The development of ultralightweight expanded perlite-based thermal insulation panel using alkali activator solution

Çelik D. N., Durmuş G.

Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, vol.16, no.11, pp.1486-1499, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11709-022-0881-6
  • Journal Name: Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Art Source, Compendex, INSPEC, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1486-1499
  • Keywords: expanded perlite, alkali activator, thermal insulation panel, thermal conductivity
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that global energy consumption will increase by 53% by 2030. Turkey has 70% of the world’s perlite reserves, and in order to reduce energy consumption a thermal insulation panel was developed in Turkey using different particle sizes of expanded perlite (EP). In this study, 0–1.18 mm (powder) and 0–3 mm (granular) EP particle sizes were selected, since they have the lowest thermal conductivity coefficients among all the particle sizes. In addition, an alkali activator solution was used as a binder in the mixtures. The alkaline activator solution was obtained by mixing sodium hydroxide solution (6, 8, 10, and 12 mol·L−1) and sodium silicate (Module 3) at the different ratios of Na2SiO3 to NaOH of 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5. This study aimed to experimentally determine the optimum binder and distribution ratio of EP, with the lowest coefficient of thermal conductivity and the lowest density. The lowest thermal conductivity and the lowest density were determined as 0.04919 W·m−1·K−1 and 133.267 kg/m3, respectively, in the sample prepared with 83.33% powder-size EP, 6 mol·L−1 sodium hydroxide solution, and ratio of Na2SiO3 to NaOH of 1.5. The density, thermal conductivity, and compressive strength of the sample showed the same trends of behavior when the Na2SiO3 to NaOH ratio was increased. In addition, the highest compressive strength was measured in 12 mol·L−1 NaOH concentration regardless of particle size. In conclusion, the study predicts that the EP-based thermal insulation panel can be used as an insulation material in the construction industry according to the TS825 Thermal Insulation Standard.