Development of Ambient-cured Geopolymer Mortars with Construction and Demolition Waste-based Materials

Yildirim G., Ashour A., Ozcelikci E., Gunal M. F., Ozel B. F., Alhawat M.

NanoWorld Journal, vol.9, no.Special Issue 2, 2023 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: Special Issue 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.17756/nwj.2023-s2-008
  • Journal Name: NanoWorld Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Keywords: Ambient curing, Comp-ressive strength, Construction and demolition waste, Geopolymer, Microstructure
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Degrading infrastructure and applications of structural demolition create tremendous amounts of construction and demolition waste (CDW) all around the world. To address this issue in an effective way, recycling CDW in a most ap-propriate way has become a global concern in recent years. To this end, this study focused on the valorization of CDW-based materials such as tile, bricks, glass, and concrete in the development of geopolymer mortars. CDWs were first collected from demolition zone and then subjected to crushing-milling operations. To investigate the influence of slag (S) addition to the mixtures, 20% S substituted mixture designs were also made. Fine recycled concrete aggregates (FRCA) obtained from crushing and sieving of the waste concrete were used as the aggregate. A series of mixtures were designed using different proportions of three distinct alkali activators such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium silicate (Na2 SiO3), and calcium hydroxide (CH; Ca(OH)2). To improve their applicability, the mixtures were left to cure at room temperature rather than the heat curing which is frequently applied in the literature. After 28 days ambient curing, the 100% CDW-based geopolymer mortar activated with three different activators reached a compressive strength of 31.6 MPa, whereas the 20% S substituted geopolymer mortar showed a 51.9 MPa compressive strength. While the geopolymer mortars activated with only NaOH exhibited poor performance, it was found that the use of Na2 SiO3 and CH improved the mechanical performance. Main geopoly-merization products were related to NASH (Sodium alumino-silicate hydrate), CASH (Calcium alumino-silicate hydrate), and C(N)ASH gel formations. Results demonstrated that mixed CDWs can be employed in the manufacturing geopolymers, making them potential alternatives to Portland cement (PC)-based systems by being eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and comparable in compressive strength.