Manufacture of full-scale geopolymer cement concrete components: A case study to highlight opportunities and challenges
Brett Tempest, Clarke Snell, Thomas Gentry, Maria Trejo, and Keith Isherwood
Click here to access the full journal article
Geopolymer cement is an alternative binder that is capable of forming concrete with competent mechanical performance and attractive environmental benefits. Carbon dioxide emissions from geopolymer cement concrete are low compared with portland cement concrete, and the binder incorporates high volumes of the recycled material fly ash. The typical strength of the resulting materials ranges from 4000 to 10,000 psi (28 to 69 MPa) depending on mixture proportions, aggregates, and curing. Additional beneficial features to precast concrete production include rapid strength gain and low requirements for plant infrastructure beyond typical concreting equipment. This paper presents a case study of the manufacture of full-scale geopolymer cement concrete components. Mechanical characteristics of geopolymer cement concrete produced at the plant, quality of form finishes, and strategies for curing are described. Challenges to full-scale production, as identified by plant personnel and the research team, are also presented.
U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Accessed on September 14, 2014. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/.
Duxson, P., J. L. Provis, G. C. Lukey, and J. S. J. Deventer. 2007. “The Role of Inorganic Polymer Technology in the Development of ‘Green Concrete’.” Cement and Concrete Research 37 (12): 1590–1597.
Turner, L. K., and F. G. Collins. 2013. “Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2-e) Emissions: A Comparison Between Geopolymer and OPC Cement Concrete.” Construction and Building Materials 43: 125–130.
Van Dam, Thomas J. 2010. Geopolymer Concrete. FHWA TechBrief FHWA-HIF-10-014. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/pubs/hif10014/.
Duxson, P., A. Fernández-Jiménez, J. Provis, G. Lukey, A. Palomo, and J. Van Deventer. 2007. “Geopolymer Technology: The Current State of the Art.” Journal of Materials Science 42 (9): 2917–2933.
Davidovits, J. 2013. Geopolymer Cement Review 2013. Technical paper 21. Saint-Quentin, France: Geopolymer Institute.
Cross, D., J. Stephens, and J. Vollmer. 2005. “Structural Applications of 100 Percent Fly Ash Concrete.” Paper presented at the 2005 World of Coal Ash Conference, Lexington, KY, April 2005.
Sumajouw, M. D. J., and B. V. Rangan. 2006. Low- Calcium Fly Ash–Based Geopolymer Concrete: Reinforced Beams and Columns. Research report GC 3. Perth, Australia: Curtin University of Technology.
Yost, J. R., A. Radlińska, S. Ernst, M. Salera, and N. J. Martignetti. 2013. “Structural Behavior of Alkali Activated Fly Ash Concrete. Part 2: Structural Testing and Experimental Findings.” Materials and Structures 46 (3): 449–462.
Tempest, B. 2010. “Engineering Characterization of Waste Derived Geopolymer Cement Concrete for Structural Applications.” PhD diss. Charlotte, NC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Sarker, P. K. 2009. “Analysis of Geopolymer Concrete Columns.” Materials and Structures 42 (6): 715–724. doi:10.1617/s11527-008-9415-5.
Sumajouw, D., D. Hardjito, S. E. Wallah, and B. V. Rangan. 2007. “Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Concrete: Study of Slender Reinforced Columns.” Journal of Materials Science 42 (9): 3124–3130.
Rahman, Muhammad M., and Prabir K. Sarker. 2011. “Geopolymer Concrete Columns under Combined Axial Load and Biaxial Bending.” Paper presented at the 2011 Concrete Institute of Australia Conference, Perth, Australia, October 2011.
Mikuni, A., R. Komatsu, and K. Ikeda. 2007. “Dissolution Properties of Some Fly Ash Fillers Applying to Geopolymeric Materials in Alkali Solution.” Journal of Materials Science. 42 (9): 2953–2957. doi:10.1007/s10853-006-0530-9.
Panagiotopoulou, C., E. Kontori, T. Perrak, and G. Kakali. 2007. Dissolution of Aluminosilicate Minerals and By-Products in Alkaline Media. Journal of Materials Science 42 (9): 2967–2973. doi:10.1007/s10853-006-0531-8.
Alonso, S. and A. Palomo. 2001. “Alkaline Activation of Metakaolin and Calcium Hydroxide Mixtures: Influence of Temperature, Activator Concentration and Solids Ratio.” Materials Letters 47 (1): 55–62.
Swanepoel, J. C., and C. A. Strydom. 2002. “Utilisation of Fly Ash in a Geopolymeric Material.” Applied Geochemistry 17 (8): 1143–1148.
Lee, W. K. W., and J. S. J. van Deventer. 2002. “The Effect of Ionic Contaminants on the Early-Age Properties of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash–Based Cements.” Cement and Concrete Research 32 (4): 577–584.
Van Deventer, J. S., P. L. Provis, P. Duxson, and G. C. Lukey. 2007. “Reaction Mechanisms in the Geopolymeric Conversion of Inorganic Waste to Useful Products.” Journal of Hazardous Materials 139 (3): 506–513.
Tempest, B., O. Sanusi, J. Gergely, V. Ogunro, and D. Weggel. “Compressive Strength and Embodied Energy Optimization of Fly Ash Based Geopolymer Cement Concrete.” Paper presented at the 2009 World of Coal Ash Conference, Lexington, KY, May 2009.
ASTM Subcommittee C09.24. 2003. Standard Specification for Coal Fly Ash and Raw or Calcined Natural Pozzolan for Use in Concrete. ASTM C618-2012. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.
ASTM Subcommittee C09.61. 2005. Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens. ASTM C39/C39M-2012. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.
ACI (American Concrete Institute) Committee 318. 2011. Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-11) and Commentary (ACI 318R-11). Farmington Hills, MI: ACI.
Diaz, E. I., E. N. Allouche, and S. Eklund. 2010. “Factors Affecting the Suitability of Fly Ash as Source Material for Geopolymers.” Fuel 89 (5): 992–996.
U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Electricity.” Accessed [month day, year]. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/.
ASTM Subcommittee C09.60. 2014. Standard Test Method for Air Content of Freshly Mixed Concrete by the Pressure Method. ASTM C231/C231M-14. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2014. “Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Final Rule.” Federal Register 80 (74):21302–21501.
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. 2014. “Coal Combustion Residual Beneficial Use Evaluation: Fly Ash Concrete and FGD Gypsum Wallboard.” EPA530-R-14-001. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.