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Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito

Tra XX e XXI secolo

CONCRETE 2014
PROGETTO E TECNOLOGIA PER IL COSTRUITO
Tra XX e XXI secolo

Termoli
25 e 26 settembre 2014

The use of ceramic waste aggregates in concrete: a literary


review.

Mario Cristiano
Universit degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy
e-mail: mario.cristiano@unina.it

Key Words: Concrete, Ceramic wastes, Mechanical properties, Recycle

Abstract
The use of aggregates from construction and demolition pursues a twofold
objective. On the one side an economic advantage derived by cutting down on
the use of high grade quarry aggregates and reducing distances travelled by the
material. On the other, for the very same reasons, an environmental one. A field
of study that has become vast in recent years. Concentrating on the use of
recycled aggregates the present paper presents a literary review of International
studies on the theme.

Primo A. Autore, Secondo B. Autore, Terzo C. Autore

Introduction

To improve the sustainability of the building industry transformations are needed


to the technologies and techniques used. As a widespread, and energy intensive
technology, concrete has attracted the attention of research all over the world.
It is comprised of three major fractions: aggregate, binder and water.
The aggregate fraction in concrete is about 75 % of its total volume and
therefore it plays a vital role in the overall performance of concrete. This fraction
is composed of inert material, however, being a major constituents, its proper
selections is very important to accomplish innovation in concrete production.
Alternative aggregate is a natural step towards solving part of the depletion of
natural aggregate, and the alternative aggregate processed from waste materials
would appear to be an even more sensible solution. Although the use of recycled
aggregate is extremely important in terms of resource-saving, its application to
concrete produces varying qualities, some more appropriate for non structural
uses.
On the other hand the major component in concrete, from the embodied energy
point of view, is the binder. Alternative pozzolanic reactive components can
therefore reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.
A material that appears to have the potential to partially substitute both binder
and natural aggregates is ceramic waste.
Ceramic waste can be used safely in the production of concrete due to some of
its favorable properties. It is durable, hard and highly resistant to biological,
chemical and physical degradation.
It can originate from the production or demolition of a multitude of products such
as: wall and floor tiles, bricks and roof tiles, household ceramics, refractory
products, sanitary ware, technical ceramics, vitrified clay pipes, expanded clay
aggregates, inorganic bonded abrasives; therefore the chemical composition and
physical properties vary considerably.
A classification is presented in Fig.1. as proposed by F. Pacheco-Torgal and S.
Jalali (F. Pacheco-Torgal, S. Jalali 2010). Ceramic waste can be separated into
two categories in accordance with the source of its raw materials. In each
category, the fired ceramic waste was classified according to the production
process differentiating them by the use of red or white ceramic pastes. However,
the use of white paste is more frequent and much higher in volume.
A large quantity of waste is generated in the production stage, some authors
(Senthamarai and Devadas 2005) have estimated that about 30 % of the daily
manufacturing volume in the ceramic industry goes to waste. In Europe,
according to (Fernandes et al. 2004) the amount of waste in the different
production stages of the ceramic industry reaches 37 % of its global production.
In the ceramic industry several types of waste are generated, cement and
concrete production can consume a substantial percentage of the total generated
waste materials, which can alleviate the acute environmental impact of these
materials and also partly help to achieve the much needed sustainability in
cement and concrete production.

Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito


Tra XX e XXI secolo

Figure 1: Classification of ceramic wastes by type and production process (F.


Pacheco-Torgal, S. Jalali 2010).

Taking a cross section of the articles published on the topic the international
interest is evident, in the following table a sampling of the articles reviewed is
presented organizing them by the type of ceramic waste used for the production
of the concrete and the nationality of the research.

Table 1: Distribution of sampled articles.

The table shows that a multitude of ceramic waste are investigated, primarily
from brick and tile; the nations chiefly interested in this line of research for
number of typologies of waste and of articles are Portugal and Malaysia.

Primo A. Autore, Secondo B. Autore, Terzo C. Autore

Uses of ceramic waste substitutions

2.1 Asphalt aggregate


The use of ceramic waste for non structural uses has been investigated and
found to be suitable. Specifically the use in hot-mix asphalt (Decheng Feng et al
2013) found that "the dynamic modulus, flow number and indirect tensile
strength were all improved by adding ground scrap and generally reached their
peak values at 2.5% ground scrap content". However the glazing on the surface
of some the ceramic products, such as sanitary ware, decreases the adhesion
between the binder and the aggregate for that reason usually only fine
aggregates obtained by grinding are used.
2.2 Concrete aggregate
Aggregates must not contain significant contents of deleterious components such
as chlorides or sulphates, and they must also have proper shape and size to
obtain a good quality concrete.
Some studies have investigated the use of ceramic wastage in concrete as sand
or coarse aggregate.
Various studies show that the rougher the aggregate surface texture used in
concrete, the better the bonding they develop with the surrounding matrix and
the aggregate type influences the characteristics of the aggregate paste bond.
The studies have varied the typology and dimension of the aggregates used;
some have fixed the compressive strength required and determined the
appropriate mix design, others maintain the mix design and vary the
water/cement ratio.
Following a synthesis of the results divided by type of waste considered is
presented with specific attention to the compressive strength obtained, and the
percentile distance from the reference ordinary aggregate concrete.
2.2.1 Brick
Crushed brick doesn't present glazing and has a high natural porosity, the
studies show a significant reduction of the compressive strength at 28 days as
seen in Table 2. A reduction of as much as 44% for a total substitution was
reported by J.R. Correia et al 2006.
A. Mohd Mustafa Al Bakri et al 2008 with a fixed 46% replacement, varying the
W/C ratio from 0.4 to 0.7, at seven days show a reduction of as much as 71%.
Other studies have analyzed waste from crushed brick as a cement replacement
material and are mentioned later.

Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito


Tra XX e XXI secolo

Table 2: Brick aggregate.

2.2.2 Ceramic electrical insulators


Aggregates with ceramic electrical insulator has good resistance to the chemical
attacks such as sulphate attack and chloride attack by preventing permeation of
these chemicals (Dhavamani Doss Sa 2013), and the compressive strength (Tab.
3) suffers a very slight decrease (RM. Senthamarai et al 2011); Portella, K. F. et
al 2006 reported for a mix of natural and ceramic waste aggregates, specifically
50% substitution of sand and coarse aggregates and 100% natural sand and
coarse aggregates a reduction of the compressive strength of 18% and 13%
respectively.
Table 3: Ceramic electrical insulator aggregate.

2.2.3 Mixed
Some studies have analyzed the effect of ceramic waste aggregates obtained
from a mix of different sources such as flowerpot, tiles and sanitary ware. The
results for the compressive strength of the two studies cited are puzzling. In one
case (Mohd Mustafa Al Bakri Abdullah et al 2006) as the W/C ratio grows the
compressive strength (Tab. 04) diminishes until at 0.6 it suddenly spikes at +
35%. In the other (A.M. Mustafa Al Bakri et al 2013) the compressive strength

Primo A. Autore, Secondo B. Autore, Terzo C. Autore

loss goes from 19% to 3% and then grows suddenly to 31%. Maybe the
difference in the two studies proposed by the same research group are due to
the different nature of the mixed aggregate used.
Table 4: Mixed aggregate.

2.2.4 Sanitary ware


Sanitary ceramic ware waste is classified as belonging to group of nonbiodegradable industrial waste. The studies cited have determined that (C.
Medina et al 2012) the inclusion of ceramic aggregate cause a refinement of the
pore system, increasing the volume of capillary pores and decreasing the volume
of macropores; and. The recycled ceramic aggregate did not intervene in
chemical reactions during hydration and zircon (Zr) did not migrate to the paste.
The compressive strength (Tab. 05) is improved by the substitution of sanitary
ware aggregates from a minimum of 0% for 3% substitution (I. Guerra et al
2009) to 11% for a 25% substitution (C. Medina et al 2012), with a mean
average of 6% improvement.
Other studies have analyzed waste from crushed sanitary ware as a cement
replacement material and are mentioned later.

2.2.5 Tile
Tiles can be both the more durable stoneware and the more fragile earthenware.
The studies on aggregates obtained from tiles reported a general, if sleight,
increase of the compressive strength at 28 days (Tab. 06) that decreases as the
percentage of aggregate substitution increases. In particular (D. Tavakolia et al
2012) reported a maximum increase of 5% for a 5% substitution to a 0%
increase at 40% substitution; the same study reported similar values for the 7
day compressive strength. Instead A. Mohd Mustafa Al Bakri et al 2008 reported
for the 7 day compressive strength a reduction from 2% to 73% as the W/C ratio
grew from 0.4 to 0.7.
Other studies have analyzed waste from crushed sanitary ware as a cement
replacement material and are mentioned later.

Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito


Tra XX e XXI secolo

Table 5: Sanitary ware aggregate.

Table 6: Tile aggregate.

Primo A. Autore, Secondo B. Autore, Terzo C. Autore

2.3 Pozzolanic cement replacer


Ceramic products are made from pastes which contain a high proportion of clay
minerals. Fired clay is obtained with a process of dehydration followed by
controlled firing at temperatures of between 700C and 1000C. Thus, the
manufacturing process involved in ceramic materials requires high firing
temperatures which may activate the clay minerals, endowing them with
pozzolanic properties and forming hydrated products similar to those obtained
with other active materials.
Several authors already confirmed the pozzolanic reactivity of ceramic waste
powder.
As shown in the table below (Tab. 08), the origins of the fine sands used in the
studies cited are varied suggesting that they may all have pozzolanic reactivity.
No study has considered the waste of the first production phases before the firing
or when the firing may be incomplete.
The percentages of substitution are low on average, but still decisive in the
environmental impact reduction of concrete. The binder is a small part of the
total volume but if contains the most embodied energy; the result of very high
temperature firing a partial reduction in its use can achieve notable
environmental benefits.
Besides, it will also have a major effect on decreasing concrete costs, since the
cost of cement represents more than 45% of the concrete cost.
If we look at the minimum, maximum and average values of the table as a whole
we see that the compressive strength has a reported minimum value of -42%
(A.V. Alves 2014) for a 100% substitution and a W/C of 0.86, and the max value
of +28% (Baoshan Huang et al 2009) for a 10% substitution, the average mean
value of 7 %.
Analyzing the average values by type (Tab. 07) we have 7 % for brick, - 16 %
for ceramic electrical insulator, + 11 % for fired ware scrap, - 14 % for sanitary
ware, and 7 % for ceramic tiles.
Table 7: Min, max and average percentile difference for cement replacement.

Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito


Tra XX e XXI secolo

3.
Conclusion
The use of ceramic waste aggregate produces concrete with lower density, weight and higher slump.
As all non natural aggregates the water absorption is higher and the water/cement ratio needs to be
carefully designed. For most of the ceramic waste aggregate a slight increase of the compressive
strength is evident with different substitution percentages, unfortunately the values vary considerably
even within the same study.

Primo A. Autore, Secondo B. Autore, Terzo C. Autore

In any case even if there is no improvement of the compressive strength the environmental objective is
achieved by reducing the use of natural quarried material and reusing volumes destined to the landfills.
The review of the articles shows that ceramic waste aggregates can be used with varying degrees of
success depending on the use of the conglomerate, the type of waste, and the percentages of
substitution considered.
Still most of the studies used waste, generated in the production stages of the ceramic products,
guaranteeing a certain homogeneity of the crushed aggregates and results that cannot be assured with
materials produced by the processes of construction and demolition. In these, the presence of existing
mortar and conglomerate compromises the adherence of the paste and aggregate and can be eliminated
only with time consuming and costly procedures.
The field at the moment misses a descriptive index that can characterize ceramic waste in general, and
mixed aggregates from construction and demolition in particular, to determine what percentages can
be substituted, for each typology, to maintain or improve the performance of the conglomerates
produces for any specific use.

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Concrete2014 - Progetto e Tecnologia per il Costruito


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