Hydration, Pore Development and Chemical Resistance of Metakaolin - Fly Ash - Portland Cement (MK-PFA-PC) Blends

  • David Snelson

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of the project is to utilise fly ash (PFA), a waste material / industrial byproduct, with metakaolin (MK), as a partial replacement for Portland cement (PC) in mortar and paste. The influence of various compositions of MK-PFA-PC blends on the resistance to the action of sulphate and synthetic seawater solutions, setting time and heat of hydration will be examined. MK is calcinated clay and is a relatively new pozzolanic material. Although it is a very effective pozzolan it is also very expensive. Using FA, which is a much less expensive material, as a PC replacement material, is problematic, as there is slow and low early strength development whereas MK enhances early strength development. Combining these materials in ternary blends should therefore produce a high performance material at an acceptable cost for use as a pozzolan. However the properties and performance of such a material still need to be fully established.

    The results of the research show, for the initial and final setting time of binary MK-PC pastes there is a substantial increase at 5% MK and then decreases at 10 and 15% MK before increasing again at 20% MK replacement level. However, with PFA there are different trends to those observed when using MK alone. The initial and final setting time of binary PFA-PC pastes shows a slight increase at 10% PFA and then systematically increases with increase in PFA content up to 40% PFA. Evaluation of sample preparation for porosimetry found that, overall, the compression tested samples
    show a lower proportion of 'fine pores' (volume (%) 0.05) jam than the cored and cut paste disks. It is deducted that this is due to the widespread microcracking during failure of the cubes under compressive loading thus modifying the pore structure present in the compressive tested samples. In strength development of mortar there is very little advantage in using MK over binary PFA-PC mortar blends when exposed to sulphate solution for up to 2 years. The strength behaviour in seawater is however quite different from that observed in mortar exposed to sulphate solution. As the MK replacement levels increase relative to the PFA levels the resistance to seawater attack improves significantly. In mortar exposed to sulphate solution the durability is greatly improved at high replacement levels in both binary and ternary blends. The durability of mortar exposed to seawater is greatly improved at 30 and 40% total replacement in
    ternary blended mortars.
    Date of AwardMay 2005
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJiping Bai (Supervisor)


    • fly ash
    • PFA
    • metakaolin
    • MK
    • Portland Cement
    • PC
    • Mortar and paste
    • Hydration

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