Acoustic emission and microstructural changes in fly ash geopolymer concretes exposed to simulated fire
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Â© 2016, RILEM.Two fly ash-based geopolymer concretes with quartz aggregates or with expanded clay (lightweight) aggregates were exposed to the ISO 834-1 standard fire curve in a small-scale fire test set-up. Acoustic emission measurements during fire exposure and subsequent cooling were employed to study spalling events and cracking during the tests. Optical microscopy and additional acoustic measurements were conducted after the testing to better understand the crack propagation in the samples. The testing revealed that neither of the concretes were susceptible to spalling, which is particularly notable for the concrete with quartz aggregates, as it is a high-strength concrete. This behavior is attributed to the relatively high permeability of the concretes and their low amount of chemically bound water. Significant crack formation was detected only around the temperature of the a–ß quartz transition (573Â Â°C) and on cooling. Because of aggregate deformations at the quartz transition temperature, deterioration after heating was more significant in the geopolymer concrete with quartz aggregates. Crack formation also occurred in the concrete with expanded clay aggregates, caused by shrinkage of the geopolymer paste on cooling. Acoustic emission measurements proved to be a valuable tool to investigate processes during high temperature exposure.
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