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Influence of metakaolin purities on potassium geopolymer formulation: The existence of several networks

Autef, A., Joussein, E., Poulesquen, A., Gasgnier, G., Pronier, S., Sobrados, I., Sanz, J., Rossignol, S.
Journal of colloid and interface science 2013 v.408 pp. 43-53
aluminum, infrared spectroscopy, models, potassium, prediction, raw materials, silicon, wettability
Geopolymer materials are obtained by the alkaline activation of aluminosilicate sources, the best of which is metakaolin. However, every raw material is different, and very few comparative studies have been done on different metakaolin sources. The aim of this work is to develop methods for the prediction of the working properties of geopolymer materials based on the reactivity of the metakaolin employed. Infrared spectroscopy showed direct relationships between the wettability, the Si/Al ratio and the kinetics of conversion of Si–O–Si bonds to Si–O–Al bonds. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the presence of impurities and the reactivity of the metakaolin can generate the formation of one or several networks. Finally, a descriptive model of the mechanism of geopolymer formation was proposed that takes into account the quality of metakaolin used.