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Researchers create a new type of cement from ceramic waste

Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València, the Universitat Jaume I de Castellón, the Imperial College of London and the Universidade Estadual Paulista of Sao Paulo (Brasil) have created a new type of cement from ceramic waste in the laboratory. It is a more sustainable cement and it also opens business possibilities for the ceramics industry. The first results of this study were released the last year in Construction and Building Materials magazine.

Nuevo tipo de cemento con residuos cerámicos

Investigadores de la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, la Universidad Jaume I de Castellón, el Imperial College de Londres y la Universidade Estadual Paulista de Sao Paulo (Brasil) han obtenido, a escala de laboratorio, un nuevo tipo de cemento a partir de residuos cerámicos. Se trata de un material más sostenible que los utilizados actualmente, que abre además una nueva vía de negocio para la industria cerámica. Los primeros resultados de este trabajo fueron publicados en la revista Construction and Building Materials. Hasta el momento, los investigadores han trabajado con residuos de ladrillos, de cerámica sanitaria (lavabos e inodoros) y de gres porcelánico como base, obteniendo un producto final con una resistencia incluso superior a los conglomerantes utilizados hoy en día.

To date, the researchers have worked with brick, sanitary ware (washbasins and toilets) and porcelain stoneware waste, resulting in an end product that is stronger than the mortars used today.

“It is an entirely new material. Its main characteristic is that it does not contain portland cement, which turns it into a more sustainable material. It is only composed of ceramic waste, a chemical activator and water,” explains Mª Victoria Borrachero, researcher at the Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH, in Spanish) of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

Crushed bricks

The first studies were carried out using red clay brick waste and sodium hydroxide or sodium silicate solutions as activator substances.

“In this particular case, the process is very simple: first, we grind bricks, then, they are milled and mixed with the activator solution. We immediately mix them with the aggregate and then the mortar is ready to be put into molds and undergo a high-temperature hardening process”, explains Mª Victoria Borrachero.

The researchers are now focused on the study of the performances of the products created from the sanitary ware and stoneware waste. Moreover, they are analyzing new activator substances to make an end product that is even more sustainable .

“We have already done tests with rice husk ash and the results are very positive. Its use would give us a more sustainable and cheaper end product, because it would be composed, almost entirely, of reusable waste,” says Mª Victoria Borrachero.

References:

L. Reig, M.M. Tashima, M.V. Borrachero, J.Monzó, C.R. Cheeseman, J. Payá. "Properties and microstructure of alkali-activated red clay brick waste". Construction and Building Materials 43, June 2013.

Source: upv
Copyright: Creative Commons
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