Cu- and Zn-doped alkali activated mortar – Properties and durability in (bio)chemically aggressive wastewater environments

Cyrill Grengg*, Günther Koraimann, Neven Ukrainczyk, Ognjen Rudic, Sarah Luschnig, Gregor Gluth, Martin Radtke, Martin Dietzel, Florian Mittermayr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metakaolin-based alkali activated mortars (AAM) - with and without CuSO 4·5H 2O and ZnO addition (mass ratio M n+/solid binder 0.08% to 1.7%) - were casted and exposed within an extensive long-term field campaign over the period of 20 months to a sewer basin, strongly affected by biogenic acid corrosion. (Un-)exposed AAM were tested regarding their physicochemical and microstructural properties, bioreceptivity and overall durability. Metal addition led to a retarding effect during alkali-activation reaction, as well as to an increase in open porosity of up to 3.0% and corresponding lower compressive strength of up to 10.9%. Reduced microbial colonization and diversity were observed on AAM with Cu, while Zn addition led to increased biodiversity. We propose that the observed higher durability of Cu-doped AAM is due to antibacterial effects and associated reduction of biogenic acid production, superseding overall negative effects of metal-dosage on physical material properties. Observed lower durability of Zn-doped AAM was related to combined negative physicochemical and microbial effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106541
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Alkali activated materials
  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Biocorrosion
  • Durability
  • Microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Building and Construction

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems
  • Advanced Materials Science

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