Effect of characteristics of natural zeolites on their geopolymerization
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The properties of clinoptilolite-based geopolymers are investigated with a focus on the parameters affecting the reactivity of clinoptilolite in a geopolymer binder. A complete characterization of raw materials was carried out as well as a determination of the mineralogical composition, microstructure and mechanical properties of geopolymers. The results of the investigation show that of the investigated materials, geopolymer made with clinoptilolite-bearing tuff from Bayburt has the highest compressive strength. The chemical and mineralogical characteristics of a raw material are important parameters that potentially control the geopolymeric reaction, whereas physical properties (particle size and BET specific surface area) are mainly influential at early stages of geopolymerization. Geopolymeric gel was found to be the main reaction product through characterization by XRD and SEM analysis. The geopolymer produced with the raw material from Bayburt had a narrow range of Si/Al ratios and possessed a geopolymer binder structure with an advanced nature. Lastly, in addition to clinoptilolite, feldspar has an additional effect on the geopolymeric reaction and enhances the process, especially at later ages.