Inorganic polymers

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  • Inorganic polymers are polymers with a skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms. Polymers containing inorganic and organic components are named hybrid polymers. One of the best known examples is polydimethylsiloxane, otherwise known commonly as silicone rubber. It has a repeat unit based on silicon and oxygen.
  • Inorganic Polymers are materials generally rich in aluminosilicates, conventionally formed by alkali hydroxide or alkali silicate activation of a solid precursor. In literature different names have been used to describe these materials, namely "inorganic polymer glasses", "alkali-bonded ceramics", "soil cements" and more.
  • Usual precursors are coal fly ash, calcined clay, metallurgical (blast furnace and steel) slag and more. Their synthesis involves dissolution of the solid source by alkaline hydrolysis, gelation and finally rearrangement and reorganization, to a three-dimensional network.
  • Inorganic polymers are a novel class of materials formed by the polymerization of silicon, aluminium and oxygen species to form an amorphous three-dimensional framework structure. The basis of this process is the alkaline solutions to induce a certain amount of Si and Al atoms to dissolve from a feedstock such as aluminosilicate
  • A subset of the inorganic polymers is defined as "geopolymers". In this case, the binding phase is almost exclusively aluminosilicate, containing tetrahedral Al and tetrahedral Si. Inorganic-polymeric hybrids materials can be expected that its characteristics are completely different either from that of the organic polymer or the inorganic material, and the possibilities of such hybrids are infinite.
  • Inorganic polymers based on alumina and silica polysialate units were synthesised from dehydroxylated aluminosilicate clay (metakaolinite) condensed with sodium silicate in a highly alkaline environment. Polysialates are inorganic polymers derived from aluminosilicates. They can be synthesised at low temperature and have useful properties such as high early compressive strength, a Mohs hardness of 47, and they are stable at temperatures up to 13001400C.

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