Lightweight alkali activated composite foams based on secondary raw materials
The main objective of this project is to develop new lightweight alkali activated foams based on secondary raw materials (e.g. fly ash and slags). To obtain highly porous structures, properly selected foaming agents and foam stabilizing agents need to be included in the basic compositions. Currently, the main disadvantage of such lightweight materials is their high fragility. The addition of fibers will be used to overcome this drawback and help to produce materials with a more elastic nature. By incorporating organic fibers from a bio-based renewable source, and simultaneously using inorganic secondary resources as raw materials for alkali activated foams, high performance in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact will be reached. The developed materials will have applications in a wide range of thermal and acoustic insulating products.
To achieve the goals it is necessary:
– to identify local waste flows to be used in alkali activated production – both alkaline wastes to be used as activators, and inorganic industrial wastes to be used as solid precursors, and to ensure constant quality in waste flows, which will be further utilize,
– to select proper combinations of solid waste precursors and alkaline activators by DOE (Design Of Experiment) approach to obtain optimal characteristics in regard to processing (curing regime, rheology, setting time) and final properties (mechanical properties),
– to find optimal foaming agents and foam stabilizing agents in order to obtain highly porous structure,
– to select, modify and implement fibers (preferably from bio-based sources) to reduce the fragility of porous alkali activated foams,
– to perform pilot scale production to confirm the feasibility of the proposed technology,
– to develop methodology for the prediction of in-service behavior through appropriate application of accelerated testing methods (durability testing), and
– to qualify and quantify the environmental footprint of the new technology and products by life cycle assessment.
By utilization of waste materials or industrial residues which otherwise are landfilled, and by incorporating organic fibers from a bio-based renewable source, a high performance in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact will be reached.
The project is carried out by institutions already highly experienced in the field of alkali activation technology (Slovenian national Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Fiber and Particle Engineering Unit at University of Oulu, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia). Complementary knowledge possessed by the project partners’ guarantee the successful execution of the project. In addition to research partners, several industrial companies will participate in the project as potential exploitation partners.
This project has received funding within ERA MIN2 framework programme from the Ministry of education, science and sport (acronym: MIZS) under grant agreement No. C 3330-18-25210.