What is Geopolymer Concrete? - Civil Engineer Blog

What is Geopolymer Concrete?

Geopolymer concrete is a type of concrete that is made by reacting aluminate and silicate bearing materials with a caustic activator. Commonly, waste materials such as fly ash or slag from iron and metal production are used, which helps lead to a cleaner environment. This is because the waste material is actually encapsulated within the concrete and it also does not have to be disposed of as it is being used. Geopolymer concrete is does not require heat to make it and it does not produce carbon dioxide. Standard Portland cement based concrete requires both heat and carbon dioxide.

Advantages of Geopolymer Concrete

Geopolymer concrete has significant advantages over standard concretes. It is much more long lasting than standard concrete and requires little repair, thus saving huge amounts of money that would otherwise have to be spent on repairing and maintaining concrete based infrastructure. You might be interested to learn that geopolymer concrete is the modern equivalent of the ancient concretes such as those used by the Romans that have survived for thousands of years. Geopolymer concretes will safely last for hundreds of years while standard concretes will last for tens of years.
Geopolymer concrete is more resistant to corrosion and fire, has high compressive and tensile strengths, and it gains its full strength quickly (cures fully faster). It also shrinks less than standard concrete.

Geopolymer Concrete – the Environmentally Friendly Alternative

What you may not realise is that Portland cement based concretes (your standard concretes) account for five to eight percent of the world’s manmade greenhouse gas emissions, which is quite a significant amount. Using geopolymer concrete in place of standard concretes means that eighty percent less greenhouse gases are produced, which is a huge difference. In fact, manufacturing geopolymer concrete uses five times less CO2 (carbon dioxide) than the manufacturing of Portland cement based concrete does. Using an environmentally friendly concrete like geopolymer concrete is important when you consider how widely concrete is used as a building material.