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Aboshia, A M A, Rahmat, R A, Zain, M F M and Ismail, A (2017) Enhancing mortar strengths by ternary geopolymer binder of metakaolin, slag, and palm ash. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 35(05), 438–55.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Slag; Alkaline mixture; Metakaolin; Mortar strength; Palm oil fuel ash; Ternary geopolymer binder;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 2398-4708
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-03-2017-0014
  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this paper is to develop an alternative new ternary geopolymer mortar (MKSP) to resolve a traditional mortar problem which exhibits several disadvantages, including poor strengths and surface microcracks and the CO2 air pollution. Design/methodology/approach The MKSP ternary binder was produced using metakaolin (MK), slag (S), and palm oil fuel ash (POFA) activated with an alkaline mixture of sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) and 10 M NaOH in a mass ratio of 2.5. Seven different mix proportions of MK, slag, and POFA were used to fabricate MKSP mortars. The water-to-binder ratio was varied between 0.4 and 0.5. The mortars were heat cured for 2 h at 80°C and then aged in air. Flexural stress and strain, mortars flow and compressive strength were tested. Furthermore, the mortars were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses. Findings The results showed that the sample MKSP6, which contained 40 percent MK, 40 percent slag, and 20 percent POFA, exhibited high compressive strength (52 MPa) without any cracks and flexural strength (6.9 MPa) at 28 days after being cured for 2 h at 80°C; however, the MKSP7 mortar with optimal strength of 55 MPa showed some surface cracks . Further, the results of the XRD, SEM, and FTIR analyses indicated that the MKSP mortars primarily consisted of a crystalline (Si+Al) phase (70 percent) and a smaller amorphous (Si+Ca) phase (30 percent). Research limitations/implications The MKSP ternary geopolymer mix has three limitations as an importance of heat curing for development early strength, POFA content less than 20 percent to gain high normal strength and delaying the sitting time by controlling the slag content or the alkali activator type. Practical implications The use of geopolymer materials binder in a real building is limited and it still under research, Thus, the first model of real applied geopolymer cement in 2008 was the E-Crete model that formed by Zeobond company Australia to take the technology of geopolymer concrete to reality. Zeobond Pty Ltd was founded by Professor Jannie S.J. van (van Deventer et al., 2013), it was used to product precast concrete for the building structure. The second model was PYRAMENT model in 2002 by American cement manufacturer Lone Star Industries which was produced from the development carried out on inorganic alumino-silicate polymers called geopolymer (Palomo et al., 1999). In 2013 the third model was Queensland’s University GCI building with three suspended floors made from structural geopolymer concrete containing slag/fly ash-based geopolymer (Pathak, 2016). In Australia, 2014, the newly completed Brisbane West Wellcamp airport becomes the greenest airport in the world. Cement-free geopolymer concrete was used to save more than 6,600 tons of carbon emissions in the construction of the airport. Therefore, the next century will see cement companies developing alternative binders that are more environmentally friendly from a sustainable development point of view. Originality/value Production of new geopolymer binder of mortar as alternative to traditional cement binder with high early and normal strength from low cost waste materials, less potential of cracking, less energy consumption need and low carbon dioxide emission.