Seawater sea-sand Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) with high strength and high ductility

Jian Cong Lao, Bo Tao Huang, Ling Yu Xu, Mehran Khan, Yi Fang, Jian Guo Dai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In this study, seawater sea-sand Engineered Geopolymer Composites (SS-EGC) were developed and investigated for the first time. The developed EGC achieved high compressive strength (over 140 MPa) and high tensile ductility (around 8%) simultaneously. Emphasis was placed on understanding the influence of seawater and sea-sand (compared to freshwater and washed sea-sand) on the matrix properties and tensile performance of EGC, with two fly ash-to-slag ratios (8:2 and 2:8) considered in the matrices. Results showed that the use of seawater hindered the reaction of EGC matrix and led to a slight reduction of compressive strength (compared to the freshwater counterpart). It was found that the content of hydrotalcite phases in SS-EGC matrix was higher than that of freshwater EGC. In addition, using seawater was found to increase the average modulus of matrix obtained from nanoindentation, leading to a higher fiber/matrix bond strength. The tensile strain capacity of SS-EGC was slightly lower than that of freshwater EGC. The developed SS-EGC showed superior crack resistance and better sustainability than the cement-based counterpart from the literature (with similar compressive strength). The findings of this study provided useful knowledge for the design and development of high-strength high-ductility SS-EGC towards sustainable and resilient marine infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104998
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Alkali-activated materials
  • Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC)
  • Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)
  • Low carbon
  • Sea-sand
  • Seawater
  • Strain-Hardening Cementitious Composites (SHCC)
  • Strain-Hardening Geopolymer Composites (SHGC)
  • Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC)
  • Ultra-High-Performance Geopolymer Concrete (UHPGC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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