Geopolymer could revolutionize the future of construction industry. “Geo” means soil and Polymerization is the process that involved in the natural formation of rocks, Geopolymer concrete is a material prepared by using indistrial waste like flyash, GGPS or naturally available material lile clay, metakolin and koalin through polymerization technic.
In cement based concrete, when water is added, cement undergoes hydration process and forms calcium silicate hydrate gel. This C-S-H gel hardens and binds sand and aggregate to give us concrete. In Geopolymer concrete, chemicals like sodium hydroxide+sodium silicate or pottasium hydroxide+pottasium silicate are added to silica-aluminate materials like fly ash, clay etc.., polymerisation process occurs which links silica in the material through alumina. This binds the inbetween sand and aggregate together and gives us geopolymer concrete or geopolymer block
We all know that Cement revolutionized the construction industry long time before. Now Its time for geopolymer to change everything and take construction sector to another level. As an engineer, I have through knowledge with hydration chemical reaction of cement particles but now I am learning about geopolymers and polymerization reaction.
The best things about geopolymer are being an eco-friendly material. When 1 ton of cement is manufactured nearly 1 ton of carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere hence geopolymer concrete is very much greener than cement based concrete But, we should not ignore the chemicals sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide and sodium silicate and potassium silicate which are needed to prepare geopolymers. But comparing to manufacture of cement, activator chemicals don’t produce much carbon dioxide or any other harmful gas.
Another best thing about geopolymers is the high strength per cost ratio.
Last but not least they can be engineered to have a variety of properties. In cement based concrete we have low heat cement, porous concrete, aerated concrete etc.., In geopolymer concrete, we can engineer them to have lightweight, have different color, to smell, to adsorb co2, to adsorb smell etc..,
Geo-Polymer bricks are also getting popular in the construction industry. Like concrete, bricks also demands high energy for manufacturing. Geopolymer bricks can be prepared by heating them at only 70 degree Celsius. They are also lightweight, strong and economical. I once saw a lady carrying nearly 20 geopolymer bricks on her head. Labors usually carrying 10-15 bricks on their head in India.
Now its time for you to ask questions and share a thing or two about the Geo-Polymers…