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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3209

Title: Characterization of environmentally-friendly alkali activated slag cements and ancient building materials
Authors: Sakulich, Aaron Richard
Keywords: Materials science;Slag;Building materials--Environmental aspects
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2010
Abstract: Alternative cement technologies are an area of increasing interest due to growing environmental concerns and the relatively large carbon footprint of the cement industry. Many new cements have been developed, but one of the most promising is that made from granulated, ground blast furnace slag activated by a high-pH solution. Another is related to the discovery that some of the pyramid limestone blocks may have been cast using a combination of diatomaceous earth activated by lime which provides the high pH needed to dissolve the diatomaceous earth and bind the limestone aggregate together. The emphasis of this thesis is not on the latter – which was explored elsewhere – but on the results supplying further evidence that some of the pyramid blocks were indeed reconstituted limestone. The goal of this work is to chemically and mechanically characterize both alkali-activated slag cements as well as a number of historic materials, which may be ancient analogues to cement. Alkali activated slag cements were produced with a number of additives; concretes were made with the addition of a fine limestone aggregate. These materials were characterized mechanically and by XRD, FTIR, SEM, and TGA. Samples from several Egyptian pyramids, an ‘ancient floor’ in Colorado, and the ‘Bosnian Pyramids’ were investigated. In the cements, it has been unequivocally shown that C-S-H, the same binding phase that is produced in ordinary portland cement, has been produced, as well as a variety of mineral side products. Significant recarbonation occurs during the first 20 months, but only for the Na2CO3-activated formulae. Radiocarbon dating proves that the ‘Bosnian Pyramids’ and ‘ancient floors’ are not made from any type of recarbonated lime; however, Egyptian pyramid limestones were finite, thus suggesting that they are of a synthetic nature. XRD and FTIR results were inconclusive, while TGA results indicate the limestones are identical to naturally occurring limestones, and SEM/EDS analysis shows the presence of a Si-rich species.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3209
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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