Study the Mechanical Properties of Geopolymer under Different Curing Conditions
Publication Name: Minerals
Publication URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/13/5/690
The geopolymer is an environmentally friendly and high-performance material. Nowadays, how to improve the degree of the geopolymers reaction and enhance its mechanical properties has become a hot topic. This study used orthogonal tests to design the precursor mixing ratio, considering GGBS content (A), water/binder ratio (B), and alkaline activator modulus (C). The fly ash (FA) ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS)-based geopolymers were cured under two standard curing conditions: 40 °C under water and 40 °C in the oven. Then, the influence of these factors on the mechanical properties of geopolymers under different curing conditions was summarized. The contribution of each factor was ranked, which was used to find out the most sensitive factors affecting the mechanical properties. Taking the 7 days and 28 days of compressive strength and flexural strength of the geopolymer specimens as the evaluation criteria, the optimum ratio method for preparing geopolymers was obtained. Then, the prediction model of compressive strength under different curing conditions was established. SEM and XRD were used to analyze the microstructure and hydration products of the samples. The test results showed that the optimum ratio of FA-based geopolymers varied under different curing conditions. The GGBS content was the key factor in determining the mechanical properties. The heat curing condition was the best curing condition, the 28-day compressive strength could reach 76.3 MPa, and the 28-day flexural strength could reach 7.4 MPa. The prediction models established for compressive strength under different curing conditions had high accuracy. The specimens under the best curing conditions exhibited a dense internal microstructure and the presence of C-S-H gels, C-A-S-H gels, and N-A-S-H gels.