Geopolymers, uses, advantages and disadvantages


Geopolymers are organic and ceramic materials that forms long range covalent bonds in non-cyclic networks. They are an innovative material that is a viable alternative to the traditional Portland cement. Geopolymers have much potential for use as construction materials due to their wonderful properties.

One of the benefits of geopolymers is that they can easily be cured at ambient temperatures and produce less carbon dioxide compared to the Portland cement. The field applications for the geopolymers continue to rise every day. The buildings in Australia have largely used the geopolymers concrete at their airports and to precast floor panels.

The application of the geopolymers concrete at such important projects verifies their durability and excellent mechanical properties. For several years, several attempts have been made to improve the mechanical properties. The geopolymers are rich in silica and this helps to improve their performance capabilities.


The inductively coupled plasma (ICP) provides the details of the elements contained within a sample and is used to determine trace elements of metals and other elements of interest in a sample of test material. The inductively coupled plasma optical emission (ICP-OES) is suitable for trance analysis of metal elements and a limited number of non-metallic elements.

The benefit of OES instruments is that they can measure up to 60 elements per single sample within a period less than one minute. Since the ICP source fragments elements in different ways to other MS techniques, it makes the ICP-MS suitable for the isotope ratio studies.


Commercial uses of Geopolymers

Fire resistant coatings and adhesives

Medicinal applications

High temperature ceramics

New binders for fire resistant fiber composites

Toxic and radioactive waste encapsulation

Cementing components of concrete


Advantages of Geopolymers

Cutting the world carbon

It is fireproof

It is resistant to heat or cold

It is cost effective

It has better compressive strength

It is ecologically friendly

It has wonderful blending properties with acidic and salt environments


Disadvantages of Geopolymers

It is difficult to create since it requires special handling

It can only be sold as a pre-cast or a pre-mix material due to dangers associated with it

Geopolymerization is a very sensitive process and it lacks uniformity

For more academic content on geopolymers, see here




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