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Geopolymers

Inorganic polymeric new materials

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Author: J. Davidovits

Spectacular technological progress has been made in the last few years through the development of new materials such as ‘geopolymers’, and new techniques, such as ’sol-gel’. New state-of-the-art materials designed with the help of geopolymerization reactions are opening up new applications and procedures and transforming ideas that have been taken for granted in inorganic chemistry. High temperature techniques are no longer necessary to obtain materials which are ceramic-like in their structures and properties. These materials can polycondense just like organic polymers, at temperatures lower than 100‡. Geopolymerization involves the chemical reaction of alumino-silicate oxides (Al3+ in IV-fold coordination) with alkali polysilicates yielding polymeric Si-O-Al bonds; the amorphous to semi-crystalline three dimensional silico-aluminate structures are of the Poly(sialate) type (-SiO-Al-O-), the Poly(sialate-siloxo) type (-Si-O-Al-O-Si-O-), the Poly(sialate-disiloxo) type (-Si-O-Al-O-Si-O-Si-O-).

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