Performance of Cement Mortar Containing Micro and Ultrafine Metakaolin Binders

Steve W.M Supit, Rilya Rumbayan, Adriana Ticoalu


Research into the usage of locally available construction material is essential and beneficial in ensuring a cost-effective construction project. One of the natural resources that be used as supplementary cementitious material is metakaolin. This research aims to investigate the performance of mortar reinforced with micro- and ultrafine metakaolin based on compressive strength and water absorption tests. Locally sourced metakaolin was mixed in cement mortar after calcined at 800C with a variation amount of 0%, 5%, and 10% by wt. The tests were conducted on the 50mmx50mmx50mm cube specimens after water curing at 7 and 28 days, following the ASTM-standards. Results show that specimens containing 10% of micro- and ultrafine-metakaolin (MK-10 and UM-10) exhibited the highest compressive strength and better water-resistance characteristics when compared to control mortar. In this case, the addition of 10% ultrafine metakaolin (UM-10) reached the highest compressive strength value with approximately 121% and 100% higher than the compressive strength of control mortar on the 7th and 28th day, respectively. Additionally, the water absorption of UM-10 at 28 days was found to be 86% and 30% lower than PCC and MK-10, respectively. Furthermore, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Thermogravimetric graphs of pastes with micro- and ultrafine-metakaolin indicate a reduction of CH; therefore, the production of more CSH gel. The densification of cement paste with ultrafine-metakaolin is also confirmed by nitrogen adsorption analysis indicating ultrafine-metakaolin's inert filler effect in forming a denser matrix.


Metakaolin; compressive strength; water absorption; X-Ray diffraction; thermogravimetric analysis; nitrogen adsorption.

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