The impact of zeolite on mineralogy changes and compressive strength development of cement-treated sand mixtures through microstructure analysis

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

2 - Department of Civil Engineering, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran. - Faculty of Civil Engineering, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology


The main objective of this research was to study the impact of zeolite on mineralogical changes led to the development of compressive strength of cemented-sand mixtures. The mixtures consisted of Portland cement type II, natural zeolite (Clinoptilolite) and Babolsar sand. The cement content was chosen to be 8% based on the dry weight of the sand. The experimental program consists of a cement substitute with 0, 35, 60 and 90 percent zeolite along with the amount of the optimal water content obtained from the standard compaction test. The samples were made by an under-compaction process and cured at room temperature for various periods of time (7, 28, 90 days). The microstructural properties were analyzed using X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) tests and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) tests equipped with an Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis system (EDX). In addition, an unconfined compression test was carried out for various zeolite percentages in the same curing time. Strong adhesion in the Interface Transition Zone (ITZ) resulted in densely compacted mineralogy in the presence of 35% zeolite, which promoted the Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS). The connection between microstructure and macrostructure was clearly shown suitable relations between compressive strength and the intensity of the C-S-H phase.


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