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Optimization and design of high-performance multi-functional geopolymer concrete

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

, Prof Y Wang Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Geopolymer concrete (GPC) is a sustainable alternative to traditional ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete, which can minimize CO2 emission for its use of industry by-products. GPC is found to be suitable for the structural applications with lower cost but similar strength compared to OPC concrete. In addition, GPC has better water and chloride ion resistance, electric conductivity and fire resistance, which will be able to provide consistent protection for steel reinforcements and has the potential to be a self-sensing material. Thus, GPC can be used in marine infrastructures such as bridges that will benefit from good durability and in-service health monitoring. However, one of the tackles for the wide application of GPC is its relatively poor workability, though adding sufficient superplasticizer could solve the problem; nevertheless it might reduce the strength of GPC. By introducing additives into GPC, its strength would be improved. In addition to that, geopolymer hydration products are believed to become more compact, and the internal porosity is reduced. Furthermore, by improving its electric conductivity, so GPC can sense themselves without adding any functional additives or physical sensors, thus creating intelligent concrete structures with built-in sensors for structural health monitoring. This is vital to GPC structures, since it is more brittle than OPC concrete. Therefore, this study will explore the full potentials of high-performance multi-functional GPC as a durable and self-sensing material for marine structures.

Ref: MACEStructures

Funding Notes

General enquiries relating to the postgraduate application process within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering should be directed to: Martin Lockey ().


As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. As the School is committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter Mark and Athena SWAN, we would particularly welcome applications from women and the black and minority ethnic (BME) community, who are both currently under-represented at this grade. All appointments will be made on merit.

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