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Alumino-silicate structural formation during alkali-activation of metakaolin; In-situ and ex-situ ATR-FTIR studies

Onutai, S.  ; 大杉 武史  ; 曽根 智之 

Onutai, S.; Osugi, Takeshi; Sone, Tomoyuki

Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to demonstrate the reaction mechanisms of alkali-activated materials (AAMs) and the early stage of structure formation in the materials. The effects of different types of alkali activator solutions on the structure formation and reaction mechanisms of AAMs were studied. The results revealed that the main peaks of the ATR-FTIR spectra of the AAMs in the 1300-650 cm$$^{-1}$$ range shifted to a low wavenumber with changing patterns depending on the activator solution used, indicating that the dissolution and reorientation of metakaolin had occurred. Silica and alumina monomers were dissolved by the NaOH solution to produce crystalline zeolites. Although the reaction between metakaolin and Na$$_{2}$$SiO$$_{3}$$ solution is slow, the condensation between the Al-OH from metakaolin and the Si-OH from Na$$_{2}$$SiO$$_{3}$$ solution bonded the chain to be longer. Therefore, the Na$$_{2}$$SiO$$_{3}$$ solution acted as a template-bonded monomer, formed long chains of Si-O-Si and Si-O-Al, and produced an amorphous AAM structure. In the mixed solution, when the NaOH in it dissolved the Si and Al monomers, the Na$$_{2}$$SiO$$_{3}$$ in the solution also bonded with monomers and produced a complex structure. The different reaction that metakaolin had with different alkali activator solutions reflected the different phases, microstructures, and mechanical properties of the AAMs produced.

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