• Siti Noorbaini Sarmin Department of Wood Technology, Faculty of Applied Science, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, 26400 Jengka, Pahang, Malaysia
  • Johannes Welling Thünen Institute of Wood Research, Leuschnerstraße 91c, 21031 Hamburg, Germany



Fly ash, metakaolin, lightweight concrete, alkaline activator, wood particles


This research paper presents the report on the use of wood particle as reinforcement to produce lightweight geopolymer wood composite. In this study, Class F fly ash and metakaolin used as alumino-silicate source were activated by alkaline activator and samples were cured at two different temperatures, 80°C and 20°C. Wood particle, 3 to 5 mm in size was added to fly ash/metakaolin based geopolymers for 10 – 60% solid content, and its influence on the compressive strength has been investigated. The microstructure investigation using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) illustrated fly ash; metakaolin and wood particle were embedded in a dense alumino-silicate matrix, though there was some unreacted phase occurred. The compressive strength of lightweight geopolymer matrix without wood particle added samples cured at 80°C temperature was 5.4 MPa which significantly increased 45% when the 10% wood particle were added. However, the addition of wood particle from 20 to 60% has not shown a major improvement in compressive strength.  It was found that the density of the lightweight geopolymer composite was decrease relevant to the amount of wood particles addition. It is suggested that wood particle are one of the potential candidates as reinforcement for lightweight geopolymer composite development.


Abdel-Kader, A. H., and Darweesh, H. H. 2009. Setting And Hardening Of Agro/Cement Composites. BioResources 5(1): 43-54.

Abdollahnejad, Z., Pacheco-Torgal, F., Félix, F., Tahri, W., and Barroso Aguiar, J. 2011. Mix Design, Properties, And Cost Analysis Of Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Foam. Construction and Building Materials. 80: 18-30.

Abdulkareem, O. A., Al Bakri, A. M., Kamarudin, H., Nizar, I. K., and Ala’eddin, A. S. 2014. Effects Of Elevated Temperatures On The Thermal Behavior And Mechanical Performance Of Fly Ash Geopolymer Paste, Mortar And Lightweight Concrete. Construction and Building Materials. 50: 377-387.

Abdullah, M. M. A. B., Hussin, K., Bnhussain, M., Ismail, K. N., Yahya, Z., and Abdul Razak, R. 2012. Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Lightweight Concrete Using Foaming Agent. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 13(6): 7186-7198.

Ahmaruzzaman, M. 2011. A Review On The Utilization Of Fly Ash. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. 36(3): 327-363.

Alomayri, T., Assaedi, H., Shaikh, F. U. A., and Low, I. M. 2014. Effect Of Water Absorption On The Mechanical Properties Of Cotton Fabric-Reinforced Geopolymer Composites. Journal of Asian Ceramic Societies. 2(3): 223-230.

Alomayri, T., Shaikh, F. U. A., and Low, I. M. 2013. Characterization Of Cotton Fiber-Reinforced Geopolymer Composites. Composites Part B: Engineering. 50: 1-6.

ASTM C109M-12. 2012. Standard Test Method For Compressive Strength Of Hydraulic Cement Mortars (Using 2-In. Or [50 mm] Cube Specimens). ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA.

ASTM C642-06. 2006. Standard Test Method For Density, Absorption And Voids In Hardened Concrete. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, USA.

Awang, H., Ahmad, M., and Al-Mulali, M. Z. 2015. Influence Of Kenaf And Polypropylene Fibers On Mechanical And Durability Properties Of Fiber Reinforced Lightweight Foamed Concrete. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology. 10(4): 496-508.

Barbosa, V. F., MacKenzie, K. J., and Thaumaturgo, C. 2000. Synthesis And Characterization Of Materials Based On Inorganic Polymers Of Alumina And Silica: Sodium Polysialate Polymers. International Journal of Inorganic Materials. 2(4): 309-317.

Dias, D. P., and Thaumaturgo, C. 2005. Fracture Toughness Of Geopolymeric Concretes Reinforced With Basalt Fibers. Cement and Concrete Composites. 27(1): 49-54.

Fernández-Jiménez, A., Palomo, A., and Criado, M. 2005. Microstructure Development Of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Cement: A Descriptive Model. Cement and Concrete Research. 35(6): 1204-1209.

Frost, R. L., Fredericks, P. M., and Shurvell, H. F. 1996. Raman Microscopy Of Some Kaolinite Clay Minerals. Canadian Journal of Applied Spectroscopy. 41(1): 10-14.

Hardjito, D., Wallah, S. E., Sumajouw, D. M., and Rangan, B. V. 2004. On The Development Of Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Concrete. ACI Materials Journal-American Concrete Institute. 101(6): 467-472.

Kageyama, K., Harada, Y., and Kato, H. 2003. Preparation And Mechanical Properties Of Alumina-Zirconia Composites With Agglomerated Structures Using Pre-Sintered Powder. Materials Transactions. 44(8): 1571-1576.

Komnitsas, K. A. 2011. Potential Of Geopolymer Technology Towards Green Buildings And Sustainable Cities. Procedia Engineering. 21: 1023-1032.

Lee, W. K. W., and Van Deventer, J. S. J. 2002. The Effects Of Inorganic Salt Contamination On The Strength And Durability Of Geopolymers. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 211(2): 115-126.

Lim, S. K., Tan, C. S., Lim, O. Y., and Lee, Y. L. 2013. Fresh And Hardened Properties Of Lightweight Foamed Concrete With Palm Oil Fuel Ash As Filler. Construction and Building Materials. 46: 39-47.

Palomo, A., Blanco-Varela, M. T., Granizo, M. L., Puertas, F., Vazquez, T., and Grutzeck, M. W. 1999. Chemical Stability Of Cementitious Materials Based On Metakaolin. Cement and Concrete Research. 29(7): 997-1004.

Sarmin, S. N. 2015. Lightweight Building Materials Of Geopolymer Reinforced Wood Particles Aggregate–A Review. Applied Mechanics and Materials. 802: 220-224.

Shaikh, F. U. A. 2013. Review Of Mechanical Properties Of Short Fiber Reinforced Geopolymer Composites. Construction and Building Materials. 43: 37-49.

Swanepoel, J. C., and Strydom, C. A. 2002. Utilization Of Fly Ash In A Geopolymeric Material. Applied Geochemistry. 17(8): 1143-1148.

Timakul, P., Rattanaprasit, W., and Aungkavattana, P. 2016. Improving Compressive Strength Of Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Composites By Basalt Fibers Addition. Ceramics International. 42(5): 6288-6295.

Tsai, Y. L., Hanna, J. V., Lee, Y. L., Smith, M. E., and Chan, J. C. 2010. Solid-State NMR Study Of Geopolymer Prepared By Sol–Gel Chemistry. Journal of Solid State Chemistry. 183(12): 3017-3022.

Wu, H. C. and Sun, P. 2007. New Building Materials From Fly Ash-Based Lightweight Inorganic Polymer. Construction and Building Materials. 21(1): 211-217.






Science and Engineering

How to Cite