Mechanical and Thermal Evaluation of Diatomite Doped Fly Ash Based Geopolymers




diatomite, fly ash, geopolymer, thermal conductivity, mechanical properties


In this work, the properties of alkali silicate geopolymer type materials and diatomite as additive to fly coal ash was investigated using thermic coal plant’s fly ash in alkaline solution. The reacted products of alumino-silicate geopolymers using fly ash plus diatomite were pseudo-amorphous aluminosilicate gel and calcite and their mechanical and thermal properties were evaluated by the addition of diatomite. The compressive strength of this geopolymer is similar to that of the Portland cement mortar of PC20 (± 20 %) when cured for 28 days while the density and thermal properties are much lower that indicates the insulator properties. Alkaline solution was produced by NaOH in different concentrations to determine the least alkaline solution molarity in the range of 1 M, 3 M and 5 M. The characterization of geopolymers were done by using XRD for phase analysis, SEM for surface and morphological evaluation, compression tests for mechanical properties and transient plane source thermal analysis for thermal insulation properties. The results showed that, 1 M of NaOH alkaline solution and 10wt% diatomite addition can provide enough strength of 18 MPa which is a good candidate for constructional materials. The thermal conductivity coefficient of 10 wt.% diatomite added geopolymer was evaluated as 0.0018 W/m×K which can also be a good candidate for insulator materials to be used in green lateral wall production.