Modification of phase evolution in alkali-activated blast furnace slag by the incorporation of fly ash

Idawati, Ismail and Susan A., Bernal and John L., Provis and Rackel San, Nicolas and Sinin, Hamdan and Jannie S.J., van Deventer (2014) Modification of phase evolution in alkali-activated blast furnace slag by the incorporation of fly ash. Cement & Concrete Composites, 45. pp. 125-135. ISSN 0958-9465

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Abstract

The microstructural evolution of alkali-activated binders based on blast furnace slag, fly ash and their blends during the first six months of sealed curing is assessed. The nature of the main binding gels in these blends shows distinct characteristics with respect to binder composition. It is evident that the incorporation of fly ash as an additional source of alumina and silica, but not calcium, in activated slag binders affects the mechanism and rate of formation of the main binding gels. The rate of formation of the main binding gel phases depends strongly on fly ash content. Pastes based solely on silicate-activated slag show a structure dominated by a C–A–S–H type gel, while silicate-activated fly ash are dominated by N–A–S–H ‘geopolymer’ gel. Blended slag-fly ash binders can demonstrate the formation of co-existing C– A–S–H and geopolymer gels, which are clearly distinguishable at earlier age when the binder contains no more than 75 wt.% fly ash. The separation in chemistry between different regions of the gel becomes less distinct at longer age. With a slower overall reaction rate, a 1:1 slag:fly ash system shares more microstructural features with a slag-based binder than a fly ash-based binder, indicating the strong influence of calcium on the gel chemistry, particularly with regard to the bound water environments within the gel. However, in systems with similar or lower slag content, a hybrid type gel described as N–(C)–A–S–H is also identified, as part of the Ca released by slag dissolution is incorporated into the N–A–S–H type gel resulting from fly ash activation. Fly ash-based binders exhibit a slower reaction compared to activated- slag pastes, but extended times of curing promote the formation of more cross-linked binding products and a denser microstructure. This mechanism is slower for samples with lower slag content, emphasizing the correct selection of binder proportions in promoting a well-densified, durable solid microstructure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alkali-activated slag, Fly ash geopolymer, Curing time, Gel composition, Microstructure, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 02:08
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2015 02:08
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/9188

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