High Recycled Waste Content Alkali-Activated Binder as a Full Replacement for Portland Cement

Event Date/Time: 
December 1, 2017 - 12:30pm
Event Location: 
3540D Engineering
Brian Durkin
Master's Thesis Defense


The alkali aluminosilicate chemistry of hydraulic cements encompasses the process known as geopolymerization, where alumina and silica constituents are released from diverse aluminosilicate precursors in the presence of alkalis, and are then reorganized and hardened into a largely amorphous binder. This research developed alternative alkali aluminosilicate hydraulic cements incorporating large volumes of inorganic wastes via sustainable mechanochemical processing without resorting to elevated temperatures. Two formulations of raw materials were developed, using waste brick and copper mine tailings as aluminosilicate precursors. Comprehensive physico-chemical, mineralogical, mechanical and environmental characterization of these cements pointed at their promise as sustainable hydraulic cements for use in production of concrete. Integrated theoretical and experimental work was undertaken for mechanochemical processing of the hydraulic cement formulated with waste brick at pilot scale. A field construction work was implemented successfully with this cement, which demonstrated its compatibility with industrial-scale production of concrete and conventional field construction practices.