Microstructure analysis and effects of single and mixed activators on setting time and strength of coal gangue-based geopolymers

Date

2022

Authors

Yang, Xiaoyun
Zhang, Yan
Lin, Cheng

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Gels

Abstract

Geopolymer is a green non-metallic material with high strength and favorable properties in resistance to corrosion, fire, and high temperature, which makes it a potential substitute for Portland cement. The existing studies have primarily focused on the preparation of geopolymers using silico-alumina materials such as fly ash, red mud, metakaolin, volcanic ash, and blast furnace slag to develop geopolymers. This study explores the potential of using ultrafine calcined coal gangue and ground granulated blast furnace slag to develop a new geopolymer with the activation of a single activator (sodium hydroxide) or mixed activator (sodium hydroxide, liquid sodium silicate, and desulfurization gypsum). The setting time and strength of the geopolymers were investigated, followed by the mineral, functional groups, microstructure, and elements analyses using X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared diffraction, scanning electron microscope, and energy dispersive spectrometer to elucidate the effect of different activators on geopolymers. The results showed that the optimum molarity of NaOH single activator was 2 mol/L, the initial setting time and final setting time were 37 min and 47 min, respectively, and the compressive and flexural strengths at 28 days were 23.2 MPa and 7.5 MPa. The optimal mixing ratio of the mixed activator was 6% desulfurization gypsum, 0.6 Na2SiO3 modulus, and 16% SS activator; the initial setting time and final setting time were 100 min and 325 min, respectively, and the compressive and flexural strengths at 28 days were 40.1 MPa and 7.8 MPa. The coal gangue geopolymers were mainly C–A–S–H, N–A-S-H, and C–N–A–S–H gels. The mixed activator tended to yield higher strengths than the single activator, the reason is that the hydration reaction was violent and produced more gels. Meanwhile, the relation between setting time and activator and the relation between strength and activator were also obtained, which provide theoretical support for predicting the setting time of coal gangue base polymer and the ratio of alkali activator for geopolymers with a certain strength.

Description

Keywords

coal gangue, geopolymer, setting time, strength, microstructure

Citation

Yang, X., Zhang, Y., & Lin, C. (2022). “Microstructure analysis and effects of single and mixed activators on setting time and strength of coal gangue-based geopolymers.” Gels, 8(3), 195. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8030195