Effect of short fibres in the mechanical properties of geopolymer mortar containing oil-contaminated sand

Rajab Abousnina, Haifa Ibrahim Alsalmi, Allan Manalo, Rochstad Lim Allister, Omar AlAjarmeh, Wahid Ferdous, Khouloud Jlassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Sand contaminated with crude oil is becoming a major environmental issue around the world, while at the same time, fly ash generated by coal-fired power stations is having a detrimental effect on the environment. Previous studies showed that combining these two waste materials can result in an environmentally sustainable geopolymer concrete. Incorporating sand contaminated with crude oil up to a certain level (4% by weight) can improve the mechanical properties of the produced geopolymer concrete but beyond this level can have a detrimental effect on its compressive strength. To overcome this challenge, this study introduces short fibres to enhance the mechanical properties of geopolymer mortar containing fine sand contaminated with 6% by weight of light crude oil. Four types of short fibres, consisting of twisted polypropylene (PP) fibres, straight PP fibres, short glass fibres and steel fibres in different dosages (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5% by volume of geopolymer mortar) are considered. The optimum strength was obtained when straight PP fibres were used wherein increases of up to 39% and 74% of the compressive and tensile strength, respectively, of the geopolymer mortar were achieved. Moreover, a fibre dosage of 0.5% provided the highest enhancement in the mechanical properties of the geopolymer mortar with 6% crude oil contamination. This result indicates that the reduction in strength of geopolymer due to the addition of sand with 6% crude oil contamination can be regained by using short fibres, making this new material from wastes suitable for building and construction applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3008
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • short fibres
  • contaminated sand
  • mechanical properties
  • geopolymer mortar
  • fly ash


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