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VISVESVARAYA TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Jnanasangama, Belagavi – 590018

A Project Report on,


“AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON STRENGTH
PROPERTIES OF GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE WITH
ADDITION OF GGBS”

Submitted as a partial fulfillment of the VTU requirement in 8th


Semester, for the award of Degree Bachelor of Engineering in CIVIL.

Submitted by,

VIJAY KUMAR.T.G 1GA14CV104


VIJAY KUMAR.M.P 1GA14CV105
YASHAS.S 1GA14CV112
NAVEEN.K 1GA15CV406

Under the Guidance of,


VIDYASHREE.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering


GLOBAL ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGY BANGLORE
RR Nagar, Bangalore- 560098
CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Project Report on “AN EXPERIMENTAL


STUDY ON STRENGTH PROPERTIES OF GEOPOLYMER
CONCRETE WITH ADDITION OF GGBS” was presented by
Vijay kumar.T.G, Vijay kumar.M.P, Yashas.S and Naveen.K
students of 8thsemester Civil Engineering, as a partial fulfillment for
the award of the degree of Bachelor of Engineering, under
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Belagavi, during the
year 2017-2018. The report is approved as it satisfies the academic
requirements in respect of project work prescribed for the under
graduate degree in Civil Engineering.

GUIDE:

Vidyashree. D Dr. C V Srinivasa


Assistant professor HOD-Department
Department of Civil of Civil Engineering
Engineering

PRINCIPAL:
Dr. RANAPRATAP REDDY
Global Academy of Technology
Bangalore- 560098

Examiners

1. 2.

---------------- ---------------
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We are very much indebted to our Principal, Dr. RANAPRATHAP


REDDY,for their indispensable help, amenities provided to carry out
our project work.

Our sincere thanks to our Head of the Department


Dr.C.V.SRINIVASA, for his encouragement provided throughout the
completion of our project work.

We would also like to express our deep sense of gratitude to our guide
Mrs.VIDYASHREE.D, Assistant Professor, for giving valuable
suggestions for making this project a grand success. Also our special
thanks to Ms.VARUNAKOTI, Assistant Professor, of Civil
Engineering Department for helping on completion of project.

I also thank the teaching and non-teaching staff members of the


Department of Civil Engineering for their constant support.

With regards :
VIJAYKUMAR.T.G
VIJAYKUMAR.M.P
YASHAS.S
NAVEEN.K
CHAPTER NO. TITLE OF CONTENTS PAGE NO.

ABSTRACT i

LIST OF TABLES ii

LIST OF FIGURES iii

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 GENERAL 1

1.2 MOTIVATION 3

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT 3

1.4 SCOPE OF THE PROJECT 4

1.5 ORGANISATION OF THE REPORT 4

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 5

2.1 GENERAL 5

2.2 GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE 5

2.3 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE 14

CHAPTER 3 EXPERIMENTATION AND METHODOLOGY 15

3.1 GENERAL 15

3.2 GEOPOLYMER 15

3.2.1 CHEMICAL REACTION OF 16


GEOPOLYMER
3.2.2 APPLICATIONS OF GEOPOLYMERS 17

3.3 CONSTITUENTS OF GEOPOLYMER 18


3.3.1 SOURCE MATERIALS 18

3.3.3 GROUND GRANULATED BLAST 19


FURNACE SLAG (GGBS)
3.3.4 ALKALINE LIQUIDS 20

3.4 MATERIALS AND THEIR PROPERTIES 21

3.4.1 FLYASH 21

3.4.2 GGBS 22

3.4.3 COARSE AGGREGATES 22

3.4.4 FINE AGGREGATES 24

3.4.5 ALKALINE SOLUTION 25

3.5 MIXTURE PROPORTIONS 26

3.6 MANUFACTURE OF GEOPOLYMER 27


CONCRETE
3.6.1 PREPARATION OF LIQUIDS 27

3.6.2 MANUFACTURE OF FRESH 29


CONCRETE AND CASTING
3.6.3 CURING OF GEOPOLYMER 29
CONCRETE
3.6.4 CURING OF SPECIMENS 30

3.7 EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED 30

3.7.1 WORKABILITY TEST 30

3.7.2 COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST 31

3.7.3 STATEMENT OF FIGURES 34

3.3.2 FLYASH 18
I
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 35

4.1 INTRODUCTION 35

4.2 COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH 35

4.3 EFFECTS OF SALIENT PARAMETERS 37

4.4 RATIO OF ALKALINE SOLUTION TO 37


FLY ASH AND GGBS
4.5 COMPESSIVE STRENGTH TEST 38
RESULTS GRAPHS
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS 40

5.1 SCOPE FOR FURTHER STUDY 42

5.2 LIMITATIONS 43

APPENDIX-A MIX DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR GEOPOLYMER 44


CONCRETE
MOLARITY FIXING AND CHEMICAL 46
BATCHING PROCEDURE
REFERENCES 47
ABSTRACT

Ordinary Portland cement is a major construction material worldwide. Cement


manufacturing industry is one of the carbon dioxide emitting sources besides deforestation
and burning of fossil fuels. The global warming is caused by the emission of greenhouse
gases, such as CO2, to the atmosphere. Among the greenhouse gases, CO2 contributes about
65% of global warming. The global cement industry contributes about 7% of greenhouse
gas emission to the earth’s atmosphere. In order to address environmental effects associated
with Portland cement, there is a need to develop alternative binders to make concrete.

One of the efforts to produce more environmentally friendly concrete is the


development of inorganic alumino-silicate polymer, called geopolymer, synthesized from
materials of geological origin or by-product materials such as fly ash that are rich in silicon
and aluminum and GGBS.

In this project work, low-calcium (Class F) fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer
from Encore Thermal power plant has been used for the production of geopolymer concrete.
The combination of sodium silicate solution and sodium hydroxide solution was used as
alkaline solution for fly ash activation. Alkaline solution to binder ratio was varied as
0.8.The concentration of sodium hydroxide solution was maintained as 8M (Molars).The
curing condition of geopolymer concrete was varied as ambient curing. The compressive
strength of the geopolymer concrete was tested at various ages such as 7, 14 and 28 days.

i
LIST OF TABLES

Table No. Title of tables Page No.

Table 3.1 Applications of geopolymers 18

Table 3.2 Chemical composition of Ennore fly ash reported by Naik 21

Table 3.3 Physical properties of fly ash 22

Table 3.4 Properties of GGBS 22

Table 3.5 Properties of coarse aggregate 23

Table 3.6 Sieve analysis of coarse aggregate 23

Table 3.7 Properties of fine aggregate 24


25
Table 3.8 Sieve analysis of fine aggregate

Table 3.9 Data for design of low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete 27
mixtures as reported by Rangan
27
Table 3.10 Material calculation for 9 cubes of geopolymer concrete

28
Table 3.11 Solution ratio fixed by trial and error method

Table 4.1 Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for alkaline solution


36
to fly ash and GGBS ratio of 0.8 (40% fly ash + 60% GGBS)
compared with cement concrete
Table 4.2 Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for alkaline solution 36
to fly ash and GGBS ratio of 0.8 (60% fly ash + 40% GGBS)
compared with cement concrete
Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for alkaline solution
Table 4.3 to fly ash and GGBS ratio of 0.8 (0% fly ash + 100% GGBS) 37
compared with cement concrete

ii
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure No. Title of figure Page No.

Figure 2.1 SEM analysis of fresh transition zone 8

Figure 2.2 SEM analysis after hydration 8

Figure 3.1 Basic forms of geopolymer as repeating unit 21

Figure 3.2 Gradation curve for coarse aggregate 24

Figure 3.3 Gradation curve for fine aggregate 25

Figure 3.4 Alkali solution ratio fixed by trial and error method 28

Figure 3.5 Fresh concrete preparation 29

Figure 3.6 Ambient curing geopolymer specimens 30

Figure 3.7 Workability test on geopolymer concrete 31

32
Figure 3.8 Compressive test of geopolymer concrete (0% fly ash +
100% GGBS)

Figure 3.9 Compressive test of geopolymer concrete (60% fly ash + 32


40% GGBS)

Figure 3.10 Compressive test of geopolymer concrete (40% fly ash + 60%
33
GGBS)

iii
Figure 3.11 Compressive test of cement concrete 33

34
Figure 3.12 Failure plane of geopolymer concrete

Figure 4.1 Graph of comparison of cement concrete and geopolymer 38


concrete (40% fly ash + 60% GGBS)

Figure 4.2 Graph of comparison of cement concrete and geopolymer 39

concrete (60% fly ash + 40% GGBS)

Graph of comparison of cement concrete and geopolymer


Figure 4.3 39
concrete (0% fly ash + 100% GGBS)

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AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON STRENGTH PROPERTIES OF GEOPOLYMER
CONCRETE WITH ADDITION OF GGBS
CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 GENERAL

Concrete is the widely used construction material that makes best foundations,
architectural structures, bridges, roads, block walls, fences and poles. The production of
one ton of Portland cement emits approximately one ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Among the greenhouse gases, CO 2contributes about 65% of global warming. The
contribution of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) production worldwide to greenhouse gas
emissions is estimated to be approximately 1.35 billion tons annually or approximately
7% of the total green house gas emissions to the earth’s atmosphere. However, the cement
industry is extremely energy intensive. After aluminium and steel, the manufacturing of
Portland cement is the most energy intensive process as it consumes 4GJ of energy per
ton. After thermal power plants and the iron and steel sector, the Indian cement industry
is the third largest user of coal in the country. The industries capacity at the beginning of
the year 2008-09 was about 198 million tones. The cement demand in India is expected to
grow at 10% annually in the medium term buoyed by housing, infrastructure and
corporate capital expenditures. Considering an expected production and consumption
growth of 9 to 10 percent, the demand-supply position of the cement industry is expected
to improve from 2008-09 on wards (Ragan and Hardjito, 2006 2005).

Coal-based thermal power installations in India contribute about 65% of the total
installed capacity for electricity generation. In order to meet the growing energy demand
of the country, coal-based thermal power generation is expected to play a dominant role
in the future as well, since coal reserves in India are expected to last for more than 100
years. The ash content of coal used by thermal power plants in India varies between 25
and 45%. However, coal with an ash content of around 40% is predominantly used in
India for thermal power generation. As a consequence, a huge amount of fly ash (FA) is
generated in thermal power plants, causing several disposal-related problems In spite of
initiatives taken by the government, several non-governmental organizations and
research and development organizations, the total utilization of FA is only about 50%.

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India produces 130 million ton of FA annually which is expected to reach 175 million
ton by 2012 and may exceed 225 million tons by 2017. Disposal of FA is a growing
problem as only 15% of FA is currently used for high value addition applications like
concrete and building blocks, the remainder being used for land filling. Globally, less
than 25% of the total annual FA produced in the world is utilized. FA has been
successfully used as a mineral admixture component of Portland cement for nearly 60
years. There is effective utilization of FA in making cement concretes as it extends
technical advantages as well as controls the environmental pollution (Vijai 2006).

Ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) is a by-product from the blast-
furnaces used to make iron. GGBS is a glassy, granular, non metallic material consisting
essentially of silicates and aluminates of calcium. GGBS has almost the same particle size
as cement. GGBS, often blended with Portland cement as low cost filler, enhances
concrete workability, density, durability and resistance to alkali-silica reaction.

Alternative utility of fine aggregates and GGBS in construction industry that has
emerged in recent years is in the form of Geopolymer concrete (GPC), which by
appropriate process technology utilize all classes and grades of FA and GGBS, therefore
there is a great potential for reducing stockpiles of these waste materials. Geopolymer
concrete (GPC) are inorganic polymer composites, which are prospective concretes with
the potential to form a substantial element of an environmentally sustainable construction
by replacing or supplementing the conventional concretes. GPC have high strength, with
good resistance to chloride penetration, acid attack, etc. These are commonly formed by
alkali activation of industrial alumino-silicate waste materials such as FA and GGBS, and
have a very small Greenhouse footprint when compared to traditional concretes
(Ravikumar et al., 2010).

The term, geopolymer was first introduced by Davidovits in 1978 to describe a


family of mineral binders with chemical composition similar to zeolites but with an
amorphous micro structure. Unlike ordinary Portland cements, geopolymer do not form
calcium-silicate-hydrates for matrix formation and strength, but utilize the poly
condensation of silica and alumina precursors to attain structural strength. Two main
constituents of geopolymer are source materials and alkaline liquids. The source materials
on alumino-silicate should be rich in silicon (Si) and aluminum (Al). They could be by-
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product materials such as fly ash, silica fume, slag, rice-husk ash, red mud, etc.
Geopolymers are also unique in comparison to other alumino-silicate materials (e.g.
alumino-silicate gels, glasses and zeolites) (Davidovits1978).

The geopolymer technology may reduce the total energy demand for producing
concrete, lower the CO2 emission to the atmosphere caused by cement and aggregates
industries by about 80%, thereby reducing the global warming. They possess the
advantages of rapid strength gain, elimination of water curing, good mechanical and
durability properties and can serve as Eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to ordinary
Portland cement concretes (Thokchom et al., May2006).

1.2 MOTIVATION

A normal cement contains high amount of (silica and alumina), the usage of
cement is increasing day to day worldwide. Hence, an alternate innovative material used
is fly ash and GGBS. Fly ash constitutes of high amount of Si-Al materials, it has high
cementitious property, and fly ash is by product of coal that is available in thermal power
plant and GGBS is by product of blast furnace slag.

Geopolymer concrete cement is replaced by fly ash and GGBS in which the
concrete gives more compressive strength comparing to normal concrete and also it has
many more advantages. Fly ash is also less expansive when compare to cement. Since fly
ash is a waste material and can be reused.

The main advantage of geopolymer concrete is that normal concrete produces more
CO2 increasing the global warming in order to avoid this emission of CO2 gas,
geopolymer concrete came into usage since CO2 emitted is very low. Comparatively
geopolymer concrete has more merits than the other types of concrete this motivated us to
do this project.

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1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT
 The aim of the project is to study the influence of parameter such as alkaline
solution to binder ratio and curing condition on compressive strength of fly ash
and GGBS based geopolymer concrete of various replacements of fly ash by GGBS
(i.e., 40% fly ash + 60% GGBS, 60% fly ash + 40% GGBS and 100% GGBS) at
various ages (7,14 and 28 days).
 1:2 ratio of alkaline solution used to find out its compressive strength.

1.4 SCOPE OF THE PROJECT


 To study the effect of alkaline solution to binder ratio, concentration of sodium
hydroxide solution and curing conditions on fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer
concrete.
 Ratio of alkaline solution to binder by mass fixed to 0.8.
 Ambient curing was adopted.
 To determine the compressive strength of fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer
concrete at various ages such as 7days, 14 days and 28days.

1.5 ORGANISATION OF THE REPORT


Chapter 1 gives introduction about the evolution of geopolymer concrete.

Chapter 2 presents the information about the constituents of geopolymer concrete and its
applications. This chapter also provides a detailed literature review of geopolymer
technology, manufacturing process and salient characteristics of geopolymer concrete.

Chapter 3 describes the experimental program carried out to develop the mixture
proportions, the mixing process and the curing conditions of geopolymer concrete. The
tests performed to study the properties of fresh and hardened concrete is also described.

Chapter 4 presents and discusses the test results of various parameters such as alkaline
solution to binder ratio, curing condition and various replacements adopted in this project
of geopolymer concrete.
Chapter 5 states the salient conclusions of this study.

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CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 GENERAL

This chapter presents the information about the constituents of geopolymer


concrete and its applications. The published literature papers on geopolymer concrete is
reviewed.

2.2 GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE


Bakharev, [2005] [1] had investigated the durability of geopolymer materials
using class F fly and sodium silicate, sodium hydroxide and a mixture of sodium
hydroxide and potassium hydroxide as activators, when exposed to 5% solutions of acetic
and sulfuric acids. The significant degradation was observed in geopolymer materials
prepared with sodium silicate and a mixture of sodium hydroxide and potassium
hydroxide as activators. The deterioration was due to de polymerization of alumino
silicate polymers and liberation of silicic, replacement of Na and K cations by hydrogen
and dealumination of the geopolymer structure. In acidic environment, high performance
geopolymer materials deteriorate with the formation of fissures in amorphous polymer
matrix, while low performance geopolymer deteriorate through crystallization of zeolites
and formation of fragile grainy structures. The more crystalline geopolymer material
prepared with sodium hydroxide was more stable in the aggressive environment of
sulfuric and acetic acid solutions than amorphous geopolymers prepared with sodium
silicate activator. The chemical instability would also depend on the presence of the
active sites on the alumino silicate gel surface, which appeared to increase in presence of
K ions.

Bakharev, [2006] [2] presented an investigation into the durability of geopolymer


materials manufactured using class F fly ash and the alkaline activators when exposed to
a sulfate environment. The tests, used to determine resistance of geopolymer materials
were 5% solution of sodium sulphate and magnesium sulphate, 5% of sodium sulphate
+5% magnesium sulphate for a period of 5 months. Fly ash was activated by sodium

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hydroxide, a mixture of sodium and potassium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions,
providing 8-9% Na in the mixture and water binder ratio of 0.3. The mixtures were cured
for 24 h at room temperature, after that the mixtures were ramped at 90°C and cured at
this temperature for 24 h and cured at room temperature for 2 days prior to test. In
sodium sulfate solution, significant fluctuations of strength occurred with strength
reduction of 18% in the sodium silicate activated sample and 65% reduction in the
sample prepared with sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide as activators, while 4%
increase of strength was measured in sodium hydroxide activated sample. In magnesium
sulfate solution, 12% and 35% strength increase was measured in sodium hydroxide and
mixture of sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide as activators respectively and
24% strength decline was measured in sodium silicate activated samples. The most
significant fluctuation of strength and micro structural changes took place in 5% solution
of sodium sulfate and magnesium sulphate. The migration of alkalies from the
geopolymer samples into the solution was observed in sodium sulphate solution. The
diffusion of alkali ions into the solution caused significant stress and formation of deep
vertical cracks in the specimens prepared using a mixture of sodium and potassium
hydroxides. In magnesium sulphate solution, in addition to migration of alkalies from
geopolymer into the solution, there was also diffusion of Mg and Ca in the surface layer
of geopolymer, which improved their strength. In material prepared using sodium silicate,
formation of ettringite was also observed, which contributed to a loss of strength. The
best performance in different sulfate solutions was observed in the geopolymer material
prepared using sodium hydroxide and cured at elevated temperature. Good performance
was attributed to a more stable cross-linked alumino silicate polymer structure.

Bakharev, [2005] [3] reported a study of thermal stability of properties upon


firing at 800-1200°C of geopolymer materials prepared using class F fly ash and Na and
K alkaline activators. The materials were prepared at water/binder ratios in a range of
0.09-0.35, using compaction pressures up to 10 MPa and curing temperatures 80°C and
100°C. In the samples prepared using sodium containing activators rapid deterioration of
strength at 800°C was observed, which was connected to a dramatic increase of the
average pore size. Initially amorphous structures were replaced by the crystalline Na
feldspar. In materials prepared using fly ash and potassium silicate compressive strength
was significantly increased on heating, deterioration of strength started at 1000°C.
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Materials prepared using fly ash and potassium silicate had better thermal stability than
geopolymer prepared using Na containing activators, materials remained mostly
amorphous up to 1200°C. After firing these materials remained amorphous with reduced
average pore size and significantly increased compressive strength. Compaction at 1-10
MPa reduced shrinkage on firing in all materials. Geopolymer materials prepared using
class F fly ash and sodium and potassium silicate show high shrinkage as well as large
changes in compressive strength with increasing fired temperature in the range 800-
1200°C. Thus materials were found unsuitable for refractory insulation applications.

Hardjito et al., [2004] [4] presented the effect of mixture composition on the
compressive strength of fly ash based geopolymer concrete. Water to sodium oxide molar
ratio and water to geopolymer solids ratio had influence on the compressive strength of
geopolymer concrete. When these ratio increases, compressive strength of geopolymer
decreases. As the water to sodium oxide molar ratio increased, the mixture contained
more water and became more workable. The total mass of water is the sum of mass of
water in sodium silicate solution, mass of water in sodium hydroxide solution and extra
water if any added in concrete. The mass of geopolymer solids is the sum of the mass of
fly ash, mass of sodium hydroxide flakes and mass of sodium silicate solids. Sodium
oxide to silicon oxide molar ratio within the range of 0.095 to 0.120 had no significant
effect on the compressive strength. described the development of geopolymer concrete.
The binder, the geopolymer paste is formed by activating by- product materials, such as
low-calcium (Class F) fly ash, that are rich in silicon and aluminum. A combination of
sodium silicate solution and sodium hydroxide solution was used as the activator. The
geopolymer paste binds the loose coarse and fine aggregates and any nonreactive
materials to form the geopolymer concrete. Based on the experimental work, the paper
concluded that higher the concentration of sodium hydroxide solution, higher the ratio of
sodium silicate solution to sodium hydroxide solution, longer curing duration, and higher
curing temperature increases the compressive strength of geopolymer concrete. The low
calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete possess excellent resistance to sulfate attack,
undergoes low creep and drying shrinkage.

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Figure 2.1 SEM analysis of fresh transition zone (Development of


geopolymer concrete, Hardjito 2005)

Figure 2.2 SEM analyses after hydration (Development of


geopolymer concrete, Hardjito 2005)

Hardjito and Rangan [2005] [5] had investigated the use of fly ash as binder to
make concrete with no cement. The experimental work has been done using low calcium
fly ash as binder and sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solution as activators. The
effect of salient parameters like concentration of sodium hydroxide solution, ratio of
sodium silicate solution to sodium hydroxide solution, curing temperature, curing time,
handling time, addition of super plasticizer, water content in the mixture and mixing time
on the properties of fresh and hardened concrete were discussed. Based on the
compressive strength of geopolymer concrete, the recommended values for test variables
are the following

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(i) The concentration of sodium hydroxide solution was in the range between 8 M
and 16 M.
(ii) The sodium silicate solution-to-sodium hydroxide solution ratio by mass was
in the range of 0.4 to 2.5.
(iii)The alkaline solution-to-fly ash ratio by mass was approximately 0.35 to 0.45.

Hardjito and Tsen, [2008] [6] presented the engineering properties of


geopolymer mortar manufactured from class F (low calcium) fly ash with potassium-
based alkaline reactor. The results revealed that as the concentration of KOH increased,
the compressive strength of geopolymer mortar also increased. The ratio of potassium
silicate-to-potassium hydroxide by mass in the range between 0.8–1.5 produced highest
compressive strength geopolymer mortar. Geopolymer mortar specimens were tested for
thermal stability for three hours under 400oC, 600oC and 800oC. When exposed to
temperature of 400oC for three hours, the compressive strength doubled than the one of
control mixture. This indicates that the geopolymerisation process continues when
geopolymer mortar is exposed to high temperature, up to 400oC. Geopolymer mortar
posses excellent fire resistance up to 800°C exposure for three hours. Above 800oC,
compressive strength of fly ash based geopolymer concrete decreases with increase in
temperature.

Kong et al., [2007] [7] studied the effect of elevated temperatures on geopolymer
manufactured using meta kaolin and fly ash of various proportions. Both types of
geopolymer were synthesized with sodium silicate and potassium hydroxide solutions.
The strength of fly ash based geopolymer increased after exposure to elevated
temperatures (800°C). However, the strength of the corresponding meta kaolin based
geopolymer decreased after similar exposure. The paper concludes that the fly ash based
geopolymer have large number of small pores which facilitate the escape of moisture
when heated, thus causing minimal damage to the geopolymer matrix. On the other hand,
meta kaolin geopolymer do not possess such pore distribution structures. The strength
increase in fly ash geopolymer is also partly sintering reactions of nonreactive fly ash
particles.

Mourougane et al., [2010] [8] presented the engineering properties such as

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compressive strength, split tensile strength and flexural strength of fly ash based
geopolymer concrete and compared with normal concrete. The effect of influencing
parameters such as ratio of alkaline liquid to binder, curing time on the compressive
strength of geopolymer concrete. When the alkaline liquid to binder ratio and molarity of
sodium hydroxide increases, the compressive strength also increases, while it decreases
with increase in extra water. In this experimentation 10% by mass of binder (fly ash) was
replaced by granulated blast furnace slag. One day compressive strength of heat cured fly
ash based geopolymer concrete ranges from 60MPa to 80MPa,with different alkaline
liquid to binder ratio as 0.3 and 0.35. The addition of 10% of granulated blast furnace
slag increases the cube strength from 25 to 33%. The flexural strength of geopolymer
concrete and normal concrete was found to be similar.

Rangan [2006] [9] conducted studies on heat cured low calcium fly ash based
geopolymer concrete. The influence of salient factors such as water to geopolymer solids
ratio, mixing time, curing time and curing temperature on the properties of geopolymer
concrete in the fresh and hardened states were identified. The short term and long term
properties of geopolymer concrete, creep and drying shrinkage, sulfate and sulfuric acid
resistance of geopolymer concrete were discussed. The economic benefits of the
geopolymer concrete were also briefly discussed. This paper concluded that heat cured
low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete possess excellent resistance to sulfate
attack, good acid resistance, undergoes low creep and drying shrinkage.

Ravikumar et al., [2010] [10] described the influence of the concentration of the
activating agent(sodium hydroxide solution) and activator to binder ratio on the
compressive strength, pore structure features and micro structure of concretes containing
Class F fly ash or ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS)as a sole binder was
reported. The starting material content and the curing parameters (temperature and
duration) were optimized to provide the highest compressive strengths. Statistical
analysis of the strength results show that the activator concentration has influence on the
compressive strength of activated concretes made using fly ash and the activator to binder
ratio influences the compressive strength of activated GGBS concretes to a greater degree.
Activated fly ash concretes and pastes were found to be more porous and contains large
fraction of pores greater than 10µm in size as compared to activated GGBS mixtures.

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Skvara et al., [2006] [11] had investigated the properties of the concretes on the
basis of geopolymer. The structure of the geopolymer prepared on the basis of fly ash
was predominantly of the AlQ 4 (4Si) type and SiQ4 (4Al), SiQ4 (2-3Al). The geopolymer
on the basis of fly ash was a porous material. The porosity of the geopolymer was very
similar in the region of nano pores regardless of the conditions of their preparation. The
geopolymer strength was affected substantially by macro-pores (103 nm and more)
formed in result of the air entrained into the geopolymer, these may be due to partial
reaction of fly ash particles. The presence of Ca containing additives (slag, gypsum)
reduces considerably the porosity because of the co-existence of the geopolymer phase
with the C-S-H phase. No shrinkage due to hydration, takes place in the geopolymer
concrete. The ratio of the compressive strength to the tensile strength under bending
varies in the range of 10.0: 5.5.The transition phase was not found between the binder
and the aggregates in geopolymer concrete.

Thokchom et al., [2009] [12] an experimental study was conducted to assess the
acid resistance of fly ash based geopolymer mortar specimens having percentage Na2O
ranging from 5% to 8% of fly ash. The specimens were immersed in solutions of 10%
Sulfuric acid and 10% Nitric acid up to a period of 24 weeks. The acid resistance was
evaluated in terms of surface corrosion, residual alkalinity, changes in weight and
compressive strength at regular intervals. Geopolymer mortar samples did not show any
change in color and remained structurally intact though the exposed surface turned
slightly softer. Through Optical microscope, corroded surface could be seen which
increased with duration of exposure. Loss of alkalinity depended on alkali content in the
geopolymer mortar. Mortar with lesser Na2O lost its alkalinity faster than those with
higher Na2O content in both Sulfuric acid and Nitric acid solutions. The weight loss in
the range from 0.81% to 1.64% in Sulfuric acid and from 0.21% to 1.42% in Nitric acid
was observed in 12weeks exposure. At the end of 24 weeks of exposure, the compressive
strength increased from 44% to 71% and 40% to 70% in Sulfuric acid and Nitric acid
respectively. This paper concluded that fly ash based geopolymer were highly resistant to
both Sulfuric and Nitric acid.

Vijai et al., [2010] [13] described the effect of curing types such as ambient

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curing and hot curing on the compressive strength of fly ash based geopolymer concrete.
For hot curing, the temperature was maintained as 60oC for 24 hrs in hot air oven. The
compressive strength of hot cured concrete was higher than the ambient cured concrete.
In ambient curing, the compressive strength increases about five times with age of
concrete from 7days to 28 days. The compressive strength of hot cured fly ash based
geopolymer concrete has not increased substantially after 7days. The density of
geopolymer concrete was around 2400 Kg/m3, which is equivalent to that of conventional
concrete.

Wallah et al., [2006] [14] this paper presented the performance of fly ash based
geopolymer concrete to sulfate attack. The specimens were soaked in sodium sulfate
solution and sulfuric acid solution for various periods of exposure. The performance of
geopolymer concrete was studied by evaluating the effect on the compressive strength,
change in length and change in mass. There was no significant change in the external
appearance of the surface of specimens soaked in sodium sulfate up to 12 weeks.
However, the surfaces of specimens soaked in sulfuric acid solution started to erode after
one week of exposure. From the test result, it was observed that exposure to sodium
sulfate solution up to 12 weeks had very little effect on the compressive strength.
However, a significant change in compressive strength is observed in the case of
specimens exposed to sulfuric acid solution. For the 12 weeks soaking period, the
reduction of compressive strength was about 30%. It appears that the penetration of
sulfuric acid may have affected the micro structure and decreased the bond between
geopolymer paste and the aggregates, thus resulting in a decrease in compressive strength.
The change in length of specimens soaked in sodium sulfate solution for various periods
of exposure is very small, less than 0.01%. The mass did not change for specimens
soaked in sodium sulfate solution. In the case of specimens soaked in sulfuric acid, the
mass decreased less than one percent after 12 weeks.

Wallah and Rangan, [2006] [15] studied the long term properties of low calcium
fly ash based geopolymer concrete. The low-calcium fly ash from Collie Power Station,
Western Australia was used as a source material. The alkaline liquid used was a
combination of sodium silicate solution and sodium hydroxide solution. The two different
mixtures, Mixture-1 and Mixture-2, were used for the experimental work and cured at

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60°C for 24h. In Mixture-1, the concentration of the sodium hydroxide solution was 8
Molars (M), and there was no extra added water. In Mixture-2, the concentration of the
sodium hydroxide solution was 14 Molars (M), and the mixture contained extra added
water. The average compressive strength of Mixture-1 was around 60 MPa and that of
Mixture-2 was about 40 MPa. The geopolymer specimens were tested for creep, drying
shrinkage, sulfate resistance and acid resistance. Based on the compressive strength test
results, there was no substantial gain in the compressive strength of heat- cured fly ash
based geopolymer concrete with age. Fly ash-based geopolymer concrete, cured in
ambient conditions gains compressive strength with age. Heat-cured fly ash-based
geopolymer concrete undergoes low creep. The specific creep after one year ranged from
15 to 29 x10-6 MPa for the corresponding compressive strength of 67 MPa to 40 MPa.
The heat- cured fly ash-based geopolymer concrete undergoes very little drying shrinkage
in the order of about 100 micro strains after one year. This value is significantly smaller
than the range of values of 500 to 800 micro strains for Portland cement concrete. The
heat cured fly ash based geopolymer concrete also had a better resistance to sulfate and
acid attack.

Zhang et al., [2005] [16] reported the hydration process of inter facial transition
in potassium polysialate geopolymer concrete. For experimentation meta kaolin was used
as a source material and potassium hydroxide was used as an activator. Environmental
scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) was used to study the hydration process of the
inter facial transition zone (ITZ) between coarse aggregate and potassium polysialate (K-
PSDS) geopolymer under an 80% relative humidity environment. An energy dispersion
X-ray analysis (EDXA) was also used to distinguish the chemical composition of the
hydration products. The ESEM micro graphs and corresponding EDXA results showed
that the development of the micro structure of ITZ is quite different from that of matrix.
At the beginning there were many large voids filled with water in the fresh ITZ as shown
in Figure 2.2, but these voids were not found in the bulk matrix. As hydration proceeded,
gel products gradually precipitated on the edges of these voids and extended outward.
Eventually these voids were completely filled with hydration product as shown in Figure
2.3. At this stage, the difference in the micro graph between the ITZ and the matrix was
hardly distinguishable. However EDXA results showed that the contents of K/Al and
Si/Al in the ITZ were higher than those in the bulk matrix. This indicates that K and Si

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accumulate in the ITZ, which results in a difference in chemical composition between the
ITZ and the matrix. In addition,well-developed crystals were not found in the ITZ at any
stage and sponge-like amorphous gel was always observed.

2.3 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE


Geopolymer concrete was first introduced by Davidovits, made from meta kaolin
and alkaline activators. It has great potential to be used as a building material alternative
to ordinary Portland cement concrete because of its strength, stiffness and other
mechanical properties which are comparable to OPC concrete. The production of
geopolymer requires relatively low temperature and emits less CO2. Reasonable strength
was developed in a short period at room temperature and in most cases, 70% of the
ultimate compressive strength is developed in the first 4 hours after mixing. The
compressive strength of geopolymer concrete was increased by using higher
concentration of activating agent, higher activator solution to binder ratio by mass, higher
curing temperature and longer curing duration. Geopolymer also possesses excellent
resistance to acid environments. This provides technical advantages in applications such
as sewer pipes, dairy floors and other acid industrial applications. Geopolymer becomes
highly flexible material at a temperature around 700°C, which allows the material to
accommodate large strains without fracturing and gains strength when exposed to fire.On
the long-term properties, fly ash-based geopolymer concrete undergoes low creep and
very little drying shrinkage. On the economic benefits, the cost of fly ash based
geopolymer concrete was about 10 to 30 percent cheaper than that of Portland cement
concrete.Most of the published research on geopolymer concrete studied the effect of
compressive strength, by varying ratio of sodium silicate solution to sodium hydroxide
solution in the range of 0.4 to 2.5 and fly ash based geopolymer concrete.
In this present study we have adopted geopolymer concrete with various
percentage of replacements of fly ash by certain amount of GGBS for alkaline to binder
ratio of 0.8 of 8M concentration of both NaOH and Na2SiO3 solutions with ambient
curing for prepared specimens.

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CHAPTER 3

EXPERIMENTATION AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 GENERAL
The physical and chemical properties of materials, mixture proportions, the
mixing process and the curing conditions of geopolymer concrete were discussed in this
chapter.

3.2 GEOPOLYMER

In 1978, Davidovits proposed that binders could be produced by a polymeric


reaction of alkaline liquids with the silicon and the aluminum in source materials of
geological origin or by-product materials such as fly ash and rice husk ash. These binders
were termed as geopolymer, because the chemical reaction that takes place in this case is
a polymerization process. Geopolymers are members of the family of inorganic polymers.
The chemical composition of the geopolymer material is similar to natural zeolite
materials, but the micro structure is amorphous instead of crystalline. The polymerization
process involves a substantially fast chemical reaction under alkaline condition on Si-Al
minerals, that results in a three dimensional polymeric chain and ring structure consisting
of Si-O-Al-O bonds are formed. The schematic formation of geopolymer material can be
described by the following equations (Ragan and Hardjito2006).

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Chemical structure of geopolymer

3.2.1 CHEMICAL REACTION OF GEOPOLYMER

Geopolymer
Fly ash + Alkaline precursor
activator

NaOH

Na Na2SiO3
OH Back bone of
geopolymer

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The equation revealed that water is released during the chemical reaction that occurs
in the formation of geopolymer. This water, expelled from the geopolymer matrix during
the curing and further drying periods, leaves behind discontinuous nano pores in the
matrix, which provide benefits to the performance of geopolymer. The water in a
geopolymer mixture, therefore, plays no role in the chemical reaction that takes place; it
merely provides the workability to the mixture during handling (Ragan and Hardjitoet al
2010).

A geopolymer can take one of the three basic forms, as a repeating unit as shown in
Figure. 2.1.
• Poly (sialate), which has [-Si-O-Al-O-] as the repeating unit.
• Poly (sialate-siloxo), which has [-Si-O-Al-O-Si-O-] as the repeating unit.
• Poly (sialate-disiloxo), which has [-Si-O-Al-O-Si-O-Si-O-] as the repeating unit.
Sialate is an abbreviation of silicon-oxo-aluminate.

3.2.2 Applications of Geopolymers


Geopolymeric materials have a wide range of applications in the automobile and
aerospace industries, nonferrous foundries and civil engineering and plastic industries.
The type of application of geopolymer material is determined by the chemical structure in
terms of the atomic ratio Si : Al in the polysialate. A low ratio of Si : Al of 1, 2 or 3
initiates a 3D network that is very rigid, while Si: Al ratio higher than 15 provides a
polymeric character to the geopolymer material. For many applications in the civil
engineering field, a low Si : Al ratio is suitable [Ragan and Hardjito2006]. Based on
various Si : Al atomic ratio, the applications of geopolymer concrete are shown in Table
3.1.

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Table 3.1: Applications of Geopolymers
Si : Al
Applications
ratio

1 Bricks, Ceramics, Fire protection


2 Low CO2 cements and concretes,
Radioactive and toxic waste encapsulation

3 Fire protection fiber glass composite, Heat


resistant composites

>3 Sealants for industry,200⁰ C-600⁰ C

20-35 Fire resistant and heat resistant fiber


composites

3.3 CONSTITUENTS OF GEOPOLYMER

3.3.1 Source Materials


Any material that contains mostly Silicon (Si) and Aluminum (Al) in amorphous
form is a possible source material for the manufacture of geopolymer. These could be
natural minerals such as kaolinite, clay or byproduct materials such as fly ash, silica fume,
slag, rice husk ash, red mud, etc. The choice of the source materials for making
geopolymer depends on factors such as availability, cost and type of application and
specific demand of the end users (Ragan and Hardjito et al 2010).

3.3.2 Fly ash


According to the American Concrete Institute Committee (ACI) 116R, 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 gases from the combustion zone to the
particle removal system. Fly ash particles are typically spherical, finer than Portland
cement and lime, ranging in diameter from less than 1µm to no more than 150µm. The
chemical composition is mainly composed of the oxides of silicon (SiO2), aluminum

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(Al2O3), iron (Fe2O3), and calcium (CaO), whereas magnesium, potassium, sodium,
titanium and sulfur are also present in a lesser amount. The major influence on the fly ash
chemical composition comes from the type of coal. The combustion of sub bituminous
coal contains more calcium and less iron than fly ash from bituminous coal. The physical
and chemical characteristics depend on the combustion methods, coal source and particle
shape. Fly ash that results from burning sub-bituminous coals is referred as ASTM Class
C fly ash or high-calcium fly ash, as it typically contains more than 20 percent of CaO.
On the other hand, fly ash from the bituminous and anthracite coals is referred as ASTM
Class F fly ash or low-calcium fly ash. It consists of mainly an alumina-silicate glass, and
has less than 10 percent of CaO (Hardjito and Ragan.B.V2007).
Low-calcium (ASTM Class F) fly ash is preferred as a source material than high calcium
(ASTM Class C) fly ash. The presence of calcium in high amount may interfere with the
polymerization process and alter the micro structure. Low calcium fly ash has been
successfully used to manufacture geopolymer concrete when the silicon and aluminum
oxides constituted about 80% by mass, with Si to Al ratio of about 2. The content of iron
oxide usually ranged from 10 to 20% by mass, whereas the calcium oxide content was
less than 3% by mass and the loss on ignition by mass, was as low as less than 2% and
80% of the fly ash particles were smaller than 50µm (Vijaya Ragan , Hardjito 2005-
2006).

3.3.3 GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag)

Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag (GGBS) is the slag from iron producing
blast furnaces that is rapidly quenched in water and then ground into a powder.
Chemically it is similar to, but less reactive than, Portland cement. When mixed with
water it will hydrate in a similar way to Portland cement. It is always used in combination
with Portland cement, typically in the range 60% Portland cement and 40% GGBS to
30% Portland cement and 70% GGBS, depending on the application. The blends can be
supplied as pre blended factory produced cements, or can be formed in the mixer by
adding Portland cement and GGBS each from its own silo. Concretes containing
GGBS/Portland cement blends are slower reacting than pure PC concretes, but may have
improved durability.

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The chemical composition of a slag varies considerably depending on the
composition of the raw materials in the iron production process. Silicate and aluminate
impurities from the ore and coke are combined in the blast furnace with a flux which
lowers the viscosity of the slag. In the case of pig iron production the flux consists mostly
of a mixture of limestone and for sterite or in some cases dolomite. In the blast furnace
the slag floats on top of the iron and is decanted for separation. Typical chemical
compositions are Calcium oxide of 40%, Silica of 35%, and Alumina of 13%.

3.3.4 Alkaline Liquids


The alkaline liquids are from soluble alkali metals that are usually sodium or
potassium based. The most common alkaline liquid used in geopolymerisation is a
combination of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) and sodium
silicate or potassium silicate. The type of alkaline liquid plays an important role in the
polymerization process. Reactions occur at a high rate when the alkaline liquid contains
soluble silicate, either sodium or potassium silicate, compared to the use of only alkaline
hydroxides. Generally the NaOH solution caused a higher extent of dissolution of
minerals than the KOH solution. The sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution is prepared by
dissolving either the flakes or the pellets in water. The mass of NaOH solids in a solution
varied depending on the concentration of the solution expressed in terms of molar M. For
instance, NaOH solution with a concentration of 8M consisted of 8x40 = 320 grams of
NaOH solids (in flake or pellet form) per liter of the solution, where 40 is the molecular
weight of NaOH. The mass of NaOH solids was measured as 262grams per kg of NaOH
solution of 8M.Similarly, the mass of NaOH solids per kg of the solution for other
concentrations were measured as 10M: 314 grams, 12M: 361 grams, 14M: 404 grams,
and 16M : 444 grams (Vijaya Ragan et al., 2006-2010).

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Figure 3.1: Basic forms of geopolymer as repeating unit

3.4 MATERIALS AND THEIR PROPERTIES


The materials used for making fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer concrete
specimens were low-calcium fly ash, aggregates, alkaline liquids.

3.4.1 Fly ash


The fly ash used in this study was obtained from Ennore Thermal power plant. It
falls in the category of class F grade and its chemical composition was given in Table 3.2,
The physical properties of fly ash were determined as per IS: 1727-1967 and given in
Table 3.3.

Table 3.2Chemical composition of Ennore fly ash as reported by


Naik et al.,

Loss
Components SiO Al O Fe O TiO2 CaO MgO Na2O K2O
on
2 2 3 2 3

Ignition
% by mass 56.77 31.88 2.82 2.77 0.78 2.39 0.68 1.96 0.93

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Table 3.3 Physical properties of fly ash

Sl. No Properties Test


Results
1 Specific gravity of fly ash 2.13

2 Fineness, Percentage 99.6%


passing on 150 µm sieve
3 Fineness, Percentage 98.1%
passing on 90 µm sieve

3.4.2 GGBS

The GGBS used in our project is obtained from IL and FS this company now
worked for metro projects; the physical properties of the GGBS are listed in a Table 3.4.

Table 3.4 Properties of GGBS

S.NO Property Value

1 Normal consistency 30%


2 Initial setting time 55 minutes
3 Final setting time 9 hours
4 Specific gravity 2.9
5 Fineness 7.8%

3.4.3 Coarse aggregates


Locally available crushed granite stone aggregate of 20mm maximum size was
used as coarse aggregate. The coarse aggregate passing through 20mm and retaining
4.75mm was used for experimental work.

The following properties of coarse aggregates were determined as per IS : 2386-


1963 and given in Table 3.5 and sieve analysis were presented in a Table 3.6. The

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gradation curve for coarse aggregate was shown in Figure 3.2.

Table 3.5 Properties of coarse aggregate

IS
Sl. No Properties Test results
recommendations
IS:2386:1963
(part -3)
1 Specific gravity 2.68 2.4-3

2 Fineness modulus 7.65 6.5-8

3 Bulk density 1540 Kg/m3 1520-1680


Kg/m3
4 Water absorption 0.5% 0.3%-2.5%

Table 3.6 Sieve analysis of coarse aggregate

IS Sieve Weight Cumulative Cumulative


Size retained Weight retained Weight Passing
(%) (%) (%)

20mm 45.0 45.0 55

16mm 38.0 83.0 17

12.5mm 15.0 98.0 2

10mm 1.35 99.35 0.65

4.7mm 0.05 99.40 0.60

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Figure 3.2 Gradation curve for coarse aggregate

3.4.4 Fine aggregates


The locally available m-sand, passing through 4.75 mm was used in this
experimental work. The following properties of fine aggregates were determined as per IS:
2386-1963 and given in Table 3.7 and sieve analysis were presented in a Table 3.8. The
gradation curve for coarse aggregate was shown in Figure 3.3.

Table 3.7 Properties of fine aggregate

Sl. No Properties Test results IS recommendation


IS:1383:1970

1 Specific gravity 2.65 2.5-2.9

2 Fineness modulus 2.59 2.6-2.9

3 Bulk density 1260 Kg/m3 <15.10


KN/m3

4 Water absorption 2.1% 2%-6%

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Table 3.8 Sieve analysis of fine aggregate

Weight Cumulative Cumulative


IS Sieve retaine Weight Weight
Size d(%) retained Passing
(%) (%)
4.75mm 1.15 1.15 98.85
2.36mm 0.6 1.75 98.25
1.18mm 20.85 22.6 77.4
600µm 25.55 48.15 51.85
300µm 29.75 77.9 22.1
150µm 20.5 98.4 1.6

120
Cumulative Passing (%)

100

80

60

40

20

0
0.1 1 10
IS Sieve Size (mm)

Figure 3.3 Gradation curve for Fine Aggregate

3.4.5 Alkaline solution

A combination of sodium silicate solution and sodium hydroxide solution was


used as alkaline solution. The sodium silicate solution A53 with SiO2 to Na2O ratio by
mass approximately 2 i.e., (Na2O = 14.7%, SiO2=29.4% and water 55.9% by mass) was
used. The sodium with 97-98% purity, in flake or pellet form was used. The solids must

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be dissolved in water to make a solution with the required concentration. The
concentrations of sodium hydroxide solution as 8 Molar. The ratio of sodium silicate
solution to sodium hydroxide solution by mass was fixed as 2 from trial and error method.
The reason being the sodium silicate solution was cheaper than the sodium hydroxide
solution.

3.5 MIXTURE PROPORTIONS


As in the case of Portland cement concrete, the coarse and fine aggregates occupy
about 75 to 80% of the mass of geopolymer concrete. The performance criteria of a
geopolymer concrete depend on the application. The compressive strength of hardened
concrete and the workability of fresh concrete are selected as the performance criteria. In
order to meet the performance criteria, the alkaline liquid to binder ratio by mass.

Rangan has proposed guidelines for the design of heat cured and ambient cured
low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete. Based on the results obtained from
numerous mixtures made in the laboratory over a period of four years, the data in Table
3.9 for the design of low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete were proposed.
The above proposed method for the design of mixture proportion was adopted in
this project work. The material calculation for alkaline solutions to fly ash and GGBS
ratios such as 0.8 were given in Table 3.10. The mix design for low–calcium fly ash
based geopolymer concrete for alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio of 0.8 has
been reported in Appendix A. This Appendix also contains chemical batching
calculations.

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Table 3.9 Data for Design of low calcium fly ash based
geopolymer concrete mixtures as reported by Rangan [4]

Design compressive strength (wet


Sl. no
mixing time of 4 minutes,
Workability ambient curing for 24hrs after
casting),
MPa

1 Very stiff 60
2 Stiff 50
3 Moderate 40
4 High 35
5 High 30

Table 3.10 Material calculation (in kg) for 9 cubes of geopolymer


concrete

40% Fly ash + 60% Fly ash +


Materials 60% GGBS 40% GGBS 100% GGBS

Fly ash 1.73 2.6 0

GGBS 2.6 1.73 4.32


Coarse
aggregate 11.66 11.66 11.66
Fine
aggregate 7.77 7.77 7.77

3.6 MANUFACTURE OF GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE

3.6.1 Preparation of Liquids


The sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solids were dissolved in water to make the
solution. The mass of NaOH solids in a solution varied depending on the concentration of
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the solution expressed in terms of molar. For instance, NaOH solution with a
concentration of 8M consisted of 8x40 = 320 grams of NaOH solids (in flake or pellet
form) per liter of the solution, where 40 is the molecular weight of NaOH. The mass of
NaOH solids was measured as per kg of NaOH solution of 8M concentration. Note that
the mass of NaOH solids was only a fraction of the mass of the NaOH solution, and water
was the major component.
The sodium silicate solution and the sodium hydroxide solution were mixed
together at least one day prior to use to prepare the alkaline liquid to fix the alkaline
solution ratio by trial and error method as 1:2 (Figure 3.4). On the day of casting of the
specimens, the alkaline liquid was mixed together.

Table 3.11 Solution ration fixed by trial and error method

Sl. No Ratios of Nature of Solution


NaOH : Na2SiO3 after one day Accepted ratio

1 1:1 Turbid Not accepted ()


2 1:1.5 Turbid Not accepted ()
3 1:2 Clear Accepted ()
4 1:2.5 Clear Not accepted ()

Figure 3.4 Alkali solution ratio fixed by trial and error method
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3.6.2 Manufacture of fresh concrete and casting
Geopolymer concrete can be manufactured by adopting the conventional
techniques used in the manufacture of Portland cement concrete. In the laboratory, the fly
ash, GGBS and the aggregates were first mixed together in the steel tray for about 3
minutes. The aggregates were prepared in saturated surface dry condition. The alkaline
solution was then added to the dry materials and the mixing continued for further about 4
minutes to manufacture the fresh concrete. The fresh concrete could be handled up to 120
minutes without any sign of setting and without any degradation in the compressive
strength. The fresh concrete was shown in Figure 3.5.The fresh concrete was cast into the
moulds of 100mm x 100mm x 100mm immediately after mixing, in three layers for
cubical specimens of size 100mm x 100mm x 100mm. For compaction of the specimens,
each layer was given 25 manual strokes using a tamping rod.

Figure 3.5 Fresh concrete preparation

3.6.3 Curing of geopolymer concrete


Heat curing and ambient curing of low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete
is generally recommended. We are adopted ambient curing in our project. Longer curing
time improved the polymerization process resulting in higher compressive strength. The

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rate of increase in strength was rapid up to 24 hours of curing time and beyond 24 hours;
the gain in strength was only moderate.

3.6.4 Curing of test specimens


After casting, geopolymer concrete specimens were cured immediately. One type
of curing were used in this study, i.e., Ambient curing. For Ambient curing we kept under
ambient conditions for curing at room temperature. The specimens under ambient curing
were shown in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6 Ambient curing of geopolymer specimens

3.7 EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED

3.7.1 Workability Test


Workability is the property of freshly mixed concrete that determines the ease
with which it can be properly mixed, placed, consolidated and finished without
segregation. The workability of the fresh concrete was measured by means of the
conventional concrete slump test as per IS : 1199(1989). Before the fresh concrete was
cast into moulds, the slump value of the fresh concrete was measured using slump cone.
In this project work, the slump value of the fresh concrete was maintained in the range of
30mm to 40mm as shown in Figure 3.7.

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3.7.2 Compressive Strength Test
The compressive strength test on hardened fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer
concrete was performed on standard compression testing machine of 3000KN Capacity,
as per IS: 516-1959. The cubical specimens of various replacements of fly ash by GGBS
as mentioned in the objective of our project of size 100mm x 100mm x 100mm was
casted and tested for the compressive strength at the age of 7days, 14days and 28days.
The compressive strength test was performed on geopolymer concrete as shown in Figure
3.8 to 3.10 and compressive strength test on cement concrete for comparison as shown in
Figure 3.11. Each of the compressive strength test data corresponds to the mean value of
the compressive strength of three test concrete cubes. Also failure plane of geopolymer
concrete as shown in Figure3.12.

Figure 3.7 Workability test on geopolymer concrete

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Figure 3.8 Compressive strength test on geopolymer


concrete(0% fly ash + 100% GGBS)

Figure 3.9 Compressive strength test on geopolymer concrete


(60% fly ash + 40% GGBS)

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Figure 3.10 Compressive strength test on geopolymer concrete


(40% fly ash + 60% GGBS)

Figure 3.11 Compressive strength testing of cement concrete

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Figure 3.12 Failure plane of geopolymer concrete

3.7.3 Statement of the figures [Figure No. 3.6 to 3.12]

Figures which are descripted in Chapter 3 are the some of the test conducted in our
project work that is alkali solution ratio fixed by trial and error method, fresh concrete
preparation, ambient curing of geopolymer specimens, and workability test on
geopolymer concrete.

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CHAPTER 4

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 INTRODUCTION
In this chapter, the experimental results are discussed and presented in the form of
tables and graphs. Compression test is the most common test conducted on hardened
concrete, partly it is an easy test to perform, and partly because most of the desirable
characteristic properties of concrete are qualitatively related to its compressive strength
(Concrete is good in compression weak in tension).

4.2 COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH


The compressive strength different of geopolymer concrete specimens of various
replacements of fly ash by GGBS for alkaline solutions to fly ash and GGBS ratio,
concentration of alkaline solution and curing conditions were found at 7, 14 and 28days.
The test results are tabulated in Tables. 4.1 to 4.3 and plotted graphs in Figures 4.1 to 4.3.
The test results reveals that the compressive strength of geopolymer concrete ranged from
a minimum of 26.31 MPa to a maximum of 70.87 MPa. The results show that the strength
development is related to variables such as alkaline to fly ash and GGBS ratio, curing
condition in this experimental study. Also the compressive strength of cement concrete
specimens of same standard mix design are tested to compare the compressive strength
value of geopolymer concrete with cement concrete.

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Table 4.1 Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for
alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio of0.8 (40% fly ash +
60% GGBS) compared with cement concrete.
Age of
concrete in Cement concrete Geopolymer concrete (40% fly ash
days in MPa +60%GGBS) in MPa

7 21.52 47.53

14 31.14 49.62

28 35.63 64.24

Description : Table 4.1 shows the compressive strength test conducted at 7, 14 and
28th days of ambient cured geopolymer concrete specimens of 10x10x10 cm of 40%
fly ash + 60% GGBS of 0.8 solution to binder ratio.

Table 4.2 Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for


alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio of0.8(60% fly ash +
40% GGBS) compared with cement concrete.
Age of
c6ncrete in Cement concrete Geopolymer concrete (60% fly ash
days in MPa +40%GGBS) in MPa

7 21.52 26.31
14 31.14 54.54

28 35.63 59.94

Description : Table 4.2 shows the compressive strength test conducted at 7, 14 and
28th days of ambient cured geopolymer concrete specimens of 10x10x10 cm of 60%
fly ash + 40% GGBS of 0.8 solution to binder ratio.

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Table 4.3 Compressive Strength of geopolymer concrete for alkaline
solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio of 0.8 (0% fly ash + 100% GGBS)
compared with cement concrete.
Age of
concrete in Cement concrete Geopolymer concrete (0% fly ash +
days in MPa 100% GGBS) in MPa

7 21.52 65.51

14 31.14 69.14

28 35.63 70.87

Description : Table 4.3 shows the compressive strength test conducted at 7, 14 and
28th days of ambient cured geopolymer concrete specimens of 10x10x10 cm of 0%
fly ash + 100% GGBS of 0.8 solution to binder ratio.

4.3 EFFECT OF SALIENT PARAMETERS


The following parameters which affect the compressive strength of geopolymer
concrete were considered in this project:
1. Ratio of alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS, by mass.
2. Curing condition (We are adopted ambient curing in our project).

4.4 RATIO OF ALKALINE SOLUTION TO FLY ASH AND


GGBS

The effect of alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio on compressive strength
of geopolymer concrete specimens was adopted in our project is 0.8 and geopolymer
concrete of various replacements of fly ash by GGBS compressive strength values are
compared with cement concrete and their respective graphs are shown in Figures 4.1 to
4.3. The alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio by mass has considerable effect on
the compressive strength of geopolymer concrete.

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Increase in the alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio, increased the
compressive strength of concrete irrespective of other factors.
The reason for increase in compressive strength was concluded by previous
researchers as, in lower alkaline solution to fly ash ratios, only the glassy phases in fly ash
and GGBS were the source of Al and Si to form alumino-silicate gel and also the reaction
product was quickly formed that engulfs the fly ash particle and slowing down the further
activation of the fly ash and GGBS particles, thus resulting in only low to moderate
degrees of reaction. However, in a higher alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratios the
quartz and mullite phases in fly ash were completely dissolve and increases the amounts
of reaction product formation thereby increases the compressive strength.

4.5 COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST RESULTS GRAPHS

Figure 4.1 Graph of comparison of cement concrete and


geopolymer concrete (40% fly ash + 60% GGBS) compressive
strength

Figure 4.1 shows the comparison of compressive strength of cement concrete and
geoplymer concrete (40% fly ash + 60% GGBS) at 7, 14 and 28th days.

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Figure 4.2 Graph of comparison of cement concrete and


geopolymer concrete (60% fly ash + 40% GGBS) compressive
strength

Figure 4.2 shows the comparison of compressive strength of cement concrete and
geoplymer concrete (60% fly ash + 40% GGBS) at 7, 14 and 28th days.

Figure 4.3 Graph of comparison of cement concrete and


geopolymer concrete (0% fly ash + 100% GGBS) compressive
strength

Figure 4.1 shows the comparison of compressive strength of cement concrete and
geoplymer concrete (0% fly ash + 100% GGBS) at 7, 14 and 28th days.

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CHAPTER5
CONCLUSIONS
Based on the test results obtained , the following conclusions are drawn:

1. 28th days compressive strength of ambient cured specimens are gives better
results than that of conventional concrete, for alkaline fly ash and GGBS
ratio of 0.8 for varies replacements in our projects as mentioned in objective.

2. 28th days compressive strength of ambient cured specimens are almost


2times that of conventional concrete, for alkaline fly ash and GGBS ratio of
0.8 for varies replacements fly ash by GGBS.

3. Fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer concrete cured in the laboratory
ambient conditions gains compressive strength with age.

4. In ambient curing, maximum compressive strength at 28 days achieved in


‘0% fly ash + 100% GGBS’ is 70.87MPa.

5. Increase in alkaline solution to fly ash and GGBS ratio by mass, results in
increase in the compressive strength of fly ash and GGBS based geopolymer
concrete this conclusion is taken from various technical papers.

6. The compressive strength of ambient cured specimens is gains strength


proportional to age of concrete up to certain age.

 During ambient curing the compressive strength was increased by


73.98% from 7 days to 28days in ‘40% fly ash + 60% GGBS’.

 During ambient curing the compressive strength was increased by


43.89% from 7 days to 28days in ‘60% fly ash + 40% GGBS’.

 During ambient curing the compressive strength was increased by


92.43% from 7 days to 28days in 100% GGBS’.

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7. Therefore we suggest the ‘0% fly ash + 100% GGBS’ in 0.8 solution to
binder ratio to get maximum compressive strength, after that we suggest
40% fly ash + 60% GGBS’ combination

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5.1 SCOPE FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Geopolymer technology is most advanced in precast applications due to the


relative ease in handling sensitive materials (e.g., high-alkali activating solutions).

2. It is also used in precast structural elements and ducts as well as structural retrofits
using geopolymer-fiber composites.

3. ‘100% GGBS’ and ‘40% fly ash + 60% GGBS’ gave better results than that of
conventional concrete of same mix design.

4. The most important part in this project is to take concern about environmental
because most of the cities are suffered from air pollution from various source but
cement manufacturing industries will contribute maximum amount in air pollution.

5. Alkaline solution to binder ratio chosen in our project can be further increased as
increase in ratio gives more compressive strength to concrete.

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5.2 LIMITATIONS
The followings are the limitations of geopolymer concrete project:

1. High cost for alkaline solution.

2. Safety risk associated with the alkalinity of the activating solution.

3. No codal provision for geopolymer concrete hence we refer IS 10262 : 2009, only
for conventional concrete but in place of cement we have considered binders like
fly ash and GGBS based on literature review study.

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APPENDIX – A

MIX DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR GEOPOLYMER


CONCRETE
Assume that normal density aggregates in SSD condition are to be used and the unit
weight of concrete is 2400 Kg/m3
Take the mass of combined aggregates as 75% of the mass of concrete.

Mass of combined aggregates = 0.75*2400


= 1800 Kg/m3

Mass of fly ash and alkaline liquid = (2400 –1800)


=600Kg/m3

Ratio of alkaline liquid to fly ash and GGBS by mass = 0.8


Mass of fly ash =600/(1+0.8)
= 334 Kg/m3

Mass of alkaline liquid = (600 –334)


= 266 Kg/m3

Take the ratio of sodium silicate to sodium hydroxide solution by mass as 2


Mass of sodium hydroxide solution = 266/ (1+2)
= 88.67 Kg/m3

Mass of sodium silicate solution = (266 –88.67)


= 177.33 Kg/m3

For trial mixture water to geopolymer solids ratio by mass is calculated as follows:
In sodium silicate solution,

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In sodium hydroxide solution,
Water = 0.559*177.33

=99.12Kg

Solids =(177.33–99.12) = 78.21Kg

Solids=0.262*88.67 = 23.23 Kg
Water = (88.67 – 23.33)
=65.34Kg

Therefore total mass of water = 99.12+65.34 = 164.46Kg


Mass of geopolymer solids = 334+78.21+23.33 = 435.54Kg
Hence water to geopolymer ratio by mass = 164.46/435.54
=0.37

For water to geopolymer ratio of 0.37, the workability of fresh geopolymer


concrete is moderate. In general, the workability of fresh geopolymer concrete is expected
to be moderate. If needed, super plasticizer has to be added to the mixture to facilitate
ease of placement of fresh concrete.

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MOLARITY FIXING AND CHEMICAL BATCHING


PROCEDURE

From the journal papers we got the range of the molarity of NaOH and Na2SiO3
that is 8 to 16.
Before testing molarity we checked the values from 0.75, 0.76, 0.77, 0.78, 0.79, 0.8 and
opted ‘0.8’ value.
We fixed the molarity of the solutions to 8.

Chemical batching procedure to prepare 1lt of solution as follows:


Molecular weight of NaOH = 39.997 g/mol
Molecular weight of Na2SiO3 = 122.06 g/mol

For 8M of NaOH = 8 x 39.997


= 319.976 taken as 320 gm of NaOH fillets.

For 8M of Na2SiO3 =8 x 122.06


=976.48 taken as 977 gm of Na2SiO3 liquid.

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REFERENCES

1. Bakharev, T, “Thermal behavior of geopolymers prepared using class F fly ash


and elevated temperature curing”, Cement and Concrete Research, 2006, Vol. 36,
pp.1134-1147.

2. Bakharev, T, “Durability of geopolymer materials in sodium and magnesium


sulfate solutions”, Cement and Concrete Research, 2005, Vol. 35, pp.1233-1246.

3. Bakharev.T, “Resistance of geopolymer materials to acid attack”, Cement and


Concrete Research, 2005, Vol. 35, pp.658-670.
4. Hardjito. D and Rangan, B.V, “Development and properties of low calcium fly
ash based geopolymer”, Research Report GC1, Faculty of Engineering, Curtin
University of Technology, Perth, Australia, 2005, pp.1-90.
5. Djwantoro Hardjito and Tsen, M.Z., “Strength and Thermal stability of fly ash
based geopolymer mortar”, The 3rd International Conference ACF/VCA, 2008,
pp.144-150.
6. Djwantoro Hardjito, Steenie Wallah, E, Sumajouw, D.M.J., and Vijaya Rangan,
B, “On the Development of Fly ash-Based Geopolymer concrete”, The 3rd
International Conference ACF/VCA, 2008, pp.135-110.

7. Daniel Kong. L, Jay Sanjayan. G, and Kwesi Sagoe Crentsil, “Comparative


performance of geopolymers made with meta kaolin and fly ash after exposure to
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8. Mourougane.R, Puttappa C.G., Sashidhar.C, and Muthu, K.U., “Production and


Material Properties of high strength Geopolymer concrete”, International
Conference on Advances in Materials and Techniques in civil Engineering
(ICAMAT 2010), Jan- 2010, pp. 201- 204.

9. Vijaya Rangan, B, “Studies on low-calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete”,

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ICI Journal, Oct-Dec- 2006, pp.9-17.

10. Deepak Ravikumar, Sulapha Peethamparan and Narayanan Neithalath, “Structure


and strength of NaOH activated concretes containing fly ash or GGBFS as the
sole binder”, Cement and Concrete Composites, 2010, Vol. 32, pp.399-410.

11. Frantisek Skvara, Josef Dolezal, Pavel Svoboda, Lubomir Kopecky, Simona
Pawlasova, Martin Lucuk, Kamil Dvoracek, Martin Beksa, LenkaMyskova and
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12. Suresh Thokchom, Partha Ghosh and Somnath Ghosh, “Acid Resistance of Fly
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14. Wallah, S.E., Hardjito, D, Sumajouw, D.M.J., and Rangan, B.V., “Performance of
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15. Wallah. S.E., and Rangan. B.V., “Low –calcium fly ash based geopolymer
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16. Zhang, Y.S., Sun, W, and Li, J.Z., “Hydration process of inter facial transition in
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Indian Standard Code Books:-

17. IS: 1727 - 1967, “Methods of test for Pozzolonic materials”, Bureau of Indian
Standards, New Delhi.

18. IS: 2386 -1963, “Methods of test for aggregates for concrete”, Bureau of Indian
Standards, New Delhi.

19. IS: 516 - 1959, “Method of test for strength of concrete”, Bureau of Indian
Standards, New Delhi.

20. IS 1199 - 1989 “Slump cone test”, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.

21. IS 10262 - 2009 “Reference code book for mix design”, Bureau of Indian
Standards, New Delhi.

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