Effect of alkali content and slag content on the fresh and hardened properties of air-cured alkali activated mortar containing fly ash
Alkali Activated Material (AAM) is introduced as a pioneering construction material in the construction diligence to trim down the utilization of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and to curtail the amount of carbon dioxide released during the production of OPC. Modestly refined industrial by products or natural materials rich in alumino silicates are the binding agents used in AAM. Generally, heat curing is needed for the alkali activated mortar to achieve the required hardened properties and this difficulty can be overcome by adding slag to the mix. In this experimental analysis, the alkali activated mortar mixes with different proportions of glassy granulated slag and Class F fly ash were prepared without the usage of superplasticizers, with alkali to binder (a/b) ratios of 0.7, 0.8 and 0.9. The rheological characteristics of mortar were studied using flow table apparatus and hardened properties were studied using compressive strength test and ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) test by testing cylindrical specimens of size 25 mm diameter and 50 mm height. The mortar specimens were air-cured, and the compressive strength and UPV test were conducted after 3 and 7 days. The test results showed that due to the presence of higher alkali content and the decrease in slag content, the workability of alkali activated mortar was improved, but the measure of strength decreased. The mix with 100% slag and a/b ratio of 0.8 had the best UPV value, indicating its quality among the various mortar mixes studied. This study portrays the significance of optimising the alkali and slag content in tailor making an alkali activated mortar system with good hardened properties.
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