INVESTIGATION OF THE EFFECT OF DIATOMITE SUBSTITUTION ON MECHANICAL PROPERTIES AND ELEVATED TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE OF GEOPOLYMER MORTARS
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Keywords:Diatomite, Fly Ash, Geopolymer, Abrasion Resistance, Elevated Temperature Resistance
In recent years, due to both environmental concerns and international agreements (European Green Deal), it is aimed to reduce CO2 emissions from cement production and to develop alternative products with less ecological footprints. For this reason, geopolymer binders are among the products that can be an alternative to cement. Fly ash used in geopolymer binder systems comes out as a waste product from thermal power plants and creates environmental concerns. For this reason, it is of great importance that fly ash is used in geopolymer systems, which can be an alternative to cement-based systems and become an environmentally sustainable material. Improving the mechanical properties of fly ash-based geopolymers by various methods has recently become important. This study investigated the effect of diatomite substitution on the physical and mechanical properties of geopolymer samples produced with F-class fly ash. In the mixtures, diatomite was substituted at 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5% by weight of fly ash and used as a binder. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) was chosen as the activator, and it was used to contain 10% Na+ by weight according to the binder material. The thermal cure was applied to the produced geopolymer samples at 60°C for 24, 48, and 72 hours. Unit weight, flexural and compressive strength, abrasion resistance, and resistance to high temperatures were tested on geopolymer samples. In addition, FESEM images were taken of the geopolymer paste samples to examine the microstructure of the samples. According to the results obtained, 1%, 2%, and 3% diatomite substitution in geopolymer mortars increased flexural and compressive strengths. The highest compressive strength value (42.4 MPa) was obtained in mortars containing 3% diatomite. As a result of FESEM images, it was seen that the geopolymer with 3% diatomite substitution had a more dense and compact microstructure compared to the control sample. It was concluded that while 3% diatomite substitution increased wear resistance, it did not increase resistance to elevated temperatures.
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