Geopolymers are ceramics achieved through chemical activation rather than extreme temperature. Conventionally, ceramics are fired at over 1,000 degrees celcius (where all forms of glass, and most metals, are molten). Chemically activated ceramics can be cured in an oven at a low setting or even outside. Glass, organic materials or metal can be embeded in a ceramic material, making carbon fiber ceramics, amongst other things, possible.
The chemical components of geopolymers (GP) are fundemental earthen materials, known to and collected by peoples for a hundred generations. Knowledge of this process would be useful to artists, engineers and to those wanting to build sturdy structures with local (cheap) materials. Many people who would benefit from using GP are unaware that this technology exists, and details of the process are both scarce and esoteric.
After digging through books and dirt, I now believe very interesting things could happen in short amount of time with only small investment in equipment and materials. Though all of this has been done before, in industry and laboratories, the general public is unaware. Therefore, I would like to include the public in my adventure of discovering this possibility.
I am raising money to fund a research project lasting six months. During this time I will modify my kiln to properly prepare ingredients for geopolymers, then refine several recipies for different varieties of GP. Finally, I will involve local artists, engineers, and artist-engineers in collaborative subprojects, and document the sucesses and failures of different approaches and applications.
The results will be several GP recipes, with details on mixing, working and curing them and videos and papers documenting their use. Also, I will be able to ship GP ingredients to folks in the US at a fraction of the cost of kits currently available.
more information at: http://www.permafacture.org/geopolymer.html