Method of Optimisation for Ambient Temperature Cured Sustainable Geopolymers for 3D Printing Construction Applications.


Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, 3122 Melbourne, Australia. [Email]


Since the initial introduction of geopolymers, these materials have been characterised as environmentally-friendly sustainable substitutes for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). There is a routine increase in the application of geopolymers, especially in advanced technologies. Because of its better rheological characteristics compared to OPC, geopolymers are appropriate materials for extrusion-based 3D printing technologies. This paper focuses on the optimisation of an ambient temperature cured geopolymer for 3D printing construction applications. The effects of mixture parameters, including the type of hydroxide solution (HS), the type of silicate solution (SS) and the mass ratio of SS to HS on the workability, extrudability, shape retention ability and mechanical performance of different geopolymer mixtures were investigated. Accordingly, an optimum mixture was identified for geopolymers cured at ambient temperatures. Mechanical properties of the optimised mixture, including flexural and compressive strengths, were measured in different directions with respect to the printed layers. Further, uniaxial tension tests were also conducted on the optimised mixture to measure its interlayer bond strength. The results showed that among the activators investigated, the sodium-based activator composed of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions, with a SiO₂/Na₂O ratio of 3.22, was the most effective activator, providing appropriate workability and extrudability, along with reasonable strength and a high shape retention ability. The acquired mechanical properties exhibited anisotropic behaviour in different testing direction. The strength of the interlayer bond was found to be adequate to avoid interfacial shear failure.


3D-concrete-printing,ambient temperature curing,extrudability,geopolymer,mechanical properties,shape retention ability,

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