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Structural Concretes with Waste-Based Lightweight Aggregates: From Landfill to Engineered Materials

Roberto de Gennaro, Sossio Fabio Graziano, Piergiulio Cappelletti, Abner Colella , Michele Dondi, Alessio Langella, and Maurizio de Gennaro




This research provides possible opportunities in the reuse of waste and particularly muds, coming from both ornamental stone (granite sludges from sawing and polishing operations) and ceramic production (porcelain stoneware tile polishing sludge), for the manufacture of lightweight aggregates. Lab simulation of the manufacturing cycle was performed by pelletizing and firing the waste mixes in a rotative furnace up to 1300 °C, and determining composition and physicomechanical properties of lightweight aggregates. The best formulation was used to produce and test lightweight structural concretes according to standard procedures. Both granite and porcelain stoneware polishing sludges exhibit a suitable firing behavior due to the occurrence of SiC (an abrasive component) which, by decomposing at high temperature with gas release, acts as a bloating promoter, resulting in aggregates with particle density <1 Mg/m3. However, slight variations of mixture composition produce aggregates with rather different properties, going from values close to those of typical commercial expanded clays (particle density 0.68 Mg/m3; strength of particle 1.2 MPa) to products with high mechanical features (particle density 1.25 Mg/m3; strength of particle 6.9 MPa). The best formulation (50 wt.% porcelain stoneware polishing sludge +50 wt.% granite sawing sludge) was used to successfully manufacture lightweight structural concretes with suitable properties (compressive strength 28 days>20 MPa, bulk density 1.4-2.0 Mg/m3).


Correspondence to Roberto de Gennaro, CISAG Università di Napoli "Federico II" Via Mezzocannone 8; Piergiulio Cappelletti, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Napoli "Federico II", Largo San Marcellino 10, 80138 Napoli, Italy.


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