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Pioneering a new approach to sustainable concrete in Western Australia: Geopolymer concrete from fly-ash with recycled aggregates

Gildenhuys, Hendrik (2020) Pioneering a new approach to sustainable concrete in Western Australia: Geopolymer concrete from fly-ash with recycled aggregates. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This study investigates the suitability of a closed-loop approach to the management of useful waste derived materials such as recycled aggregates from construction waste and fly-ash to manufacture recycled aggregate geopolymer concrete.

This investigation was carried out in two parts. Part 1 considered the particle size distribution, water absorption and particle densities for both recycled coarse and fine aggregates. These materials were used to create recycled aggregate concrete specimens used for part 2 – compressive strength and slump test for both conventional Portland cement concrete and fly-ash based geopolymer concrete.

The results demonstrate that the higher water absorption values obtained for the recycled aggregates can be attributed to the decreases in particle size fraction and particle density. Overall, the use of recycled aggregates in geopolymer concrete had better workability than in conventional concrete. The use of manufactured results in a very dry mix for both the conventional and geopolymer concrete mixes. The use of recycled sand results in a mix that had better workability than a mix with natural sand for types of concrete. The technical, sustainability and economic implications of these findings are further discussed.

Overall, the manufacturing of recycled aggregate geopolymer concrete is a two-fold solution, addressing both the problem of natural resource depletion and the large carbon footprint linked to cement manufacturing. It was determined that integrating FGRAC into the Western Australian concrete market requires specific focus on low value, fit-for-purpose pre-cast applications. For higher value applications of concrete, pre-treatment of the source materials is suggested to improve their attributes.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Anda, Martin, Beyer, D. and Burke, F.
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