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Effect of natural and calcined halloysite clay minerals as low-cost additives on the performance of 3D-printed alkali-activated materials

Chougan, Mehdi; Hamidreza Ghaffar, Seyed; Nematollahi, Behzad; Sikora, Pawel; Dorn, Tobias; Stephan, Dietmar; Albar, Abdulrahman; Al-Kheetan, Mazen J.

This study investigates the effects of natural and calcined halloysite clay minerals (“NH” and “CH”, respectively) on the performance of 3D printed alkali-activated materials (AAMs). Halloysite clay minerals are selected as they are low-cost and abundantly available. At first, different characterisation techniques were employed to characterise the NH and CH additives. Mechanical performance, extrusion window, and shape stability of several AAM formulations containing various dosages (0.5 wt% to 5 wt%) of the NH and CH additives were evaluated. The best-performing mixtures in terms of fresh and hardened properties namely, NH-1.5 and CH-1.5 mixtures (containing 1.5 wt% of NH and CH additives, respectively) were then selected for 3D printing. The results showed that the CH-1.5 mixture exhibited enhanced shape stability, buildability, and mechanical properties as compared to the control mixture. The flexural and compressive strengths of 3D printed CH-1.5 samples were 88% and 40%, respectively higher than those of the printed control samples. Using the CH-1.5 mixture, a twisted column with an intricate shape was printed to verify the suitability of the developed CH-modified AAM for the construction of complex structures. This study establishes the use of halloysite clay minerals as low-cost additives for enhancing the mechanical properties and printing performance of AAMs.
Published in: Materials and design, 10.1016/j.matdes.2022.111183, Elsevier