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Frost-Proof Ceramics Developed
March 30, 2011 20:03

Good news, everyone who lives in the regions with cold climate Russian researchers have developed special additives, which help improve quality of local materials and make them suitable for making frost-proof bricks.

Regions with severe climatic conditions, Siberia, for instance, can be inhabited by people, however, houses in these regions should be built from quality materials, which can resist low temperatures. Sometimes, there is no way to get such materials onsite, and they have to be brought from somewhere else. Russian scientists suggest using additives, which significantly improve quality of carbonated clay loam, a common raw material for bricks in Siberia, making it suitable for producing frost-resistant bricks. Mentioned additives are produced from wastes of timber-chemical and metallurgy industries, which means they cost close to nothing.

Ceramic materials, made of a carbonated clay loam, cannot boast high strength. An innovative additive, developed by researchers from the Irkutsk Region, reinforces cavity inner walls of a ceramic product during burning. Moreover, the additive, which has an organic and a mineral components binds oxides of calcium and magnesium, which are quite abundant in clay loam. As a mineral component of the additive, researchers suggest using a side product of a local ferroalloy plant dust, which consists of a silicon oxide, trace amounts of carbon and metal oxides. As for organic components, which are saponified organic acids, they come from the process of kraft pulping as a side product. Another possible organic component of the additive is coal (carbon) dust.

A frost-resistant brick
Researchers have made sample ceramic products with various concentrations of complex additives and have studied mechanical properties of these samples. Experiments demonstrated that using both additives made bricks less dense due to elimination of organic component during burning. Cavities, which appeared in bricks after burning, increased their thermal insulation properties. When a carbonated clay loam without additives is used for making ceramic products, then bricks become less durable, the more water raw material contains. And vice versa ceramics with organic and mineral additives becomes only stronger, when saturated with water. Researchers explain this fact with formation of mineral phase calcium silicates and aluminosilicates, which are able to solidify, when being hydrated. This means that treating with water leads to strengthening of pore walls of the material with additives. Tests for frost resistance have confirmed strengthening of clay with additives after 50 alternating cycles of freezing and thawing under water saturation conditions.

Authors of the research believe that introduction of their innovative technology at ceramic-producing plants will not only increase resistance of bricks to low temperatures, but also reduce ecological tension in regions, involved in metallurgical industry, by removing tons of dust, a byproduct of metallurgical industrys technological processes.

Source: Science & Technologies

Kizilova Anna
Author: Anna Kizilova


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