Recent Developments in Thermally Insulating Materials Based on Geopolymers—a Review Article

P. R. Rao, M. Momayez, K. A. Runge, K. Muralidharan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The evolution of trapped geothermal heat in hot underground mine along with emission of toxic gases and dust during mine activity makes the mine environment unfavorable is hazardous to worker’s health. This imposes significant demand on cooling and ventilation systems. As a result, substantial costs are incurred while implementing environmental regulation processes to dissipate the heat and provide comfortable working conditions. Thus, as an alternative, the development of cost effective materials to act as efficient thermal insulators is on the rise. Thermal conductivity is an important property that is a direct measure of a material’s ability to facilitate/deter heat flow. In addition to their superior chemical resistance, adequate mechanical strength, abrasion and fire retardant as well as environmental benefits in comparison to existing building materials such as ordinary Portland cement, aluminosilicate based geopolymers are now gaining widespread interest as promising thermally insulating and sustainable materials. This paper begins with an overview of geopolymers, transitioning into a discussion of recent developments in the field of geopolymer development as a thermally insulating material broadly classified into: filled geopolymers and porous geopolymers resulting in structures with enhanced ability to impede heat flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-1014
Number of pages20
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Filled
  • Geopolymer
  • Mine tailing
  • Porous
  • Thermal insulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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