Materiales de Construcción, Vol 63, No 312 (2013)

Effect of different forms of silica on the physical and mechanical properties of gypsum plaster composites

A. A. Khalil
National Research Centre, Egypt

A. Tawfik
National Research Centre, Egypt

A. A. Hegazy
National Research Centre, Egypt

M. F. El-Shahat
Aim Shams Univ., Egypt


Gypsum plaster/silica composites prepared by dry blending (0.2-10 %) natural sand, silica fume or silica gel and subsequently hydrated. Their physical and mechanical properties, including normal consistency, setting time, apparent porosity, bulk density and compressive strength, were determined after hydration for 7- and 28-days. The results indicated that adding different forms of silica lowered the bulk density and increased the normal consistency, setting time, apparent porosity and, to some limited extent, compressive strength of the composites. This improvement in properties can be attributed to the existence of silica in the interstitial pores in the hardened plaster matrices. While most of the composites revealed only scant rises in compressive strength, their composition was beneficial in so far as it included either a readily available low-cost constituent (sand) or industrial by-products. Consequently, the formed plaster-silica composites are of economic value, contribute to a cleaner environment by minimizing waste and can be used for applications where high porosity, lightweight units are required or recommended for low-cost buildings.


composites; gypsum plaster; silica; physical and mechanical properties; building units

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