The widespread use of natural aggregates is one of the main causes of the depletion of natural resources, as aggregates are constituents of several construction materials. Alternatively, it is, today, proven to be feasible to use mining tailings, either natural or recycled materials, to produce artificial aggregates through specific processes. A possible way to produce artificial aggregate is through the alkali activation of the powdered material in a process called geopolymerization. This study proposes to use a basalt powder and two different metakaolins as precursors for the production of an alkali-activated artificial aggregate, with a specific shape and size achieved by using 3D-printed molds. The experimental aggregates were evaluated using traditional tests for natural aggregates, such as resistance to compression, specific density and resistance to abrasion and fragmentation. Furthermore, the material was chemically analyzed in order to evaluate the geopolymerization process promoted by the two adopted metakaolins. The physical tests showed that artificial aggregates do not perform well in terms of resistance to wear and fragmentation, which can be improved. However, they revealed promising results in terms of skid, polishing and micro-texture.

A Preliminary Laboratory Evaluation of Artificial Aggregates from Alkali-Activated Basalt Powder

Manuel De Rose
Investigation
;
Rosolino Vaiana
Supervision
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The widespread use of natural aggregates is one of the main causes of the depletion of natural resources, as aggregates are constituents of several construction materials. Alternatively, it is, today, proven to be feasible to use mining tailings, either natural or recycled materials, to produce artificial aggregates through specific processes. A possible way to produce artificial aggregate is through the alkali activation of the powdered material in a process called geopolymerization. This study proposes to use a basalt powder and two different metakaolins as precursors for the production of an alkali-activated artificial aggregate, with a specific shape and size achieved by using 3D-printed molds. The experimental aggregates were evaluated using traditional tests for natural aggregates, such as resistance to compression, specific density and resistance to abrasion and fragmentation. Furthermore, the material was chemically analyzed in order to evaluate the geopolymerization process promoted by the two adopted metakaolins. The physical tests showed that artificial aggregates do not perform well in terms of resistance to wear and fragmentation, which can be improved. However, they revealed promising results in terms of skid, polishing and micro-texture.
artificial aggregates; geopolymers; basalt powder; alkali-activated materials; polished stone value (PSV); micro-deval
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/341694
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