150 mm x150 mm which were cast without any reinforcement are kept for sun drying and they are
tested for compressive strength in the compressive strength testing machine after 7 days, 14 days and 28 days to know the time
required for the concrete to attain the target strength for which the Geopolymer concrete mix is designed for.
Flexural Strength of Geopolymer Concrete Beams:
The Beams were cast with wire mesh reinforcements in 3 successive layers. Each mesh with 1, 2 and 3 layers of reinforcement
were casted which makes 3 beam specimens for each type of mesh. This is then tested for flexural strength. The casting of
elements includes preparation of mould, placing of mesh reinforcement, and placing of mixed concrete. The moulds are cleaned
and oiled for required sizes. The meshes were cut to the size of moulds area and arranged to meet the requirements. The concrete
is mixed and placed up to clear cover in the mould and reinforcement meshes were placed. First specimen with one layer of
mesh. Next specimen with 2 layers one at the top and another at bottom, another layer in the centre is introduced as 3 rd layer in
case of beam specimens.
The beams of size700 mm x 150mm x 150mm are casted with 1, 2 and 3 layers of reinforcement for all the 3 types of meshes
which are sun dried and tested for flexural strength after 7 days and 14 days in the flexural strength testing machine and the
results were compared with that of the beam without any reinforcement. The figures below show the placing and testing of beam
specimens in the flexural strength testing machine. The beams reinforced with wire meshes showed prolonged failure with a hint
of the failure as shown in the above figure with the failure patterns whereas the unreinforced beams were brittle and showed a
sudden failure.
Strength of Unreinforced and Reinforced Geopolymer Concrete Precast Slabs:
The Slabs were cast with wire mesh reinforcement in 2 successive layers as placing 3 layers in 30mm depth was very difficult.
Each meshes with 1 and 2 layers of reinforcement were cast which makes 2 slab specimens for each type of mesh. The casting of
elements include preparation of mould, placing of mesh reinforcement, and placing of mixed concrete. The moulds are cleaned
and oiled for required sizes. The mesh was cut to the size of moulds area and arranged to meet the requirements. The concrete is
mixed and placed up to clear cover in the mould and reinforcement meshes were placed. First specimen with one layer of mesh.
Next specimen with 2 layers one at the top and another at bottom was introduced. The slabs of size 700mm x 150mm x 30mm
are casted with 1 and 2 layers of mesh reinforcement and also without any reinforcement. And the specimens are sun dried and
tested for deflection after 7 days and 14 days and the results were compared. The Geopolymer concrete slab of 30 mm thickness
which is casted and cured in sun drying for 14 days is tested for deflection as shown in the above figure 4.16. The slab is placed
over the cylinder and cubes as simple supports which were available in the laboratory and the dial gauge is fitted below the slab
as shown to measure the deflection of the slabs after loading. The dialguage of least count 0.01 mm was used to measure the
deflection of the slabs Loading is made on the test specimen using the concrete cylinders of known weight. for each cylinder
placed the corresponding deflection in the slab if found is recorded
III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
In the present study, Geopolymer concrete cubes were cured under sunlight for 7, 14 and 28 days to determine the compressive
strength. The effect of curing under sunlight was analyzed to determine the number of days required to achieve the target
strength. Three different types of meshes were used as reinforcements to determine the flexural strength as well as suitability of
these reinforcements for precast slabs with Geopolymer concrete.
Effect of Curing on Compressive Strength of GPC Cubes:
The Geopolymer concrete cubes were cast as per mix design explained in chapter 4. 3 specimens were casted and cured under
sunlight for 7, 14 and 28 days. Table 1 shows average compressive strength obtained at 7, 14 and 28 days. The mix design for
GPC was done for target compressive strength of 40 N/mm 2. It was found that with 7 days of sunlight curing the compressive
strength exceeded the target compressive strength. Figure 1.1 shows the graphical variation of compressive strength with curing
period. It was found that the compressive strength increases significantly when curing period increases from 7 to 14 days.
Whereas only a marginal increase occurs when curing is varied from 14 to 28 days. Hence for testing beams and precast slabs
with GPC, 14 days curing period was adopted.

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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No. of trials
1
2
3
1
2
3
1
2
3

Days of curing
7

14

28

Table 1
compressive strength of Geopolymer concrete cubes
Load (kN) Compressive strength (N/mm2) Average compressive strength (N/mm2)
1100
48.88
1115
49.56
49.22
1107
49.22
1304
57.96
1332
59.20
58.88
1318
58.88
1336
59.38
1354
60.12
59.75
1344
59.75

Fig. 1.1: Variation of compressive strength of cubes with curing period.

Flexural Strength of Geopolymer Concrete Beams:


The Flexural strength of Geopolymer concrete beams cast and cured for 7 and 14 days, with and without reinforcements was
determined at 7 and 14 days curing under sunlight. The strength of reinforced beams was determined by varying number of
layers from 1, 2 and 3 under 7 and 14 days.
Flexural Strength of Beams without Reinforcement
All the beams were tested using flexural testing machine with two points loading. The test configurations have been explained in
the chapter 4. Table 2 shows Flexural strength obtained at 7 and 14 days for unreinforced Beams. Figure 2 shows the variation of
flexural strength for unreinforced beams at 7 and for 14 days. It can be observed that the flexural strength at 14 days curing was
greater than that obtained at 7 days curing. The results of this were used to compare with the Flexural strength of reinforced
beams using Square woven metal mesh, Square welded metal mesh and expanded hexagonal metal mesh.
Table 2
Flexural Strength of Unreinforced Beams

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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Fig. 2: Variation of flexural strength of unreinforced beams with number of trials

Flexural Strength of Beams Reinforced with Square Woven Metal Mesh:


The square woven metal mesh having 6 holes per inch were used by varying number of layers from 1, 2 and 3. Wherein, the
reinforcements were placed at the bottom, top and center. Table 3 and figure 3 shows variation of flexural strength at 7 and 14
days of curing.
It can be observed that the increase in the number of layers of reinforcement increases the flexural strength and is maximum
for beams reinforced with 3 layers of meshes.
Table 3
Flexural strength of beams reinforced with square woven metal mesh

Fig. 3: Variation of flexural strength of beams with number of layers of reinforcements for square woven metal mesh

Flexural Strength of Beams Reinforced with Square Welded Metal Mesh:


Similar tests were done for beams reinforced with square welded metal mesh. Table 4 and figure 4 shows variation of flexural
strength with increase in the number of layers of reinforcements. It was observed that there was no significant variation in
flexural strength for beams reinforced with 2 and 3 layers of reinforcements at 14 days of curing. However marginal increase in
flexural strength occurs when number of layers from 2 to 3 at 7 days of curing.
Table 4
flexural strength of beams reinforced with square welded metal mesh

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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Fig. 4: Variation of flexural strength of beams with number of layers of reinforcements for square welded metal mesh

Flexural Strength of Beams Reinforced with Expanded Hexagonal Metal Mesh:


Similar tests were done for beams reinforced with expanded hexagonal metal mesh. Table 5 and figure 5 shows variation of
flexural strength with number of layers of reinforcements. It was observed that the flexural strength increased with increase in
number of layers for both 7 and 14 days of curing. However, for beams reinforced with 3 layers of reinforcements, there was no
change in flexural strength both at 7 and 14 days.
Results of present study indicates that the flexural strength increases with the increase in number of layers for both square
woven metal mesh and expanded hexagonal metal mesh, increased flexural strength marginally when compared with beams
reinforced with square welded metal mesh.
Table 5
flexural strength of beams reinforced with expanded hexagonal metal mesh

Fig. 5: Variation of flexural strength of beams with number of layers of reinforcements for expanded hexagonal metal mesh

Strength of Unreinforced and Reinforced Geopolymer Concrete Precast Slabs:


The effect of reinforcement on precast Geopolymer concrete slabs were studied using the square woven metal mesh, square
welded metal mesh and expanded hexagonal metal mesh. The numbers of layers were varied from 1 and 2 layers of
reinforcement. The testing methodology has been explained. The load and deflection were measured to study the effect of
deflection reduction as well as to assess the load at failure.

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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Slabs Reinforced with Square Woven Metal Mesh:


Table 6 shows load and the corresponding deflection obtained for precast slabs without reinforcement and with 1 layer and 2
layers of reinforcements. Figure 6 shows the variation of load versus the deflection for all the cases tested. It can be seen that the
load at failure for unreinforced precast slabs is significantly lower when compared to reinforced Geopolymer concrete slabs.
Further with increase in the number of layers of reinforcement, the load at failure increases.
To assess the effect of reinforcement, on deflection the Deflection Reduction Factor was estimated in percentage. Table 7
shows the Deflection Reduction Factor obtained between Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and
without reinforcement, Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh and without reinforcement and
Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and 2 layers of mesh.
It can be seen that significant reduction in Deflection Reduction Factor for all reinforced Geopolymer concrete precast slabs.
Maximum Deflection Reduction Factor was obtained for Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh.
For Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers and 1 layer, the reduction is significant at lower value of load
and the deflection reduction factor reduces with increase in the load. Thus introducing of reinforcements in the Geopolymer
precast slabs increases the load at failure as well as increases the DRF and hence beneficiary.
Table 6
Deflection of slabs reinforced with square woven metal mesh

Fig. 6: variation of load versus the deflection of slabs reinforced with square woven metal mesh and slabs without reinforcement.
Table 7
Deflection reduction factor for slabs reinforced with square woven metal mesh

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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Slabs Reinforced with Square Welded Metal Mesh:


Table 8 shows load and the corresponding deflection obtained for precast slabs without reinforcement and with 1 layer and 2
layers of reinforcements. Figure 7 shows the variation of load versus the deflection for all the cases tested. It can be seen that the
load at failure for unreinforced precast slabs is significantly lower when compared to reinforced Geopolymer concrete slabs.
Further with increase in the number of layers of reinforcement, the load at failure increases.
To assess the effect of reinforcement, on deflection the Deflection Reduction Factor was estimated in percentage. Table 9
shows the Deflection Reduction Factor obtain between Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and
without reinforcement, Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh and without reinforcement and
Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and 2 layers of mesh.
It can be seen that significant reduction in Deflection Reduction Factor for all reinforced Geopolymer concrete precast slabs.
Maximum Deflection Reduction Factor was obtained for Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh.
For Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers and 1 layer, the reduction is significant at lower value of load
and the deflection reduction factor reduces with increase in the load. Thus introducing of reinforcements in the Geopolymer
precast slabs increases the load at failure as well as increases the DRF and hence beneficiary.
Table 8
Deflection of slabs reinforced with square welded metal mesh

Fig. 7: variation of load versus the deflection of slabs reinforced with square welded metal mesh and slabs without reinforcement.
Table 9
Deflection reduction factor for slabs reinforced with square welded metal mesh.

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Flexural Behavior of Geopolymer Beam and Slab Elements Reinforced with Different Types of Wiremesh
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Slabs Reinforced With Expanded Hexagonal Metal Mesh:


Table 10 shows load and the corresponding deflection obtained for precast slabs without reinforcement and with 1 layer and 2
layers of reinforcements. Figure 8 shows the variation of load versus the deflection for all the cases tested. It can be seen that the
load at failure for unreinforced precast slabs is significantly lower when compared to reinforced Geopolymer concrete slabs.
Further with increase in the number of layers of reinforcement, the load at failure increases.
To assess the effect of reinforcement, on deflection the Deflection Reduction Factor was estimated in percentage. Table 11
shows the Deflection Reduction Factor obtain between Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and
without reinforcement, Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh and without reinforcement and
Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 1 layer of mesh and 2 layers of mesh.
It can be seen that significant reduction in Deflection Reduction Factor for all reinforced Geopolymer concrete precast slabs.
Maximum Deflection Reduction Factor was obtained for Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh.
For Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers and 1 layer, the reduction is significant at lower value of load
and the deflection reduction factor reduces with increase in the load. Thus introducing of reinforcements in the Geopolymer
precast slabs increases the load at failure as well as increases the DRF and hence beneficiary.
Table 10
Deflection of slabs reinforced with Expanded Hexagonal metal mesh

Fig. 8: variation of load versus the deflection of slabs reinforced with Expanded Hexagonal metal mesh and slabs without reinforcement.
Table 11
Deflection reduction factor for slabs reinforced with Expanded Hexagonal metal mesh.

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Load at Breakage for Slabs:


Table 12 shows summarized values of load T breakage for Precast Geopolymer concrete slabs. It can be seen that the load at
breakage reinforced precast Geopolymer concrete slabs were significantly higher when compared to that of unreinforced slabs.
Marginal increase in failure load occurs with the increase in number of layers of reinforcement. Square woven metal mesh and
square welded metal mesh showed better load carrying capacity.

Square Woven
1 layer 2 layers
1.02
1.16

Table 12
Load at breakage for slabs
Load at Breakage for slabs (kN)
Metal Mesh
Square Welded
Expanded Hexagonal
1 layer 2 layers
1 layer
2 layers
1.16
1.3
0.88
1.02

unreinforced
0.28

Table 13 shows summarized values of Deflection Reduction Factor obtained for all the 3 types of mesh reinforcements. DRF
for both 1layer and 2 layers reinforced Geopolymer precast concrete slabs were significantly larger than that obtained for
unreinforced Geopolymer precast concrete slabs. Square welded metal mesh showed significant Deflection Reduction Factor
compared with other 2 types of meshes. Introduction of 2nd layer of reinforcement causes a marginal increase in the Deflection
Reduction Factor at all levels of loading.

Load
(kN)
0.14
0.28

0.14
0.28

0.14
0.28
0.56
0.88

Table 13
Deflection reduction factor for slabs unreinforced and reinforced with different types of meshes
Deflection reduction factor for slabs unreinforced and reinforced with different types of meshes
Square woven metal mesh
Square welded metal mesh
Expanded Hexagonal metal mesh
DRF between 1 layer and unreinforced
DRF between 1 layer and unreinforced
DRF between 1 layer and unreinforced
slabs (%)
slabs (%)
slabs (%)
47.77
66.67
22.2
52.5
75
35
DRF between 2 layer and unreinforced
DRF between 2 layer and unreinforced
DRF between 2 layer and unreinforced
slabs (%)
slabs (%)
slabs (%)
61.1
77.78
38.89
65
75.5
52.5
DRF between 1 layer and 2 layer
DRF between 1 layer and 2 layer
DRF between 1 layer and 2 layer
reinforced slabs (%)
reinforced slabs (%)
reinforced slabs (%)
25.5
33.3
21.43
26.32
2
26.92
9.26
12.5
20.29
7.25
8.5
9.62

IV. CONCLUSIONS
On the basis of present experimental study, the following conclusions are drawn:
1) At 7 days of sun light curing the compressive strength exceeds the target compressive strength. The compressive strength
increases significantly when curing period increases from 7 to 14 days. Hence a curing period of 7 to 14 days is sufficient to
achieve the target strength.
2) The flexural strength at 14 days sun light curing was greater than that obtained at 7 days curing. Increase in the number of
layers of reinforcement increases the flexural strength and is maximum for beams reinforced with 3 layers of meshes.
3) The effect of sunlight curing indicated that there is no significant variation in flexural strength for beams reinforced with 2
and 3 layers of reinforcements at 14 days of curing. However marginal increase in flexural strength occurs when number of
layers from 2 to 3 at 7 days of curing.
4) The flexural strength increases with the increase in number of layers for both square woven metal mesh and expanded
hexagonal metal mesh.
5) The load at failure for unreinforced precast slabs is significantly lower when compared to reinforced Geopolymerprecast
concrete slabs. Increase in the number of layers of reinforcement increase the load at failure.
6) Maximum Deflection Reduction Factor is observed for Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers of mesh.
For Geopolymer concrete precast slabs reinforced with 2 layers and 1 layer, the reduction is significant at lower value of
load and the deflection reduction factor reduces with increase in the load.
7) Marginal increase in failure load occurs with the increase in number of layers of reinforcement. Square woven metal mesh
and square welded metal mesh showed better load carrying capacity.
8) Use of square welded metal mesh indicates a significant Deflection Reduction Factor compared with other 2 types of
meshes. Introduction of second layer of reinforcement causes a marginal increase in the Deflection Reduction Factor at all
levels of loading.

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9) The trend in results thus indicates that introduction of reinforcements in the Geopolymer precast slabs increases the load at
failure as well as increases the DRF and hence beneficiary.
10) Geopolymer Precast concrete slabs exhibits better load carrying capacity at shorter interval of curing under day light. Hence
it is a viable alternative to ordinary cement base precast concrete slabs in construction industry.
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