Development of lightweight insulating building materials from perlite wastes




Geopolymerization, Foaming, Inorganic, Lightweight


This paper investigates the development of geopolymer foam boards, using perlite wastes as raw material. This type of lightweight materials combines the geopolymerization technology with the foaming process. The mechanism of foaming is based on the generation of a gas that is retained by the geopolymer matrix in the form of individual or interconnected voids. In this study, the inorganic foaming agent is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is added into the initial paste in different quantities by mechanical stirring. The produced porous materials have effective densities between 408–476.5 kg/m3, thermal conductivities between 0.076–0.095 W/m.K and different type of microstructure, depending on the concentration of the activator and the foaming agent content. To assess the porosity and the size distribution of the voids, image processing techniques were applied on digital images of the samples. According to these results, the synthesized lightweight materials exhibit similar or even better thermal properties than the current concrete porous materials.


Download data is not yet available.


Hammond, G.P.; Jones, C.I. (2006) Inventory of (Embodied) Carbon & Energy (ICE). Department of Mechanical Engineering. International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology

Svanholm, G. (1990) Pouring into molds with removable walls, stiffening, autoclaving US4902211 A

Holt, E.; Raivio. P. (2004) Use of gasification residues in aerated autoclaved concrete. Cem. Concr. Res. 35, 796–802.

Jerman, M.; Keppert. M.; Vyborny, J.; Cerny, R. (2013) Hygric, thermal and durability properties of autoclaved aerated concrete. Construc. Build. Mat. 41, 352–35.

Mostafa, NY. (2005) Influence of air-cooled slag on physicochemical properties of autoclaved aerated concrete. Cem. Concr. Res 35, 1349–57. 20weight%20concrete.pdf

Giannopoulou, I.; Dimas, D.; Maragos, I.; Panias, D. (2009) Utilization of metallurgical solid wastes/by-products for development of inorganic polymeric construction materials. Global NEST Journal 11, 127–136

Davidovits, J. (1994) Properties of geopolymer cements. In Proc. 1st international conference on alkaline cements and concretes (KievUkraine), 131–149

Sakkas, K.; Panias, D.; Nomikos, P.; Sofianos, A. (2014b) Potassium based geopolymer for passive fire protection of concrete tunnels linings. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 43, 148–56.

Kamseu, E.; Nait-Ali, B.; Bignozzi, MC.; Leonelli, C.; Rossignol, S.; Smith, D.S. (2012) Bulk composition and microstructure dependence of effective thermal conductivity of porous inorganic polymer cements. J. Europ. Ceram. Soc. 32, 1593–603.

Zhang, Z.; Provis, J.; Reid, A.; Wang, H. (2014) Geopolymer foam concrete: An emerging material for sustainable construction. Construc. Build. Mat. 56, 113–127.

Williams, B. H. (1928) The thermal decomposition of hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solutions. Faraday Soc. 24, 245–255.

Masi, G.; LesVickers, W.; Bignozzi, M-C.; Riessen, A. (2014) A comparison between different foaming methods for the synthesis of lightweight geopolymers. Ceram. Internat. 40 [9] Part A, 13891–13902.

Wefers K. and Misra C. (1987) Oxides and Hydroxides of Aluminum: Technical Report 19–Revised. Alcoa Laboratories. Pittsburgh, 64–71

Tsaousi, G-M.; Douni, I.; Panias, D. (2016) Characterization of the properties of perlite geopolymer pastes. Mater. Construcc. 66[324]:e102.

Koschan, A.; Abidi, M. (2008) Digital color image processing. Wiley–Interscience.

Atherton, T. J.; Kerbyson, D.J. (1999) Size invariant circle detection. Image and Vision Computing 17, 795–803.

Cuevas, E.; Wario, F.; Osuna- Enciso, V.; Zaldivar, D.; Pérez-Cirneros, M. (2012) Fast algorithm for multiple-circle detection on images using Learning Automata. IET Image Processing 6, 1124–1135.

Rad, A.A.; Faez, K.; Qaragozlou, N. (2003) Fast circle detection using gradient pair vectors. In Proc. VIIth Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications PMCid:PMC3023437

Yuen, H.K.; Princen, J.; Illingworth, J.; Kittler, J. (1990) Comparative study of Hough transform methods for circle finding. Image and Vision Computing 8, 71–77.

Illingworth, J.; Kittler, J. (1987) The Adaptive Hough Transform. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 9 [5], 690–698.

Illingworth, J.; Kittler, J. (1988) A survey of the Hough transform. Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing 44, 87–116.

Pan, L.; Chu, W. S.; Saragih, M., J.; Torre, F. (2010) Fast and robust circular object detection with probabilistic pairwise voting (PPV). IEEE Signal Processing Letters 18, 639–642.

Chung, K.L.; Chen, T.C. (2001) An efficient randomized algorithm for detecting circles. Computer Vision and Image Understanding 83, 172–191.

Nambiar, E.K.; Ramamurthy, K. (2007) Air-void characterisation of foam concrete. Cem. Concr. Res 37 [2], 221–230.

Soutsos, M.; Boyle, A.P.; Vinai, R.; Hadjierakleous, A.; Barnett, S.J. (2016) Factors influencing the compressive strength of fly ash based geopolymers. Construc. Build. Mat. 110 [5], 355–368.

Zhang, Z.; Provis, J.L.; Reid, A.; Wang, H. (2015) Mechanical, thermal insulation, thermal resistance and acoustic absorption properties of geopolymer foam concrete. Cem. Concr. Comp. 62:97–105.

Ducman, V.; Korat, L. (2016) Characterization of geopolymer fly-ash based foams obtained with the addition of Al powder or H2O2 as foaming agents. Mat. Charac. 113 207–213.

Alengaram, U.J.; Al-Muhit, B.A.; Jumaat, M.Z.; Liu, M.Y.J. (2013) A comparison of the thermal conductivity of oil palm shell foamed concrete with conventional materials. Mat. Des. 51, 522-529.

Song, Y.; Li, B.; Yang, E.H.; Liu, Y.; Ding, T. (2015) Feasibility study on utilization of municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash as aerating agent for the production of autoclaved aerated concrete. Cem. Concr. Comp. 56, 51–58.

Torres, M.L.; García-Ruiz, P.A. (2009) Lightweight pozzolanic materials used in mortars: Evaluation of their influence on density, mechanical strength and water absorption. Cem. Concr. Comp. 31, 114–119.

Yong Jing Lia, M.; Alengaram, U.J.; Santhanam, M.; Jumaat, M.Z.; Hung Mo, K. (2016) Microstructural investigations of palm oil fuel ash and fly ash based binders in lightweight aggregate foamed geopolymer concrete. Construc. Build. Mat. 120:112–122.

Vaou, V.; Panias, D. (2010) Thermal insulating foamy geopolymers from perlite. Minerals Engineering 23, 1146–51.

Tsaousi, G-M.; Douni, I.; Taxiarchou, M.; Panias. D.; Paspaliaris, I. (2014) Development of foamed Inorganic Polymeric Materials based on Perlite. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 123.

Newman, J.; Owens, P. (2013) Properties of lightweight concrete. In: Newman J, Choo RS, editors. Advanced concrete technology Part 3: process. Butterworth-Heinemann Press; 2/7–2/9.

Hamad, A.J. (2014) Materials, Production, Properties and Application of Aerated Lightweight Concrete: Review. Int. J. Mat. Sci. Eng. 2, 152–157.



How to Cite

Tsaousi, G. M., Profitis, L., Douni, I., Chatzitheodorides, E., & Panias, D. (2019). Development of lightweight insulating building materials from perlite wastes. Materiales De Construcción, 69(333), e175.



Research Articles