Refractory inorganic polymers can be made at ambient temperatures and pressures from powder and liquid to form a paste of low viscosity. These materials, called geopolymers, include alkali metakaolin-based, alumino-silicates, silico-aluminate phosphates, or stoichiometric geopolymers (which convert to single phase ceramics upon heating), as well as other chemically bonded, inorganic compounds. The use of biological materials as starting compounds or as reinforcements in composites demonstrates the eco-friendly and sustainable nature of these materials.

Novel potential applications of such composites include fire and corrosion-resistant coatings; thermal insulation; porous materials; structural ceramic composites containing ceramic, metal, organic, or biological reinforcements; nano-zeolites for liquid and water purification; and infrastructure and construction materials. The nanoparticulate nature of geopolymers also provides a low energy processing route to ultra-refractory ceramic powders or versatile forming methods, including 4D printing. Waste materials such as fly ash and slag can be used to make alkali activated cements and will also be discussed.

Proposed sessions

  • Synthesis, processing microstructure
  • Mechanical properties, thermal shock resistance
  • Composites
  • Phosphates and other inorganic analogues
  • Geopolymer-derived processing routes
  • Conversion to ceramics
  • Use of waste materials to make alkali-activated geopolymers and cements
  • Coatings (fire resistant, acid resistant)
  • Waste encapsulation
  • Sustainable materials
  • Novel applications


  • Waltraud M. Kriven, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA,
  • Ghassan Al Chaar, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC, CERL, USA
  • Don Seo, Arizona State University, USA
  • Henry A. Colorado, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia,
  • Ruy sa Ribeiro, INPA-National Institute for Amazonian Research/Structural Engineering Laboratory, Brazil
  • William Rickard, Curtin University, Australia,