Alkalinity and Its Consequences for the Performance of Steel-Reinforced Geopolymer Materials.
ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the development of the alkalinity and its impact on carbon steel reinforcement embedded in alkali-activated fly ashes (AAFA) and alkali-activated fly ashes with ten percentage mass (wt%) of blast furnace slag (AAFAS)-based materials (geopolymer-GP). The pH analysis of eluates indicates a remarkable decrease of alkalinity in AAFA and AAFAS in the first hours of the geopolymerization process. Phenolphthalein solution and pore solution tests on concretes also show a sharp decrease of alkalinity with increased Ca content in the binder due to carbonation. Micro X-ray computer tomography (µXCT) and electrochemical techniques indicate that the changed pH in the GP systems was accompanied by a decrease in the corrosion rates of steel reinforcement when compared to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) systems. In contrast to calcite and vaterite, which were detected in OPC and AAFAS after a carbonation process, only sodium carbonate natron was determined at lower levels in AAFA by X-ray diffraction (XRD).
Project description:In hybrid alkaline fly ash cements, a new generation of binders, hydration, is characterized by features found in both ordinary portland cement (OPC) hydration and the alkali activation of fly ash (AAFA). Hybrid alkaline fly ash cements typically have a high fly ash (70 wt % to 80 wt %) and low clinker (20 wt % to 30 wt %) content. The clinker component favors curing at ambient temperature. A hydration mechanism is proposed based on the authors' research on these hybrid binders over the last five years. The mechanisms for OPC hydration and FA alkaline activation are summarized by way of reference. In hybrid systems, fly ash activity is visible at very early ages, when two types of gel are formed: C-S-H from the OPC and N-A-S-H from the fly ash. In their mutual presence, these gels tend to evolve, respectively, into C-A-S-H and (N,C)-A-S-H. The use of activators with different degrees of alkalinity has a direct impact on reaction kinetics but does not modify the main final products, a mixture of C-A-S-H and (N,C)-A-S-H gels. The proportion of each gel in the mix does, however, depend on the alkalinity generated in the medium.
Project description:Low-pH cements are designed to be used in underground repositories for high level waste. When they are based on Ordinary Portland Cements (OPC), high mineral admixture contents must be used which significantly modify their microstructure properties and performance. This paper evaluates the microstructure evolution of low-pH cement pastes based on OPC plus silica fume and/or fly ashes, using Mid-Infrared and Near-Infrared spectroscopy to detect cement pastes mainly composed of high polymerized C-A-S-H gels with low C/S ratios. In addition, the lower pore solution pH of these special cementitious materials have been monitored with embedded metallic sensors. Besides, as the use of reinforced concrete can be required in underground repositories, the influence of low-pH cementitious materials on steel reinforcement corrosion was analysed. Due to their lower pore solution pH and their different pore solution chemical composition a clear influence on steel reinforcement corrosion was detected.
Project description:The environmental impacts related to Portland cement production in terms of energy consumption, the massive use of natural resources and CO2 emissions have led to the search for alternative cementitious materials. Among these materials, alkali-activated cements based on fly ash (FA) have been considered for concrete production with greater sustainability. In the present article, the chemical durability properties (resistance to sulphates, chloride permeability, and resistance to carbonation) of a hybrid alkali-activated concrete based on fly ash-ordinary Portland cement (FA/OPC) with proportions of 80%/20% were evaluated. It is noted that the FA was a low-quality pozzolan with a high unburned carbon content (20.67%). The results indicated that FA/OPC concrete had good durability with respect to the OPC concrete, with 95% less expansion in the presence of sodium sulphate and a 2% strength loss at 1100 days, compared with the 56% strength loss of the OPC concrete. In addition, FA/OPC showed lower chloride permeability. On the contrary, the FA/OPC was more susceptible to carbonation. However, the residual compressive strength was 23 MPa at 360 days of CO2 exposure. Based on the results, FA/OPC, using this type of FA, can be used as a replacement for OPC in the presence of these aggressive agents in the service environment.
Project description:This paper presents an experimental study on the applicability of microbial induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) to treat municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) fly ash with high alkalinity and heavy metal toxicity. The experiments were carried out on fly ashes A and B produced from incineration processes of mechanical grate furnace and circulating fluidized bed, respectively. The results showed that both types of fly ashes contained high CaO content, which could supply sufficient endogenous Ca for MICP treatment. Moreover, S. pasteurii can survive from high alkalinity and heavy metal toxicity of fly ash solution. Further, the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of MICP treated fly ashes A and B reached 0.385MPa and 0.709 MPa, respectively. The MICP treatment also resulted in a reduction in the leaching toxicity of heavy metals, especially for Cu, Pb and Hg. MICP had a higher solidification and stabilization effect on fly ash B, which has finer particle size and higher Ca content. These findings shone a light on the possibility of using MICP technique as a suitable and efficient tool to treat the MSWI fly ash.
Project description:The aim of this work was to study the influence of the type of activator on the formulation of modified fly ash based geopolymer mortars. Geopolymer and alkali-activated materials (AAM) were made from fly ashes derived from coal and biomass combustion in thermal power plants. Basic activators (NaOH, CaO, and Na2SiO3) were mixed with fly ashes in order to develop binding properties other than those resulting from the use of Portland cement. The results showed that the mortars with 5 mol/dm3 of NaOH and 100 g of Na2SiO3 (N5-S22) gave a greater compressive strength than other mixes. The compressive strengths of analyzed fly ash mortars with activators N5-S22 and N5-C10 (5 mol/dm3 NaOH and 10% CaO) varied from 14.3 MPa to 5.9 MPa. The better properties of alkali-activated mortars with regular fly ash were influenced by a larger amount of amorphous silica and alumina phases. Scanning electron microscopy and calorimetry analysis provided a better understanding of the observed mechanisms.
Project description:This study investigates the feasibility of co-firing fly ashes from different boilers, circulating fluidized beds (CFB) or stokers as a sustainable material in alkali activators for ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS). The mixture ratio of GGBS and co-firing fly ashes is 1:1 by weight. The results indicate that only CF fly ash of CFB boilers can effectively stimulate the potential characteristics of GGBS and provide strength as an alkali activator. CF fly ash consists of CaO₃ (48.5%), SiO₂ (21.1%), Al₂O₃ (13.8%), SO₃ (10.06%), Fe₂O₃ (2.25%) and others (4.29%). SA fly ash consists of Al₂O₃ (19.7%), SiO₂ (36.3%), Fe2O3 (28.4%) and others (15.6%). SB fly ash consists of Al₂O₃ (15%), SiO₂ (25.4%), Zn (20.6%), SO₃ (10.9%), Fe₂O₃ (8.78%) and others (19.32%). The mixtures of SA fly ash and SB fly ash with GGBS, respectively, were damaged in the compressive strength test during seven days of curing. However, the built up strength of the CF fly ash and GGBS mixture can only be maintained for 7-14 days, and the compressive strength achieves 70% of that of a controlled group (cement in hardening cement paste). The strength of blended CF fly ash and GGBS started to decrease after 28 days, and the phenomenon of ettrigite was investigated due to the high levels of sulfur content. The CaO content in sustainable co-firing fly ashes must be higher than a certain percentage in reacting GGBS to ensure the strength of blended cements.
Project description:The main strategy to reduce the environmental impact of the concrete industry is to reuse the waste materials. This research has considered the combination of cement replacement by industrial by-products, and natural coarse aggregate substitution by recycled aggregate. The aim is to evaluate the behavior of concretes with a reduced impact on the environment by replacing a 50% of cement by industrial by-products (15% of spent fluid catalytic cracking catalyst and 35% of fly ash) and a 100% of natural coarse aggregate by recycled aggregate. The concretes prepared according to these considerations have been tested in terms of mechanical strengths and the protection offered against steel reinforcement corrosion under carbonation attack and chloride-contaminated environments. The proposed concrete combinations reduced the mechanical performance of concretes in terms of elastic modulus, compressive strength, and flexural strength. In addition, an increase in open porosity due to the presence of recycled aggregate was observed, which is coherent with the changes observed in mechanical tests. Regarding corrosion tests, no significant differences were observed in the case of the resistance of these types of concretes under a natural chloride attack. In the case of carbonation attack, although all concretes did not stand the highly aggressive conditions, those concretes with cement replacement behaved worse than Portland cement concretes.
Project description:Conventional concrete production that uses ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as a binder seems unsustainable due to its high energy consumption, natural resource exhaustion and huge carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. To transform the conventional process of concrete production to a more sustainable process, the replacement of high energy-consumptive PC with new binders such as fly ash and alkali-activated slag (AAS) from available industrial by-products has been recognized as an alternative. This paper investigates the effect of curing conditions and steel fiber inclusion on the compressive and flexural performance of AAS concrete with a specified compressive strength of 40 MPa to evaluate the feasibility of AAS concrete as an alternative to normal concrete for CO₂ emission reduction in the concrete industry. Their performances are compared with reference concrete produced using OPC. The eco-efficiency of AAS use for concrete production was also evaluated by binder intensity and CO₂ intensity based on the test results and literature data. Test results show that it is possible to produce AAS concrete with compressive and flexural performances comparable to conventional concrete. Wet-curing and steel fiber inclusion improve the mechanical performance of AAS concrete. Also, the utilization of AAS as a sustainable binder can lead to significant CO₂ emissions reduction and resources and energy conservation in the concrete industry.
Project description:Ternary clay-based composite material (TCC), composed of lime, clay and sand, and usually modified with sticky rice and other organic compounds as additives, was widely used historically in Chinese construction and buildings due to its high mechanical performance. In this study, to gain an insight into the micromechanical mechanism of this cementitious material, the nanomechanical properties and volume fraction of mechanically different phases of the binder matrix are derived from the analysis of grid nanoindentation tests. Results show that there are five distinct mechanical phases, where the calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) and geopolymer present in the binder matrix are almost identical to those produced in ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and alkali-activated fly-ash geopolymer materials in nano-mechanical performance. The nano-mechanical behavior of calcite produced by the carbonation of lime in this binder is close to the calcite porous outer part of some sea urchin shells. Compared to OPC, the C-S-H contained in the TCC has a relatively lower ratio of indentation modulus to indentation hardness, implying a relatively lower resistance to material fracture. However, the geopolymer and calcite, at nearly the same volume content as the C-S-H, help to enhance the strength and durability of the TCC by their higher energy resistance capacity or higher strength compared to the C-S-H. Rediscovering of TCC offers a potential way to improve modern concrete's strength and durability through synergy of multi-binders and the addition of organic materials if TCC can be advanced in terms of its workability and hardening rate.
Project description:The present study investigated aluminosilicate gel in alkali-activated fly ash exposed to a CO₂-rich environment by means of NMR spectroscopy. The alkali-activated fly ash was exposed to an atmospheric CO₂ concentration of 10% after curing at 80 °C initially for 24 h. Under high concentrations of CO₂, highly reactive components Na and Al, which completely reacted within the first few hours, were unaffected by carbonation, while Si, with relatively slower reactivity, behaved differently. Despite a lower degree of the reaction in the carbonated sample, the monomeric silicates rapidly became of higher polymerization, meaning that exposure to high concentrations of CO₂ caused Si to form a binding gel phase. Consequently, the carbonated sample possessed a higher amount of binding gel. The obtained results may be useful to understand the fundamental chemistry and behavior of aluminosilicate gel under high concentrations of CO₂.