Two iron-rich clayey materials (L1 and L2, with the main difference being the level of iron accumulation) have been studied for their suitability as solid precursors for inorganic polymer composites. L1, with the lower iron content, was calcined at 700°C for 4 h and used as replacement, in the range of 15-35 wt%, for both raw laterites in the formulations of geopolymeric composites. The different mixtures were activated with a highly concentrated alkaline solution containing sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. River sand with semi-crystalline structure was added to form semi-dry pastes which were pressed to appropriate shape. X-ray diffraction, Infrared spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry results demonstrated the effectiveness of the calcined fraction of L1 to act as nucleation sites and extend the geopolymerization to the matrix composites. A highly compact matrix with low porosity and good stability in water, together with a strength comparable to that of standard concretes was obtained allowing for conclusions to be made on the quality of laterites as promising solid precursor for sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and cost-efficient structural materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law