De Gennaro, Roberto and Cappelletti, Piergiulio and Cerri, Guido and De Gennaro, Maurizio and Dondi, Michele and Langella, Alessio (2004) Zeolitic tuffs as raw materials for lightweight aggregates. Applied Clay Science, Vol. 25 (1-2), p. 71-81. ISSN 0169-1317. Article.
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The aim of this research is to assess the possible use of Italian zeolitic rocks for the production of lightweight aggregates. In particular, both the expansion at high temperature and the technological features of fired products were investigated. Fifteen zeolite-bearing volcanoclastites from Northern Sardinia and three zeolitized tuffs from Campania and Tuscany (Sorano and Campanian ignimbrites and Neapolitan Yellow Tuff) were taken into account. The firing expansion turned out to be mainly dependent on the chemical composition (especially SiO2 and fluxing oxides such as Fe2O3, Na2O, K2O, MgO and CaO) and the water content (largely related to the zeolite amount) of the raw materials. Other relevant parameters were the temperature of maximum expansion (ranging between 1350 and 1500 °C, without additives) and soaking time (between 2 and 5 min). Some products are highly impervious to water (water absorption below 1%) and exhibit a considerable firing expansion (> 100% in volume), a low bulk density (0.5–0.7 g•cm−3) and fair technical properties (loose weight and strength of particles). These encouraging results make some of the investigated tuffs interesting raw materials for the production of lightweight aggregates.
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