3D-printable construction and demolition waste-based geopolymer: Investigating the effects of additives on engineering properties


Journal of Building Engineering, vol.87, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 87
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jobe.2024.109094
  • Journal Name: Journal of Building Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Compendex, INSPEC
  • Keywords: 3D printing, Additives, Construction and demolition waste, Cracks in printed filaments, Efflorescence, Engineering properties, Geopolymer, Upcycling
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This paper focuses on the investigating the effects of various additives on the engineering properties of construction and demolition waste (CDW)-based geopolymer mortars. In this study, low-activity CDW-based precursors, specifically brick waste (BW) and concrete waste (CW), were employed. Additionally, industrial waste-based precursors such as slag (S) and silica fume (SF) were utilized to enhance the overall composition. To facilitate activation, a 5 M solution of NaOH was used. To address the efflorescence issue prevalent in geopolymer mixtures and to eliminate potential cracks that may arise due to the dimensional stability problem of 3D-printed CDW-based geopolymer, various kind of additives including calcite, polypropylene fiber, nano SiO2, Al2O3, and TiO2, carbon nano tubes (CNTs), graphene nanoplatelet (GNP), methyl cellulose (MC), Na2SiO3, calcium oxide (CaO), calcium aluminate cement (CAC), and Ca(OH)2 were incorporated into the matrix. The research utilized a comprehensive testing methodology, allowing for a detailed exploration of various properties and the performance of the geopolymer mixtures. The results indicated that nano SiO2 and Al2O3, Na2SiO3, BW, and CAC were recognized for their positive impact on improving the mechanical properties of the geopolymer. Notably, the geopolymer exhibited an impressive compressive strength of 29.8 MPa and a flexural strength of 5.4 MPa following a 28-day ambient curing (23 ± 2 °C and 50 ± 5% relative humidity). Furthermore, the inclusion of nano SiO2 and Al2O3, GNP, MC, Na2SiO3, CaO, CAC, and Ca(OH)2 proved effective in preventing efflorescence, while MC, Na2SiO3, CaO, CAC, and Ca(OH)2 successfully mitigated cracks formation. The results also demonstrated that the CDW-based geopolymer mixture is suitable for 3D printing, displaying satisfactory buildability, shape retention, and extrudability. A thorough testing approach highlighted the effectiveness of additives in shaping the properties of CDW-based geopolymer, positioning them as promising for improvement and addressing challenges.