Environmental concerns and sustainable development require increased replacement of cement. Most of previous studies have shown that the compressive strength of cement-based composites is maximized with a 20% content of metakaolin. We investigated composites prepared by replacing ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) with 30 to 50% of metakaolin (MK) and addition of appropriate amount of hydrated lime, which were ordinary cured for 2, 28 or 90 days. Hydration products and microstructure of the pastes were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis/thermal gravimetry (DTA/TG) and mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). MK was produced by calcination of kaolin from a Serbian deposit, which contained a high level of impurities.
Replacement of OPC with 30% of MK achieved 28 days compressive strength equivalent to that of the control mix. Higher replacement levels, 40% and 50%, combined with the addition of hydrated lime, achieved satisfactory relative strengths of 94% and 87%, respectively. The positive contribution was particularly pronounced after 90 days for a composite containing 50% of MK. The results clearly showed a possibility of obtaining composites having acceptable compressive strength with reduced cement content in accordance with environmental and sustained development requirements.
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The work reported in this paper is a part of the investigation within the research projects TR 36017 and 45001, supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
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