Chilean research team doubles cement performance

Chilean research team doubles cement performance
15 August 2018

A group of researchers of the Department of Engineering and Construction Management at the Universidad Católica (UC) has reported doubled the performance of cement materials through an innovative use of solid waste extracted from copper mining tailings.

The findings are a step towards the reduction of the environmental impact of cement production as well as the waste from copper mining activity. The team analysed the technical feasibility of creating these materials through innovative use of copper mining tailings by means of a new thermal and mechanical treatment of these residues, which allow to double the capacity of the cement, according to Mauricio López, the UC engineering professor who leads the project.

“We developed samples using tailings with and without treatment. In the former, we optimised the temperature and grinding time to obtain a proper microstructure and size of solid waste, replacing up to 40 per cent of the cement by tailings, " said the engineer.

According to the expert, the use of tailings to produce cement has been previously studied. However, this waste has been tested without any treatment, showing a performance that only allows a 15% replacement of the cement per tail.

The UC research was supported by Chile’s National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development of Coneicyt, Corfo’s 2030 Engineering programme and the Centre for Urban and Sustainable Development.

Published under Cement News