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Concrete In Australia : December 2011
18 Concrete in Australia Vol 37 No 4 Collaboration sets benchmark for "green" concrete e Concrete Institute of Australia, with the assistance of the Geopolymer Alliance, has published the first edition of a recommended practice on geopolymer concrete. e publication deals with the manufacture and use of geopolymer concrete as an alternative to conventional Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) concrete. It discusses the practical application of geopolymer technology to concrete manufacture when using low carbon (Class F) flyash as the cement binder. Geopolymer cement is a new kind of cement which uses a different chemistry to that found in traditional OPC. A geopolymer is made by activating amorphous alumino-silicate materials, such as flyash and slag, with alkali-based chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. e publication states that the resultant concrete made from this cement is superior to OPC concrete in many ways and has the additional advantage that the substantial CO2 emissions generated during the production of ground cement clinker are reduced. Concrete Institute of Australia CEO Graeme Burns said that when the Institute conducted international research into recommended and best practice use of geopolymer concrete, there simply wasn t anything available. "After completing our research, we recognised there was a gap in documented standards for the use of geopolymer concrete. We commissioned a project to develop these standards and believe we have a world s first in this area," Burns said. In 2008, the Concrete Institute of Australia formed a focus group to write the recommended practice document. e group consisted of Australia s experts in geopolymer concrete research and development, cement and concrete industry representatives and was chaired by Dr Terry Gourley of the Geopolymer Alliance. e sub-committee also included Dr Peter Duxson, Zeobond; Professor Sujeeva Setunge, RMIT University; Dr Natalie Lloyd, Curtin University; Mark Dechsler, Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Dr Warren South, Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia. Drechsler said: " e geopolymer concrete has many properties such as early high strength, low shrinkage and low heat of hydration, all of which have many potential benefits for the precast concrete products industry. "With the recently approved carbon tax in Australia, the additional benefits of up to 80% reduction in carbon emissions from using these geopolymer concrete products will provide even more incentive for the construction industry to switch to green concrete alternatives." e recommended practice document was produced to help end users, designers and decision makers consider the benefits of using geopolymer concrete compared to traditional concrete. Geopolymer concrete is now available in Australia, with the expectation that its availability and use will increase in the coming years, the publication states. e recommended practice includes mix design criteria, batching and delivery process recommendations and information on engineering aspects such as the short- and long-term properties displayed. It also includes case studies and detailed information on the sustainability aspects of the product. e publication is available both in soft copy and hard copy from SAI Global. Concrete Institute of Australia members can also download a PDF via the Institute s Resource Centre -- CIA Library: http://www.concreteinstitute. com.au/Resource-Center/CIA- Library/Recommended-Practice/Z16- Geopolymer-Recommended-Practice. aspx. RECOMMENDED PRACTICE excellence in concrete Geopolymer Concrete PROJECTS