Fresh and Hardened Properties of 3D Printable Geopolymer Cured in Ambient Temperature

  • Shin Hau BongEmail author
  • Behzad Nematollahi
  • Ali Nazari
  • Ming Xia
  • Jay G. Sanjayan
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 19)


This paper reports the fresh and hardened properties of an ambient temperature cured 3D printable geopolymer suitable for extrusion-based 3D concrete printing process. Effects of several key geopolymer synthesis parameters including type of alkaline activator (sodium (Na)-based versus potassium (K)-based), mass ratio of silicate to hydroxide solutions, viscosity and SiO2/M2O ratio (where M = Na or K) of silicate solution on extrudability, open time, shape retention ability and compressive strength of the 3D printable geopolymers were investigated. The results revealed that the type of alkaline activator solution and SiO2/Na2O ratio of the silicate solution had a significant influence on the open time and shape retention ability of the mixtures. The parameters investigated in this study did not have significant effect on the extrudability of the mixtures. The Na-based activators resulted in higher compressive strength of 3D printed geopolymer than the K-based activators. The 3D printable geopolymer mixture made by 8.0 M NaOH solution (25% w/w) and Na2SiO3 solution (75% w/w) with a SiO2/Na2O ratio = 2.0 exhibited the highest compressive strength of 16.6 MPa when cured for only 3 days in the ambient temperature.


Geopolymer 3D concrete printing Extrusion Alkaline activator Compressive strength Ambient temperature curing 


  1. 1.
    Gao, W., Zhang, Y., Ramanujan, D., Ramani, K., Chen, Y., Williams, C.B., Wang, C.C., Shin, Y.C., Zhang, S., Zavattieri, P.D.: The status, challenges, and future of additive manufacturing in engineering. Comput. Aided Des. 69, 65–89 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nematollahi, B., Xia, M., Sanjayan, J.: Current progress of 3D concrete printing technologies. In: 34th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2017), Taiwan, pp. 260–267 (2017)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nematollahi, B., Sanjayan, J., Shaikh, F.U.A.: Synthesis of heat and ambient cured one-part geopolymer mixes with different grades of sodium silicate. Ceram. Int. 41, 5696–5704 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xia, M., Nematollahi, B., Sanjayan, J.: Printability, accuracy and strength of fly ash/slag geopolymer made using powder-based 3D printing for construction applications. Autom. Constr.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Xia, M., Nematollahi, B., Sanjayan, J.: Influence of binder saturation level on compressive strength and dimensional accuracy of powder-based 3D printed geopolymer. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Advanced Manufacturing and Materials (ICAMM 2018), Tokyo (2018)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Panda, B., Paul, S.C., Hui, L.J., Tay, Y.W.D., Tan, M.J.: Additive manufacturing of geopolymer for sustainable built environment. J. Clean. Prod. 167, 281–288 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nematollahi, B., Xia, M., Sanjayan, J.: Effect of type of fiber on inter-layer bond and flexural strengths of extrusion-based 3D printed geopolymer. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Advanced Manufacturing and Materials (ICAMM), Tokyo (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paul, S.C., Tay, Y.W.D., Panda, B., Tan, M.J.: Fresh and hardened properties of 3D printable cementitious materials for building and construction. Arch. Civ. Mech. Eng. 18, 311–319 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Le, T.T., Austin, S.A., Lim, S., Buswell, R.A., Gibb, A.G., Thorpe, T.: Mix design and fresh properties for high-performance printing concrete. Mater. Struct. 45, 1221–1232 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Xu, H., Van Deventer, J., Lukey, G.: Effect of alkali metals on the preferential geopolymerization of stilbite/kaolinite mixtures. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 1(40), 3749–3756 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Panias, D., Giannopoulou, I.P., Perraki, T.: Effect of synthesis parameters on the mechanical properties of fly ash-based geopolymers. Colloids Surf. A Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 301, 246–254 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nadoushan, M.J., Ramezanianpour, A.A.: The effect of type and concentration of activators on flowability and compressive strength of natural pozzolan and slag-based geopolymers. Constr. Build. Mater. 111, 337–347 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Palomo, A., Grutzeck, M., Blanco, M.: Alkali-activated fly ashes: a cement for the future. Cem. Concr. Res. 29, 1323–1329 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Komljenović, M., Baščarević, Z., Bradić, V.: Mechanical and microstructural properties of alkali-activated fly ash geopolymers. J. Hazard. Mater. 181, 35–42 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Law, D.W., Adam, A.A., Molyneaux, T.K., Patnaikuni, I., Wardhono, A.: Long term durability properties of class F fly ash geopolymer concrete. Mater. Struct. 48, 721–731 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shin Hau Bong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Behzad Nematollahi
    • 1
  • Ali Nazari
    • 1
  • Ming Xia
    • 1
  • Jay G. Sanjayan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure, Faculty of Science, Engineering and TechnologySwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

Personalised recommendations