Microstructure, strength, and moisture stability of alkali activated glass powder-based binders

Rachel Redden, Narayanan Neithalath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Thermally assisted alkali activation of silica-rich glass powder to produce sustainable binders is investigated. Glass powder activated using NaOH provides higher compressive strengths than NaOH activated fly ash binders at lower heat curing temperatures. Sodium silicate gel is the reaction product when glass powder alone is used as the source material, while a combination of sodium silicate and sodium aluminosilicate (N-A-S-H) gels form in activated glass powder-fly ash blends. The activated glass powder-containing binders are found to disintegrate and lose strength when exposed to moisture or an alkaline solution, with the pure glass powder binders suffering the highest strength loss. Structural changes to the reaction product on exposure to moisture are explained using microstructural and FTIR spectroscopic observations. Doping the systems with Al containing (metakaolin) and Ca containing (slag) source materials, while retaining glass powder as the major component (50% or more), result in the formation of moisture-stable reaction products thereby mitigating the strength loss to a large extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - 2014


  • Alkali activation
  • Binder
  • FTIR spectroscopy
  • Fly ash
  • Glass powder
  • Microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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