Experimental evidence of a new acid degradation mechanism in alkali-activated cements (AACs) micro-doped with copper (Cu) and cobalt (Co) is presented in this work. Cu and Co incorporation into binary metakaolin and basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag-based AACs reduced bulk permeable porosity and acid penetration and retarded the formation of calcium sulfate phases upon exposure to acid. Analysis of microstructural evolution and elemental mobility using X-ray diffraction and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) showed that Cu and Co doping was associated with major differences in AAC leaching patterns when exposed to sulfuric acid. Converging lines of evidence suggest that acid resistance is improved by the preferential mobilization of Cu and Co, along with other multivalent cations (i.e., magnesium), at the acid degradation front(s), stabilizing the AAC binder and inhibiting further deterioration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Building and Construction
- Materials Science(all)