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Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.10 (1): 989-992. 2012

Reusing artificial stone waste in concrete as a filler of fine aggregates

Elham Khalilzadeh Shirazi 1*, Reza Marandi 2, Nima Afshar 3, Mehdi Alibabaie 4 and Alireza Sooki 5
Department of Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of the Environment and Energy, Science and Research Campus, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. 2 Department of Islamic Azad University,Environmental Engineering, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. 3 Department of Chemistry, Tehran South Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. 4Department of Civil Engineering, Khajenasir University. 5Department of Chemistry, Shoushtar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khouzestan, Iran. *e-mail:,,
Received 18 November 2011, accepted 3 January 2012.

In recent years, large amounts of slurry have been generated in artificial stone production plants with significant environmental impacts. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the possibility of replacing stone waste in concrete mixtures as filler of fine aggregates. For this purpose, stone powder was characterized by chemical and physical analysis. The results showed that this type of industrial by-product can be used in concrete due to containing Al2O3, SiO2, Cao and MgO as well as its similarity to cement properties. Moreover, 50% of the stone powder was less than 10 m and classified in the range of cryptocrystalline and microcrystalline; therefore, it can be included as the filler of fine aggregates. On the other hand, it was used in concrete with different proportions of 0, 5, 7 and 10%. Then, slump flow test was conducted on fresh concrete. In addition, density and compressive strength were determined on 7 and 28 days concrete cubes. The results showed that the substitution of 5% of fine aggregates by stone waste caused higher compressive strength than control specimens. Furthermore, density test results of concretes containing stone waste were approximately equal to control cubes. Besides, the increase of stone waste content in concrete cubes decreased the slump slightly. Key words: Stone waste, concrete, fine aggregate, compressive strength, slump.

Introduction Artificial stone industry generates large volume of stone slurry as waste. Stone slurry, defined as semi-liquid substance composed of particles, arises from the sawing and polishing processes. In this procedure, water is used to cool down and lubricate the machines which saw and polish the stone slabs 1. In Iran, generally in artificial stone plants, the produced slurry is sent to a sedimentation tank for precipitation. The treated water is returned to the production line. The settled stone waste is usually disposed in landfills. Consequently, its water content is drastically reduced and the produced stone dust results in several environmental impacts. In other words, the stone dust has negative effects on vegetation and crop by depositing on them. In some cases, stone powder can reduce the porosity and permeability of the topsoil and causing blocks in water penetration. Moreover, fine particles lead to the poor fertility of the soil with increasing its alkalinity 2. In addition, destroying natural vegetation , regional topographic changes, soil erosion and disordering landscape are other negative environmental impacts. So far, a lot of researches have been done all around the world in using the natural and artificial stone wastes in different types of industries, in particular construction materials including the following can be cited. Examples with reference to reusing stone waste in construction materials are cement industry, tiles, mortars and concrete, other cement-based products, such as pavement 3, embankment, agglomerate marble, producing glues and paints. Other industries consist of paper and ceramics industry (faience) 4, agriculture soil improvement, acid soils amendment and fertilizer 5, contaminated soil remediation 6, acid water and landfill leachate treatment 7 or dumpsites sealing. For other
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.10 (1), January 2012

applications, a research in Spain suggested using marble and limestone slurry as calcium carbonate to be used in cement, paints, plastics and polymers, paper, ceramics 8 and glass 2. Recycled stone slurry from natural stone processing can be used as substitute of fine aggregates in concrete to improve its workability 1 or to obtain higher compressive strength, splitting tensile strength and modulus of elasticity than control specimens of concrete. Almeida et al. 2 concluded 5% replacement of sand content by stone slurry as the best result. Moreover, it can be replaced with cement in self-compact concrete (SCC) to produce an eco-concrete 9, 10, and artificial aggregates can be made with this type of waste sludge and waste silt together 11. Besides, limestone dust is a suitable alternative to make self-compacting concrete 12 and artificial stone like bricks with acceptable mechanical properties 13, whereas Turgut 14 obtained higher compressive strength by using both waste glass powder (WGP) and waste limestone sawdust (WLS) in bricks than conventional ones. In addition, wastes from natural rock cutting and polishing have been used to produce roof tiles with the best properties and water absorption less than 6%, lower pyroplastic deformation index and bending strength values of about 14 and 38 MPa 15. In recent years, reusing marble and granite rejects in construction materials has become common. For instance, properties of floor tiles could be improved by using these types of waste, in particular with lower firing temperature 16. On the other hand, marble powder has been suggested to be used in concrete and self-compacting material without any use of additional process as an advantage 17-19 or in the mixture of asphaltic concrete 20. Corinaldesi et al. 21 obtained

maximum compressive strength by its 10% substitution of sand and used as cement pastes with and without any addition of acrylic-based superplasticizer as well. Unlike the mentioned researches, Binici et al. 22 used granite and marble powder as coarse aggregates in concrete to produce a good condense matrix. Furthermore, it can be noticed that these kinds of by-products generated from ornamental stone processing industry can be used in clay minerals without any detrimental effect on their properties23. So far, no research has been done in Iran in case of artificial stone powder substitution with fine aggregates in concrete. Besides, the mentioned problems such as environmental impacts of stone waste, spending vast sums of money on the wastes transportation from plants to landfills, reveal the necessity of this study which aims to evaluate the feasibility of reusing artificial stone waste in concrete and its effects on concrete properties. The whole study lasted for 12 months (2008-2009). Materials and Methods In this study, three samples of stone waste were prepared from Salar Stone Plant. Table 1 shows the chemical properties of stone wastes characterized in R&D Company of Cement Industry. Fig. 1 reveals the grading of samples in the mentioned centre. Mineralogical characteristics of samples were examined with electronic microscope in Cement Research Center. Stone waste samples were replaced with fine aggregates of concretes, by the percentages of 0, 5, 7 and 10%. Thereafter, slump flow test was conducted on fresh concrete. In addition, density and compressive strength were determined on 7 and 28 days concrete cubes. In order to make concrete samples; stone dust, fresh water, Portland cement II, fine and coarse aggregates were used. The aim of this study was not to achieve specific compressive strength, and the results were only for comparison. Water/cement ratio and cement grade were fixed at 0.45 and 350 kg/m3, respectively. Coarse aggregates were graded using sieve series before applying in making concrete samples. Coarse and fine aggregates were graded by 12.5, 19.25, 9.5 and 4.75 mm sieves and 9.5, 4.75, 2.36, 1.18, 0.6, 0.3 and 0.15 mm sieves, respectively, according to ASTM C136-06. Concretes were compressed in moulds by vibration table 24. Mixing mass of concrete is presented in Table 2. Whereas the compressive strength of concrete blocks containing stone powder at different times of sampling are compared with each other, and all concrete cubes were prepared and maintained in the same conditions, factors such as concrete compression, mixture rate, temperature, humidity, cement type and coarse and fine aggregates grading in all tests were considered fixed 25. Samples were placed in the humid environment for 24 hours. In order to cure samples, all concrete cubes were maintained in potable water at different durations (7, 28 days). To measure the slump of fresh concrete mixture in each construction series, ASTM C143-90, a standard was used 26. Compressive strength of samples was measured according to ASTM C 109-99 standard 27. In all Table 1. Stone powder chemical properties (%).
Stone dust sample Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3 CaO 45.64 33.60 39.16 SiO2 10.42 34.78 14.10 Al2O3 2.97 3.78 6.38 LOI 38.98 23.10 35.50 Fe2O3 0.88 1.24 1.30 CaCO3 61.50 60 69.93

Figure 1. Microscopic pictures of artificial stone dust.

Table 2. Mixing mass of the concrete.

Mass concrete Material Fine aggregate Coarse aggregate Water Portland CEM Additive Premia 180 1m3 of concrete 1135.5 kg 757 kg 157.5 kg 350 kg 1.05 kg

curing times, 2 samples were tested for compressive strength and their average value was considered as the compressive strength. Results and Discussion The results concerning chemical properties are presented in Table 2. It shows that few amounts of hydrated and semi-hydrated cement existed in stone waste powder sample (possibly Al2O3 and MgO are associated with semi-hydrated cement). It is mostly composed of calcium carbonate, which is the consequence of marble stone powder. The existing of SiO2 in samples is due to the sawing of quartz aggregates. Microscopic results indicate that stone powder samples seem as fine aggregates (mostly shows the range of cryptocrystalline to microcrystalline, approximately up to 25 m). It generally consists of fine calcite crystals (CaCO3) and few amounts of clay minerals. Moreover, extremely fine crystals of quartz and sodic feldspar (plagioclase) are shown sparsely. In addition, results show that clay minerals and, in some parts, ferreous oxide existed in samples. Finally, this sample is considered as limestone phase. According to Fig. 2, 50% of powder particles are less than 10 m. Besides, it can be clearly seen that 99% of them are less than 267 m.
Passing percentage

Particle size (m)

Figure 2. Stone powder grading.

Na2O 0.16 0.38 0.12

K2O 0.13 0.52 0.19

MgO 1.60 2.80 3.70


Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.10 (1), January 2012

According to the results of slump test (Fig. 3), the rate of slump for 5% replacement of fine aggregates with stone powder was close to the control sample, 12 and 13, respectively. The lowest value was related to 10% substitution.

5 7 Stone powder content (%)


Figure 3. Slump varied according to the different stone dust content.

50% of stone dust is less than 10 m and accounts for the range of cryptocrystalline to microcrystalline minerals. This sample is considered as fine aggregates regarding to its size. It can be used as filler instead of some percentages of fine sand. Based on compressive strength results, 5% substitution of fine aggregates with stone waste caused higher compressive strength than control samples. For the rest of the outcomes, with increasing the replacement of stone dust with fine sand in concrete with different percentages of stone dust (0, 5, 7 and 10%), compressive strength of samples at all curing times (7 and 28 days) were reduced, compared to the control ones. With reference to the results, no significant changes in density were observed when stone dust was used in concrete cubes.In addition, the increase of stone waste content in concrete cubes slightly decreased slump. Acknowledgements We hereby would like to convey sincere thanks to Mr. Mehdi Ali Babaei, due to the vast instructions for this research and to respected personnel of Salar Sang Co. References

Fig. 4 illustrates the results of the specific gravity of concrete samples with various percentages of stone waste at the curing times of 7 and 28 days. Results indicate that there are little differences between densities of the samples which fluctuated between 2.20 and 2.42 g/cm3.

Density (g/cm3)

Slump (cm)

Curing time 7 days 28 days


Stone powder content (%)

Figure 4. Density variation according to the stone powder content with two different curing times.

As can be seen in Fig. 5, the compressive strength of concrete samples in the ages of 7 and 28 days with 5% stone waste are 36.59 and 43.73 MPa, respectively. These rates made at mentioned ages with 7% stone powder were 23.24 and 32.93 MPa, respectively. Also compressive strength of the 7-days sample with 10% stone dust was 24.05 MPa and 32.21 MPa for 28-days concrete.
Compressive strenght (MPa)

Curing time 7 days 28 days

5 7 Stone powder content (%)


Figure 5. Compressive strenght according to the stone powder content with two different curing times.

Conclusions According to the chemical analysis of the artificial stone waste, it can clearly be noticed that due to the compounds like Al2O3, SiO2, Cao and MgO, these samples have similar properties to cement. Therefore, it could be applied in concrete. Stone powder grading and microscopic results indicate that
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.10 (1), January 2012

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Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.10 (1), January 2012