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Concrete In Australia : September 2013
30 Concrete in Australia Vol 39 No 3 Respondents clearly identified the lack of inclusion of geopolymer concrete in existing Australian standards (e.g. AS 3600) and state or local specifications and lack of industry guidelines or recommended practices, lack of standard specifications, and lack of education and training as significant barriers (Figure 3). In particular, 62.5% of respondents rated the absence of coverage in existing Australian standards as the primary obstacle. Lack of long-term performance data and lack of awareness were also significant. Proprietary formulations were regarded as problematic to widespread implementation. Risk/liability, supply chain or availability issues and costs were considered as barriers to a lesser, but still substantial, degree. Several (17.5-22.5%) respondents rated constructibility/ productivity issues and safety during production as barriers. 22.5% of respondents added "Other" barriers and these were related to material processing and properties, carbon footprint of alkali activators, material supply reliability, problems with cement companies and concrete suppliers, handling, unwillingness of designers to specify geopolymers, and conflicting, overrated and insufficient property data. e responses to the question regarding barriers demonstrate that there are important issues and concerns that need to be addressed if geopolymer concrete is to realise large-scale use. 5.0 POSSIBLE PATHWAYS FOR GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE 5.1 Prior studies Greater acceptance of geopolymer concrete requires that concerns and issues are addressed in a thorough and acceptable manner. In summarising the future of low CO2 cements, Gartner (1) stated the following: "Clearly, if any alternative cementing system is ultimately to have a real impact on global CO2 emissions related to the construction industry, it will have to have performance and durability characteristics at least as good as the current generation of Portland-based cements, and probably even better, because it is likely to be, at least initially, more expensive to the consumer. e establishment of the performance and durability of alternative cements and concretes to the level required for the introduction of the appropriate new standards and construction codes is likely to be a very expensive undertaking because a large number of tests (and committee meetings) will be required. It will evidently require the full participation and cooperation of industry, government, the scientific community and members of the general public. It is only by such a concerted effort that our society can hope to bring about the long-term changes necessary to make our built environment truly sustainable." e above statement is highly pertinent to geopolymer concrete and emphasises key elements of performance characteristics, appropriate standards and collaboration required to gain widespread acceptance. Specific to geopolymer concrete, van Deventer et al (4) identified strategic development of standards, particularly cement and concrete standards, as being pivotal to commercialisation. Working with relevant stakeholders was proposed as a means of achieving this. Other strategies recognised by van Deventer et al (4) included securing supply chain of materials, large scale demonstration and industry projects and development of specific durability tests. An example of using a commercial geopolymer concrete for VicRoads projects in Melbourne was given and this involved regulatory, asset management, liability and industry stakeholder engagement in addition to satisfaction of technical requirements. Figure 1. Responses to "What is your primary role? (Tick one only)". Figure 2. Responses to "What is your familiarity with geopolymer concrete? (Tick one only)". Figure 3. Responses to "What do you think are the barriers to widespread implementation of geopolymer concrete? (Tick all that apply)". Response (%) 051 0 4.8 7.1 4.8 11.9 21.4 16.7 9.5 238 15 20 25 Engineering Consultant Academic/Research Government Contractor Material Supplier Industry Association Sales/Marketing Other Response (%) 01 0 5.1 33.3 38.5 23.1 20 30 40 50 None at all A little knowledge Moderate knowledge Detailed knowledge Response (%) 010203040506070 Lack of awareness Lack of guidelines Lack of standard specifications Lack of education/training Lack of demand Not covered in standards (AS 3600) Not covered in state specifications Cost Proprietary formulations Lack of long-term performance data Constructability/productivity issues Risk/liability Supply chain/availability issues Safety during production Contractual issues Other 50.0 57.5 60.0 42.5 17.5 55.0 30.0 50.0 60.0 22.5 40.0 32.5 17.5 5.0 22.5 62.5