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A Systematic Study on Polymer-Modified Alkali-Activated Slag−Part II: From Hydration to Mechanical Properties

Lu, Zichen; Merkl, Jan-Philip; Pulkin, Maxim; Firdous, Rafia; Wache, Steffen; Stephan, Dietmar

FG Baustoffe und Bauchemie

The effect of styrene-acrylate (SA) polymer latex on alkali-activated slag (AAS) was systematically studied in the aspects of hydration, hydration products, pore structure and mechanical properties through the combined analytical techniques including calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, mercury intrusion porosimetry, and mechanical measurement. It was found that the addition of SA does not retard the AAS hydration, but slightly accelerates it, possibly due to the increasing ion diffusion through the loosely structured hydration products. Pore structure analysis indicates that the addition of polymer increases the cumulative pore volume and the portion of pores with size >100 nm in the hardened AAS paste. The addition of SA latex results in a continuous decrease of the compressive strength, but the flexural strength firstly increases and then decreases with the increase of polymer dosage. The polymer dosage of 2.5 wt % is optimal when applying polymer latex in the AAS system in this study.