Effect of mineralogical composition of clinoptilolite-bearing tuffs on their performance as a natural pozzolan in cementitious systems
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In this study, pozzolanic reactivity and strength activity of zeolitic tuffs containing similar amount of zeolitic phase (clinoptilolite) and different types and amounts of impurities were examined in order to understand the role of mineralogical composition in the efficiency of zeolitic natural pozzolans. Mineralogical and chemical compositions as well as the physical properties of the zeolitic tuffs were determined. Their pozzolanic reactivity were measured as depletion of calcium hydroxide in the pastes containing lime and zeolitic tuff, which is determined by thermogravimetric analysis. Furthermore, compressive strength of blended cement mortars prepared with 20% replacement of Portland cement by finely ground tuffs were determined at 7, 28 and 56 days of age. It was demonstrated that the type and amount of impurities in mineralogical composition of zeolitic tuffs are significantly effective on their early pozzolanic reactivity. Zeolite mineral content, however, is more determinative on long term reactivity. For a strength activity, mineralogical composition was clearly effective on the preparation of mortar samples, which depends on water requirement of zeolitic tuffs.