skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Gel nanostructure in alkali-activated binders based on slag and fly ash, and effects of accelerated carbonation

Binders formed through alkali-activation of slags and fly ashes, including ‘fly ash geopolymers’, provide appealing properties as binders for low-emissions concrete production. However, the changes in pH and pore solution chemistry induced during accelerated carbonation testing provide unrealistically low predictions of in-service carbonation resistance. The aluminosilicate gel remaining in an alkali-activated slag system after accelerated carbonation is highly polymerised, consistent with a decalcification mechanism, while fly ash-based binders mainly carbonate through precipitation of alkali salts (bicarbonates at elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations, or carbonates under natural exposure) from the pore solution, with little change in the binder gel identifiable by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In activated fly ash/slag blends, two distinct gels (C–A–S–H and N–A–S–H) are formed; under accelerated carbonation, the N–A–S–H gel behaves comparably to fly ash-based systems, while the C–A–S–H gel is decalcified similarly to alkali-activated slag. This provides new scope for durability optimisation, and for developing appropriate testing methodologies. -- Highlights: •C-A-S-H gel in alkali-activated slag decalcifies during accelerated carbonation. •Alkali-activated fly ash gel changes much less under CO{sub 2} exposure. •Blended slag-fly ash binder contains two coexisting gel types. •These two gels respond differently to carbonation. •Understanding of carbonation mechanisms is essential in developing test methods.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [1] ;  [3] ; ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia)
  2. (United Kingdom)
  3. School of Chemistry and Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia)
  4. (Australia)
  5. Zeobond Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 23450, Docklands, Victoria 8012 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22220820
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Cement and Concrete Research; Journal Volume: 53; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; ACID CARBONATES; BINDERS; BLAST FURNACES; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBONATES; CEMENTS; EMISSION; FLY ASH; GELS; NANOSTRUCTURES; NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE; PRECIPITATION; SPECTROSCOPY; TESTING