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Thermal and mechanical behaviours of geopolymer concrete at elevated temperatures

Project description

Solidifying knowledge of novel sustainable alternatives to conventional cement and concrete

Cement is an important binding and adhesive agent for concrete that is of fundamental importance to the construction industry. The global cement market value is expected to reach approximately USD 682 billion by 2025, and novel geopolymer binders, a sustainable alternative to industry-standard Portland cement, are poised to increase their market share. However, the detailed thermal and mechanical properties of geopolymer concrete at elevated temperatures are not well characterised. The EU-funded TemGPC project will investigate them using experimental methods and computational modelling. The team plans to enhance knowledge of temperature and stress effects on novel concretes for better control over properties and improved performance of components.

Objective

Concrete is a non-uniform, multi-phase porous material. With the increase in temperature, the chemical configuration of the material changes, and the mortar and coarse aggregate, owing to their different thermal expansions, will produce different thermal stresses, thereby reducing their bonding strength. The thermal and mechanical behaviours of geopolymer concrete that uses geopolymer to replace traditional Portland cement, are different from those of Portland cement concrete in many ways. In order to enable the widespread and safe use of geopolymer concrete in construction industry where fire safety is extremely important, this project will carry out a systematic study on the thermal and mechanical behaviours of geopolymer concrete at elevated temperatures. The study includes the effect of temperature on the thermal and mechanical properties of geopolymer concrete and the combined effect of the initial stress and temperature on the constitutive relation of geopolymer concrete at various different temperatures. The research methodology includes the use of advanced experimental testing techniques and multi-physics and multi-phases computer modelling, and the development of theoretical models based on the results obtained from both the experimental and numerical studies. The research will create new knowledge and improve our understanding on the temperature effect on concrete behaviour and performance. The work will help maintain EU excellence in concrete research. The outcome of the project can also lead to the development of new types of concrete with targeted performance. This project covers a wide range of disciplines including materials, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science. Through the project the individual fellowship will significantly improve his interdisciplinary knowledge and innovative research skills as well as his career development.