The effects of temperature on the local structure of metakaolin-based geopolymer binder: A neutron pair distribution function investigation

Claire Emily White, John L. Provis, Thomas Proffen, Jannie S.J. Van Deventerz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neutron pair distribution function (PDF) analysis is utilized to advance the understanding of the local atomic structural characteristics of geopolymer binders derived from metakaolin, specifically the nature and amount of the water associated with these materials. Samples were heated in air to temperatures up to 1200°C, then analyzed ex situ by high momentum transfer neutron total scattering and PDF analysis. Water contained in large pores, along with water associated with hydration of potassium cations in the geopolymer framework structure, comprise the majority of water in this material. The remaining water is situated in small pores and as terminal hydroxyl groups attached to the Si-Al framework. The Si-Al framework structure undergoes only subtle rearrangement upon heating, but maintains a tetrahedral aluminosilicate framework environment. After crystallization with heating beyond 1000°C, the geopolymer gel is predominantly converted to leucite, with small amounts of amorphous mullite and glassy silica, which have never before been observed in heated geopolymers. This demonstrates the value of neutron PDF analysis to probe the local structure of these important geopolymeric materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3486-3492
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume93
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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