Abstract:Increasingly more research is being directed towards the valorisation of waste materials as precursors for synthesising alkali-activated binders (AABs). For this study, varying blends of tungsten mining waste (TMW) and waste glass (WG) are activated using a combined sodium hydroxide (SH) and sodium silicate (SS) alkali solution. The activating solution itself is also varied with respect to the quantities of SS and SH to determine their effect on reactant formation and mechanical strength of TMW based AABs. The results show that an increased WG content can effectively provide an additional source of reactive silica, contribute to the formation of (C, N)–A–S–H gel products and thus significantly improve the mechanical strength. High strength TMW–WG AABs were attributed to a faster TMW dissolution rate and dense microstructure. Such structures were characteristic of formulations with low alkali modulus (SiO2/ Na2O\2) combined with a SS/SH weight ratio of 2.8. For the latter, not only was a characteristic slower strength development with increasing alkali content observed, but there was also a limit of alkali metal concentration (Na2O * 3.1%) beyond which the strength deteriorated. Furthermore, SEM micrographs disclose that unreacted particles of WG reinforced the matrix by acting as a filler.
Read Full Article (In Materials and Structures, 2017, 50:194)