New generation of constructive materials based on industrial waste in the concept of sustainable development

Basic goal of this project is the development of technology for industrial waste recycling and production of new construction materials, with high performances, reduced environmental impact and adjusted to customer needs: geopolymers, as well as the porous ceramic building materials.

The development of geopolymers, new generation of cementitious materials, as an alternative to traditional cement and concretes, by the alkali activation of industrial waste or by-products, is a relatively new area and research topic for the scientific community. The alkali activation of materials is a chemical process that provides a rapid transformation of some specific phases (partially or totally amorphous) into compact cemented frameworks. Depending on the nature of the raw materials to be activated different reaction products with different microstructures are developed. In general, two types of cementitious materials can be produced by alkaline activation: the first type is based on Si and Ca, and the second is based on Si and Al. Fly ash is an industrial waste material produced in coal fired thermal power plants. Blast furnace slag is a by-product from the pig iron industry. As two typical solid wastes, fly ash and blast furnace slag have some similarities: both are calcium aluminosilicate glasses. Due to its high content of an amorphous phase, fly ash and ground blast furnace slag show pozzolanic and binding properties in an alkaline medium. Fly ash and blast furnace slag have been frequently and widely used as ingredients in cement or concrete to enhance physical, chemical and mechanical properties. However, there are also some significant differences: physical properties, chemical and mineralogical composition, and reactivity. For example, slag is relatively rich in CaO, while fly ash in Al2O3. Both geopolymers, either based on fly ash or blast furnace slag, have some advantages and disadvantages. By optimizing the mix design it is quite possible to balance the disadvantages of one material with the advantages of other one. The aim of the present research is the development of geopolymers - new, knowledge-based, multi-functional materials, with high performances, reduced environmental impact and adjusted to customer needs. Project idea will be realized by Serbian project working group, consisting of Institute for Multidisciplinary Research (Belgrade) and concrete elements producer A.D. Betonjerka (Čačak). Processing of industrial waste created in the metal recycling companies is one of the most challenging tasks due to its toxic nature. It emits flammable gases, such as acetylene, or it is liable to give off toxic gases, such as ammonia, in dangerous quantities in contact with water. Beside this, the waste contains compounds like soluble salts, oxides, carbides and sulphides as well as metallic aluminium. The industrial waste with high amount of aluminium compounds is object of this research. Optimal method for increasing of added value of waste from aluminium scrap recycling companies is heat treatment or production (sintering) of building materials in the high temperatures. Scientific justification of successful application of waste in the different fields is changes in the mineralogical and chemical composition of waste during high temperature treatment. The aim of present research is development of technology of recycling aluminium waste in order to produce useful commercial product - porous ceramic building materials with high mechanical resistance. The main tasks for purpose accomplishment are optimisation of raw material composition and production technology. Composition made from industrial waste and local clay should be granulated before sintering. The field of the use of granulated porous ceramic products is production of constructive lightweight concrete with decreased density, improved mechanical and heat isolation properties in comparison with traditional granulated porous ceramic products. Investigated porous ceramic products can be use also for creation of heat isolation and drainage systems both for vertical and horizontal surfaces in the places where high resistance to mechanical strength is requested. Processing of waste, which are received from aluminium scrap recycling companies, for production of new building materials is important both, as in the field of civil engineering, as in the environment protection, which is connected with recycling of hazardous waste into harmless products. Problems, which are connected with increasing expenses of waste storage and environmental pollutants taxes, will be also solved due production of building materials by using industrial waste. Project idea will be realized by project working group of Department of Building Materials and Units, which is a part of Institute of Materials and Structures (IMS) at the Faculty of Civil Engineering Riga Technical University and Latvian producer of aluminium alloys Dilers Ltd. One of the possible application of geopolymer is filler material for steel sandwich panels construction. Introducing new material which is a compromise between mechanical properties and price will enlarge usage of sandwich construction in transportation. It will be conducted by Gdansk University of Technology.
Project ID: 
5 415
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
1 010 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Recycling, Recovery
Market Area: 
Manufacture of Building Materials

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