Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Influence of reactive SiO2 and Al2O3 on mechanical and durability properties of geopolymers


The various environmental ill effects from manufacturing of cement have provoked research into the advancement of concrete using a 100% replacement material by activated alkali solutions. Geopolymer concrete is an eco-friendly binder, which has attained significant attention among the researchers worldwide in past few decades. Large quantity of industrial waste ash is generated by thermal power plant, mining industry, timber industry, rice milling industry, steel and iron industry, etc. which have posed the industries a great threat when it comes to the disposal of these waste ash due to the various ill effects on health, environment, scarcity of lands, and other challenging issues. The best way in overcoming these waste management problems can be reduced by implementing geopolymer technology. The fundamental parameter in deciding the potential adoption of eco-friendly concrete in the construction sector is the durability of the construction material. This present study evaluates the influence of reactive silica/alumina present in the normal fly ash, ultra-fine fly ash, and ultra-fine slag, and blends of ultra-fine fly ash and ultra-fine slag on the strength development and durability properties. Test results indicate that the geopolymer concrete (GPC) exhibited high compressive strength and better durability characteristics when ultra-fine fly ash and slag are blended in optimum ratios to obtain a certain reactive silica/alumina ratio.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11


  1. Alonso, S., & Palomo, A. (2001). Alkaline Activation of metakaolin and calcium hydroxide mixture: Influence of temperature, activator concentration and solids ratio. Material Letters, 47, 55–62.

  2. Anuradha, R., Sreevidya, V., Venkatasubramani, R., & Rangan, B. V. (2012). Modified guidelines for geopolymer concrete mix design using indian standard. Asian Journal of Civil Engineering, 13(3), 13353–13364.

  3. Benhelal, E., Zahedi, G., Shamsaei, E., & Bahadori, A. (2013). Global strategies and potentials to curb CO2 emissions in cement industry. Journal of Cleaner Products, 51, 142–161.

  4. Bernal, S., Gutierrez, R. M., & Provis, J. L. (2012). Engineering and durability properties of concrete based on alkali-activated granulated blast furnace slag/metakaolin blends. Construction and Building Materials, 33, 99–108.

  5. Bhikshma, V., Koti Reddy, M., & Srinivas Rao, T. (2012). An experimental investigation on properties of geopolymer concrete (no cement concrete). Asian Journal of Civil Engineering, 13, 841–853.

  6. Deb, P., Nath, P., & Sarker, P. K. (2014). The effects of ground granulated blast-furnace slag blending with fly ash and activator content on the workability and strength properties of geopolymer concrete cured at ambient temperature. Material Design, 62, 32–39.

  7. Duxson, P., Fernandez, J. A., Provis, J. L., Lukey, G. C., Palomo, A., & Deventer, J. S. J. (2007a). Geopolymer technology: The current state of the art. Journal of Material Science, 42(9), 2917–2933.

  8. Duxson, P., Fernandez-Jiménez, A., Provis, J. L., Lukey G. C., Palomo, A., & Van Deventer, J. S. J. (2007b). Geopolymer technology: The current state of the art. Journal of Mater Science, 42(9), 2917–2933.

  9. Fernandez-Jimenez, A., & Palomo, J. (2005). Composition and microstructure of alkali activated fly ash binder; effect of the activator. Cement and Concrete Research, 35, 1984–1992.

  10. Fernandez-Jimenez, A., Palomo, J., & Puertas, F. (1999). Alkali activated slag mortars, mechanical strength behavior. Cement and Concrete Research, 29, 1313.

  11. Goni, S., Frias, M., Vegas, I., Garcia, R., & De La Villa, R. V. (2012). Effect of ternary cements containing thermally activated paper sludge and fly ash on the texture of C–S–H gel. Construction and Building Materials, 30, 381–388.

  12. Habert, G. J. B., de Lacaillerie, D. E., et al. (2011). an environmental evaluation of geopolymer based concrete production: Reviewing current research trends. Journal of Cleaner Products, 19(11), 1229–1238.

  13. Higgins, D. D. (2003). Increased Sulfate resistance of GGBS concrete in the presence of Carbonate. Cement, Concrete Composites.

  14. Jawahar, G., & Mounika, G. (2016). Strength properties of fly ash and GGBS based Geo polymer concrete. Asian Journal of Civil Engineering, 17, 127–135.

  15. Khale, D., & Chaudhary, R. (2007). Mechanism of geopolymerization and factors in fluencing its development: A review. Journal of Material Science, 42, 729–746.

  16. Law, D. W., et al. (2012). Durability assessment of alkali activated slag (AAS) concrete. Materials and Structures, 45, 1425–1437.

  17. Li, C., Gong, X., et al. (2011). CO2 emissions due to cement manufacture. Material Science Forum, 685(1), 181–187.

  18. Provis, J. L., Palomo, A., & Shi, C. (2015). Advances in understanding alkali-activated materials. Cement and Concrete Research, 78A, 110–125.

  19. Puertas, F., & Fernandez-Jimenez, A. (2003). Mineralogical and microstructural characterization of alkali-activated fly ash/slag pastes. Cement & Concrete Composites, 25, 287–292.

  20. Puertas, F., Martinez-Ramirez, S., Alonso, S., & Vasquez, T. (2000). Alkali-activated fly ash/slag cement, strength behavior and hydration products. Cement and Concrete Research, 30, 1625–1632.

  21. Swanepoel, J. C., & Strydom, C. A. (2002). Utilization of fly ash in a geopolymeric material. Applied Geochem, 17, 1143–1148.

  22. Teh, S., Wiedmann, H., Castel, A., & de Burgh, J. (2017). Hybrid life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from cement, concrete and geopolymer concrete in Australia. Journal of Cleaner Production, 152, 312–320.

  23. Turner, Louise K., & Collins, Frank G. (2013a). Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions: A comparison between geopolymer and OPC cement concrete. Construction and Building Materials, 43, 125–130.

  24. Turner, L. K., & Collins, F. G. (2013b). Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions: A comparison between geopolymer and OPC cement concrete. Construction and Building Materials, 43(1), 125–130.

  25. Vijai, K., Kumutha, R., & Vishnuram, B. G. (2012). Effect of inclusion of steel fibres on the properties of geopolymer concrete composites. Asian Journal of Civil engineering, 133, 77–85.

  26. Wang, S. D., & Scrivener, K. (1995). Hydration products of alkali activated slag cement. Cement and Concrete Research, 25, 561–571.

  27. Xu, H., & Deventer, J. S. J. V. (2000). The geopolymerization of alumina-silicate minerals. International Journal of Miner Process, 59, 247–266.

  28. Zhang, Zuhua, Wang, Hao, Provis, John L., Bullen, Frank, Reid, Andrew, & Zhu, Yingcan. (2012). Quantitative kinetic and structural analysis of geopolymers. Part 1. The activation of metakaolin with sodium hydroxide. Thermochimica Acta, 539, 23–33.

Download references


The authors gratefully acknowledge BMS college of Engineering, Bull Temple Road, Bengaluru and Bureau Veritas India private limited to permit conducting this work taken up at its laboratory located at Bangalore, India. The authors also acknowledge all the staffs supported in this research work and Eco-4 Trans Company for supplying reactive ultrafine fly ash used in this experimental study.

Author information

Correspondence to H. T. Dinesh.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dinesh, H.T., Shivakumar, M., Dharmaprakash, M.S. et al. Influence of reactive SiO2 and Al2O3 on mechanical and durability properties of geopolymers. Asian J Civ Eng 20, 1203–1215 (2019).

Download citation


  • Fly ash
  • Reactive ultrafine fly ash
  • Ultrafine slag
  • Alkali activation
  • Workability
  • Strength development
  • Durability properties