Role of ɣ-Al2O3 on the mechanical and microstructural properties of metakaolin-based geopolymer cements
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The main target of this work is to investigate the influence of ɣ-Al2O3 on the properties of metakaolin-based geopolymer cements. The kaolin used as starting material for producing geopolymer cements contains approximately 28 and 64% of gibbsite and kaolinite, respectively. This kaolin was transformed to metakaolins by calcination at 500, 550, 600, 650, and 700 °C for 1 h. Gibbsite contained in kaolin was transformed to γ-Al2O3 during the calcination process. The hardener was obtained by mixing commercial sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide solution (10 M) with a mass ratio sodium silicate/sodium hydroxide equal to 1.6:1. Geopolymer cements, GMK-500, GMK-550, GMK-600, GMK-650, and GMK-700, were obtained using the prepared hardener with a mass ratio hardener/metakaolin equal to 0.87:1. It could be seen that the specific surface area of metakaolins decreases with increasing the calcination temperature of kaolin owing to the formation of the particles of γ-Al2O3. The compressive strengths 18.21/29.14/36.61/36.51 increase in the course GMK-550/GMK-600/GMK-650/GMK-700. The X-ray patterns and micrograph images of geopolymer cements, GMK-600, GMK-650, and GMK-700, indicate the presence of γ-Al2O3 in their structure. It was typically found that γ-Al2O3 remains largely unaffected during the geopolymerisation, and therefore could act as an inert filler and reinforce the structure of geopolymer cements.
KeywordsKaolin Gibbsite Metakaolins Hardener Geopolymer cements γ-Al2O3
Hervé Tchakouté Kouamo gratefully acknowledges the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for financial support the purchase of equipment under the grant N° KAM/1155741 STP.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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