Influence of nano SiO2 and nano CaCO3 particles on strength, workability, and microstructural properties of fly ash-based geopolymer
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The influence of nano SiO2(NS) and CaCO3(NC) particles on the properties of class F fly ash based geopolymer mortar activated with different sodium ion concentrations have been investigated. Mortar mixture proportions were 1:3:0.3 for binder, sand, and water, respectively. Nano SiO2 and CaCO3 particles were replaced with a binder by weight basis at the ratios of 1, 2, and 3% in the mixtures. Sodium concentrations amount used were 8, 10, and 12% Na+ of binder content. Geopolymer mortar samples were cured at 60, 75, and 90 degrees C in a furnace for 24, 48, and 72 hr. After the heat curing process, flexural, and compressive strength tests were performed. The changes in the microstructure of geopolymer due to influence of nanoparticles were examined by utilizing isothermal calorimetric studies on geopolymer paste, and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Based on laboratory work results, it was concluded that for all sodium ion concentrations, the addition of nano SiO2 and CaCO3 particles improved the flexural and compressive strengths after 24 hr heat curing. However, the favorable effects of nanoparticles on strength properties tend to disappear after 48 and 72 hr heat curing. The results of isothermal calorimetric studies showed that nano SiO2 and CaCO3 particles accelerated the geopolymeric reactions at an early age. FESEM results showed that additions of nanoparticles made the microstructure of geopolymer products more intense and compact.