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DEMACESC: Development of Sustainable Ceramic Materials in the Construction Industry

The development of sustainable materials is a research area of significant importance, considering the positive impacts from an economic, social, and environmental point of view. The construction industry contributes substantially to the demand of materials from highly contaminant processes and energy consumption. Among these materials, we can highlight the ceramics and cement due to the thermal treatments involved during their production, with temperatures higher than 1000 ºC.

Similarly, these industrial sectors are also known for the feasibility of reusing several types of wastes in the production processes. Consequently, there is a continuous evaluation of new alternative sources. This project aims to evaluate the recycling of industrial wastes in the production of traditional ceramic materials. It will be studied how the wastes can affect the performance of ceramic elements from a technical point of view (mechanical strength, dimensional homogeneity, appearance, and durability of specimens on a laboratory scale), along with production parameters (extrudability and process efficiency). Therefore, integrating the final product’s effects with the impact on production processes potentializes recycling of some wastes in the ceramic industry.
It is important to emphasize that life cycle analysis within the ceramic industry shows that thermal treatments are responsible for a high percentage of the negative environmental impact. So, why don’t we develop a ceramic material free of calcination? Therefore, this project aims to develop and evaluate chemically bonded ceramics (known as geopolymers), produced under environmental conditions (or where the highest thermal treatment is 80 ºC) for the obtention of a material that can be used as a ceramic matrix in a product applied in the construction industry.

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