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large kaolin system sand production line in mutare

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Concerns about the management of glass wool waste, approximately 800,000 tons of which are generated annually in Europe, are increasing. To test the feasibility of incorporating this waste into ceramic materials, this study examined the reuse of glass wool as a fluxing agent in the production of clay- and waste-based building ceramics. Commercial kaolin clay and two industrial residues, namely quartz-feldspar sand (QFS) and copper slag (CS), were selected as the precursors. Six compositions were prepared, three samples containing glass wool and three counterparts without glass wool, and then sintered at 750, 850, and 950 °C. The materials and prepared ceramics were characterized by employing x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), water absorption, apparent density, and compressive and flexural strength tests. Interestingly, the results indicated that incorporating 10 wt% of glass wool into the QFS, CS, and kaolin mixtures created ceramics with better physical, mechanical, and microstructural properties. This was ascribed to the glass wool melting reactions observed from approximately 700 °C. The QFS samples with glass wool and sintered at 950 °C achieved compressive strength values as high as 117 MPa and water absorption percentages as low as 2%. However, the fluxing effect of glass wool was less significant in the CS- and kaolin-based ceramics, likely due to differences in their chemical composition, mineralogy, and particle-size distribution. The results of this study emphasize the reuse potential of glass wool and other waste streams in building ceramics and could contribute to improving the management of glass wool waste in line with social sustainability objectives

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