Effect of ultra-fine slag on mechanical and permeability properties of Metakaolin-based sustainable geopolymer concrete

  • Parveen, Parveen (Department of Civil Engineering, DCRUST) ;
  • Mehta, Ankur (Amity School of Engineering and Technology, Amity University) ;
  • Saloni, Saloni (Department of Civil Engineering, DCRUST)
  • Received : 2018.08.17
  • Accepted : 2019.04.18
  • Published : 2019.06.25


The present study deals with the development of metakaolin-based geopolymer concrete (GPC) and thereafter studying the effects of adding ultra-fine slag on its mechanical and permeability characteristics. The mechanical characteristics including compressive, split tensile, flexural strengths and elastic modulus were studied. In addition, permeability characteristics including water absorption, porosity, sorptivity and chloride permeability were studied up to 90 days. The results showed the effective utilization of metakaolin for the development of elevated temperature cured geopolymer concrete having high 3-day compressive strength of 42.6 MPa. The addition of ultra-fine slag up to 15%, as partial replacement of metakaolin resulted in an increase in strength characteristics. Similar improvement in durability properties was also observed with the inclusion of ultra-fine slag up to 15%. Beyond this optimum content of 15%, further increase in ultra-fine slag content affected the mechanical as well as permeability parameters in a negative way. In addition, the relationship between various properties of GPC was also derived.


geopolymers;metakaolin;ultra-fine slag (alccofine);mechanical properties;permeability properties


Supported by : Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change


  1. ACI 318 (2008), Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-08) and Commentary, American Concrete Institute.
  2. AS 3600 (2001), Reinforced concrete design in accordance with AS 3600-2001, Australian Standards.
  3. Allahverdi, A., Mehrpour, K. and Kani, E.N. (2008), "Investigating the possibility of utilizing pumice-type natural pozzonal in production of geopolymer cement", Ceram. Silikaty, 52(1), 16.
  4. Alonso, S. and Palomo, A. (2001), "Alkaline activation of metakaolin and calcium hydroxide mixtures: influence of temperature, activator concentration and solids ratio", Mater. Lett., 47(1), 55-62.
  5. Anuradha, R., Sreevidya, V., Venkatasubramani, R. and Rangan, B.V. (2011), "Relationship between compressive and splitting tensile strength of geopolymer concrete", Ind. Concrete J., 85(11), 18-24.
  6. ASTM, C. (2004), Standard Test Method for Measurement of Rate of Absorption of Water by Hydraulic-Cement Concretes, ASTM International.
  7. ASTM, C. (2012), Standard Test Method for Electrical Indication of Concrete's Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration, ASTM International.
  8. Australian Standard, A. (2009), 3600-2009, Concrete Structures, Standards Association of Australia, North Sydney.
  9. BIS 456 (2000), Plain and Reinforced Concrete-Code of Practice, New Delhi, India.
  10. BIS 383 (1970), Specification for Coarse and Fine Aggregates from Natural Sources for Concrete, New Delhi, India.
  11. Carino, N.J. and Lew, H. (1982), "Re-examination of the relation between splitting tensile and compressive strength of normal weight concrete", J. Proc., 79(3), 214-219.
  12. Cheng, T. and Chiu, J. (2003), "Fire-resistant geopolymer produced by granulated blast furnace slag", Min. Eng., 16(3), 205-210.
  13. Davidovits, J. (1988a), "Soft mineralogy and geopolymers", Proceedings of the of Geopolymer 88 International Conference.
  14. Davidovits, J. (1988b), "Soft mineralurgy and geopolymers", Proceeding of Geopolymer 88 International Conference, The Universite de Technologie.
  15. Gardner, N. and Poon, S. (1976), "Time and temperature effects on tensile, bond, and compressive strengths", J. Proc., 73(7), 405-409.
  16. Gunasekera, C., Setunge, S. and Law, D.W. (2017), "Correlations between mechanical properties of low-calcium fly ash geopolymer concretes", J. Mater. Civil Eng., 29(9), 04017111.
  17. Hardjito, D.R.B. (2005), "Development and properties of low calcium fly ash based geopolymer concrete", GC1: Faculty of Engineering, Curtin University of Technology.
  18. Jewell, S. and Kimball, S. (2014). "USGS mineral commodities summaries: 2014", US Geological Survey.
  19. Jindal, B.B., Singhal, D., Sharma, S.K., Ashish, D.K. and Parveen. (2017), "Improving compressive strength of low calcium fly ash geopolymer concrete with alccofine", Adv. Concrete Constr., 5(1), 17-29.
  20. Kong, D.L. and Sanjayan, J.G. (2008), "Damage behavior of geopolymer composites exposed to elevated temperatures", Cement Concrete Compos., 30(10), 986-991.
  21. Kong, D.L. and Sanjayan, J.G. (2010), "Effect of elevated temperatures on geopolymer paste, mortar and concrete", Cement Concrete Res., 40(2), 334-339.
  22. Kong, D.L., Sanjayan, J.G. and Sagoe-Crentsil, K. (2008), "Factors affecting the performance of metakaolin geopolymers exposed to elevated temperatures", J. Mater. Sci., 43(3), 824-831.
  23. Latella, B., Perera, D., Durce, D., Mehrtens, E. and Davis, J. (2008), "Mechanical properties of metakaolin-based geopolymers with molar ratios of Si/Al$\approx$ 2 and Na/Al$\approx$ 1", J. Mater. Sci., 43(8), 2693-2699.
  24. Lee, N. and Lee, H. (2013), "Setting and mechanical properties of alkali-activated fly ash/slag concrete manufactured at room temperature", Constr. Build. Mater., 47, 1201-1209.
  25. Li, Z. and Liu, S. (2007), "Influence of slag as additive on compressive strength of fly ash-based geopolymer", J. Mater. Civil Eng., 19(6), 470-474.
  26. Mehta PK, M. P. (2006), Concrete Microstructure, Properties, and Materials, Tata McGraw-Hill Edition.
  27. N. 3101 (2006), Concrete Structures Standard, New Zealand
  28. Nematollahi, B., Sanjayan, J. and Shaikh, F.U.A. (2014), "Comparative deflection hardening behavior of short fiber reinforced geopolymer composites", Constr. Build. Mater., 70, 54-64.
  29. Pacheco-Torgal, F., Castro-Gomes, J. and Jalali, S. (2008), "Investigations on mix design of tungsten mine waste geopolymeric binder", Constr. Build. Mater., 22(9), 1939-1949.
  30. Parveen, and Singhal, D. (2017), "Development of mix design method for geopolymer concrete", Adv. Concrete Constr., 5(4), 377-390.
  31. Parveen, Singhal, D. and Jindal, B.B. (2017), "Experimental study on geopolymer concrete prepared using high-silica RHA incorporating alccofine", Adv. Concrete Constr., 5(4), 345-358.
  32. Petermann, J.C., Saeed, A. and Hammons, M.I. (2010), "Alkaliactivated geopolymers: a literature review", Applied Research Associates Inc Panama City Fl.
  33. Raphael, J.M. (1984), "Tensile strength of concrete", J. Proc., 81(2), 158-165.
  34. Rattanasak, U. and Chindaprasirt, P. (2009), "Influence of NaOH solution on the synthesis of fly ash geopolymer", Min. Eng., 22(12), 1073-1078.
  35. Rovnanik, P. (2010), "Effect of curing temperature on the development of hard structure of metakaolin-based geopolymer", Constr. Build. Mater., 24(7), 1176-1183.
  36. Ryu, G.S., Lee, Y.B., Koh, K.T. and Chung, Y.S. (2013), "The mechanical properties of fly ash-based geopolymer concrete with alkaline activators", Constr. Build. Mater., 47, 409-418.
  37. Sofi, M., Van Deventer, J., Mendis, P. and Lukey, G. (2007), "Engineering properties of inorganic polymer concretes (IPCs)", Cement Concrete Res., 37(2), 251-257.
  38. Tailby, J. and MacKenzie, K.J. (2010), "Structure and mechanical properties of aluminosilicate geopolymer composites with Portland cement and its constituent minerals", Cement Concrete Res., 40(5), 787-794.
  39. Temuujin, J., Van Riessen, A. and Williams, R. (2009), "Influence of calcium compounds on the mechanical properties of fly ash geopolymer pastes", J. Hazard. Mater., 167(1), 82-88.
  40. Xu, H. and Van Deventer, J.S. (2002), "Geopolymerisation of multiple minerals", Min. Eng., 15(12), 1131-1139.
  41. Yip, C. and Van Deventer, J. (2003), "Microanalysis of calcium silicate hydrate gel formed within a geopolymeric binder", J. Mater. Sci., 38(18), 3851-3860.
  42. Yip, C.K., Lukey, G. and Van Deventer, J. (2005), "The coexistence of geopolymeric gel and calcium silicate hydrate at the early stage of alkaline activation", Cement Concrete Res., 35(9), 1688-1697.