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Geopolymerization reaction to consolidate incoherent pozzolanic soil


Pozzolanic material-based geopolymer has been proposed as a solving methodology to the geohazards, due to pozzolanic collapsible soils widely present in the South Italy. The geopolymer was synthesized from pozzolana material under activation of NaOH 10 M or slurry of NaAlO2 in NaOH 10 M solution. The specimens were cured at 25 °C and 100% RH for different ageing times. The effect of the two activation methods on the properties of the geopolymer was investigated by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), FTIR spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (27Al and 29Si NMR) and uniaxial compression tests. XRD, NMR and IR analysis indicate the geopolymer is generated by the dissolution of the silico-aluminate phases present in the pozzolana and the successive re-organization in amorphous and crystalline neo-formed phases. The spectroscopic evidences confirm that the 4-coordinated Al atoms present in the neat pozzolana and in the NaAlO2 change their coordination state splitting between 6- and 4-coordinated atoms, modifying the traditional chemistry of polysialate formation. SEM results show the synthesized geo-polymer maintained the granular morphology of the pozzolana and the geo-polymeric reactions occurred mainly at the surface of pozzolana particulates. Furthermore, uniaxial strength data increase gradually upon the curing time, until 40 MPa for the specimens activated with the slurry system.

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Correspondence to Letizia Verdolotti.

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Verdolotti, L., Iannace, S., Lavorgna, M. et al. Geopolymerization reaction to consolidate incoherent pozzolanic soil. J Mater Sci 43, 865–873 (2008).

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  • Geopolymer
  • Sodium Aluminate
  • NaAlO2
  • Tetrahedral Unit
  • Uniaxial Strength