New geopolymer specification ready to be ‘put to the test’

A new industry specification for designing with expansive geopolymers is ready to be "put to the test", according to its lead author.

Geopolymer specialists have worked with construction clients, consultants and contractors to bring together knowledge and best practice on the design and use of expansive geopolymers in the new specification document.

The specification aims to overcome the knowledge gap surrounding geopolymers and lead author and Arup associate Peter Ingram said the team behind it is keen to make sure it is effective.

"People are broadly supportive - anything that makes things clearer and easier for people is a good thing," he said. "My hope is that people use it and see what works and tell us when something doesn't and we can keep developing it in the future. We think we've done a good job but I'm sure it will be put to the test. We want to ensure this works."

A free webinar event, sponsored by Geobear and hosted by NCE, brought together some of the key people who worked on the specification earlier this month. Ingram was joined by Geobear vice president engineering Andy Lee, Anglian Water One Alliance senior general manager Teresa Jeffcoat and subsidence specialist and consulting engineer Jonathan Symonds from Dsace.

The panel discussed historical use of geopolymers and the barriers that exist to acceptance, highlighting why the specification is important.

Ingram emphasised that "engineers like to be able to understand what they're specifying and what the critical parameters are".

He added: "The idea is to allow specifiers to be able to tender works to several different specialist contractors and allow fair appraisal and comparison of their offerings rather than just sidling up to one specialist contractor.

"We tried to set down the critical inputs and expected outputs - what you should provide to the specialist contractor as a specifier and what they should provide back to you in terms of design or verification, for example. We've also tried to cover a range of possible techniques to make sure we had clear specification for the range of things you could do and provide good guidance notes to go with that."

The panel also considered the challenges it faced in developing the document and how the specification can help the industry navigate those issues.

In addition, they outline how to use the specification effectively and how to design effective ground stabilisation solutions using geopolymers.

Click here to download a copy of the specification and then click here to view a recording of the webinar.

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