Physical, mechanical, cracking, and damage properties of mine tailings-based geopolymer: Experimental and numerical investigations

Nan Zhang, Ahmadreza Hedayat, Linda Figueroa, K. Xerxes Steirer, Lianxiang Li, Héctor Gelber Bolaños Sosa

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Reusing mine tailings by producing mine tailings-based geopolymer can be used as an alternative of construction and building materials, such as retaining structures, building construction, and pavement. However, due to the disturbances that derive from external loads, geopolymerized materials can experience brittle failure and fracturing similar to other cementitious materials. Moreover, the damage, fracture, and failure behaviors of geopolymer are critically important for its further reuse and application. However, the damage and failure mechanisms of mine tailings-based geopolymer remained largely unexplored with only a few experimental and numerical studies to date. This study performed a series of uniaxial compress tests (UCTs) on geopolymer specimens to investigate the failure and damage mechanisms as a function of NaOH molarity. Discrete element method (DEM) simulations were also conducted to examine the corresponding microscale behaviors. The damage pattern, fracture evolution, and failure modes as a result of the internal and external influential factors studied and the stress-strain relationships for the geopolymer were compared and interpreted. The uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) of the geopolymer increased first with an increase in the NaOH molarity up to 10 M and then decreased at 12 M. XRD analysis illustrated that the dominant refraction patter of the quartz is closely related to the alkaline molarity. The DEM simulations were verified by the experiments and illustrated the cracks propagation and damage behaviors of the geopolymer. Results show that crackings evolved in three different stages regardless of the alkaline molarities, and damage variables is negatively correlated with the alkaline molarities. The energy absorption of the geopolymer has the polynomial function with the normalized axial strain and increases with the increase of NaOH molarity.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo107075
PublicaciónJournal of Building Engineering
EstadoPublicada - 15 set. 2023

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