Fly ash-based geopolymer lightweight concrete using foaming agent
Mohd Mustafa Al Bakri, Abdullah
Kamarudin, Hussin, Brig. Jen. Dato' Prof. Dr.
Khairul Nizar, Ismail, Prof. Madya Dr.
Rafiza, Abdul Razak
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In this paper, we report the results of our investigation on the possibility of producing foam concrete by using a geopolymer system. Class C fly ash was mixed with an alkaline activator solution (a mixture of sodium silicate and NaOH), and foam was added to the geopolymeric mixture to produce lightweight concrete. The NaOH solution was prepared by dilute NaOH pellets with distilled water. The reactives were mixed to produce a homogeneous mixture, which was placed into a 50 mm mold and cured at two different curing temperatures (60 °C and room temperature), for 24 hours. After the curing process, the strengths of the samples were tested on days 1, 7, and 28. The water absorption, porosity, chemical composition, microstructure, XRD and FTIR analyses were studied. The results showed that the sample which was cured at 60 °C (LW2) produced the maximum compressive strength for all tests, (11.03 MPa, 17.59 MPa, and 18.19 MPa) for days 1, 7, and 28, respectively. Also, the water absorption and porosity of LW2 were reduced by 6.78% and 1.22% after 28 days, respectively. The SEM showed that the LW2 sample had a denser matrix than LW1. This was because LW2 was heat cured, which caused the geopolymerization rate to increase, producing a denser matrix. However for LW1, microcracks were present on the surface, which reduced the compressive strength and increased water absorption and porosity.