Novel Analytical Method for Mix Design and Performance Prediction of High Calcium Fly Ash Geopolymer Concrete

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Mar 15;13(6):900. doi: 10.3390/polym13060900.


Despite extensive in-depth research into high calcium fly ash geopolymer concretes and a number of proposed methods to calculate the mix proportions, no universally applicable method to determine the mix proportions has been developed. This paper uses an artificial neural network (ANN) machine learning toolbox in a MATLAB programming environment together with a Bayesian regularization algorithm, the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm and a scaled conjugate gradient algorithm to attain a specified target compressive strength at 28 days. The relationship between the four key parameters, namely water/solid ratio, alkaline activator/binder ratio, Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio and NaOH molarity, and the compressive strength of geopolymer concrete is determined. The geopolymer concrete mix proportions based on the ANN algorithm model and contour plots developed were experimentally validated. Thus, the proposed method can be used to determine mix designs for high calcium fly ash geopolymer concrete in the range 25-45 MPa at 28 days. In addition, the design equations developed using the statistical regression model provide an insight to predict tensile strength and elastic modulus for a given compressive strength.

Keywords: artificial neural network; compressive strength; geopolymer concrete; high calcium fly ash; mix design; regression analysis.