The Correlation of Temperature-Mineral Phase Transformation as a Controlling Factor of Thermal and Mechanical Performance of Fly Ash-Based Alkali-Activated Binders

Materials (Basel). 2020 Nov 17;13(22):5181. doi: 10.3390/ma13225181.


This research focuses on an evaluation of mineral phase and structure transformations in Class F fly ash-based geopolymer systems. The research also studies the strength response of geopolymers when exposed to temperatures between 25 and 800 °C. The purpose of this research is to understand the processes that occur in alkali-activated systems within a wide range of high-working temperatures. The XRD, SEM, and DTA/TG analyses performed for the alkali-activated compositions after exposure to different temperatures confirmed a direct correlation of structural transformations with strength performance. The detrimental effect of sodium hydrocarbonate Na3(HCO3)(CO3) 2H2O or trona contained in one of the fly ash products was observed for the corresponding alkali-activated composite under high-temperature exposure between 600 and 800 °C. It was also detected that a high-temperature interval of 400-800 °C created favorable conditions that helped to form nanosized nepheline crystals and an additional vitreous substance that also contributed to a denser alkali-activated matrix.

Keywords: Class F fly ash; alkali-activated binder systems; high-temperature alumosilicates; nanosized nepheline; thermal-resistant properties.