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A key obstacle in the pathway to the widespread utilization of any novel binder technology is the issue of compliance with existing regulatory standards, which are almost always written considering the specific physicochemical properties of portland-cement-based materials. Prescriptive standards that specify allowable binder compositions are in force in many jurisdictions and are a significant obstacle to the deployment of alkali-activated binders in large-scale concrete applications. Alkali-activated concretes are ideally suited to regulation through a performance-based approach, as embodied in ASTM C1157, and this approach to standardization clearly provides more avenues for future developments in non-traditional binder systems. This paper presents an analysis of the standards environment currently facing the worldwide alkali-activation community and provides a summary of the progress that has been made in recent years (including through the work of a RILEM Technical Committee, TC 224-AAM, working in the area). The international standards environment is showing increasing acceptance of alkali-activation technology in principle, and also in some instances in practice, showing that the need for sustainable binders is driving regulatory developments in this area and thus enabling the uptake and utilization of these materials. Standards incorporating key aspects that incorporate the scope for production and accurate durability testing of alkali-activated binders are now available in some jurisdictions, and the advancement of scientific knowledge to underpin these developments has proven essential in this process.
alkali-activated binders, geopolymers, standardization, performance-based specifications
Provis, John L.
Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Univ. of Melbourne, Victoria