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International Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year : 2011, Volume : 2, Issue : 2
First page : ( 765) Last page : ( 780)
Online ISSN : 0976-4402.

Utilization of Gebel Attaqa Quarry Waste in the manufacture of Single Fast Firing Ceramic Wall Tiles

Amin Sh. K.1, Youssef N.F2, El-Mahllawy M.S.2,*, El-Abd H.1

1Chemical Engineering and Pilot Plant Department, National Research Center (NRC), Dokki, Giza, Egypt.

2Raw Building Materials and Processing Technology Research Institute, Housing and Building National Research Center (HBRC), Dokki, Giza, Egypt.

*Email: medhatt225@yahoo.com.

Online published on 11 December, 2012.


Extensive and inexpensive quarrying operations have been done on a large scale in Gebel Attaqa area, Eastern Desert of Egypt, where the main source of dolomite deposits is located. The production line of the working crushers at Gebel Attaqa produces primary building and pavement aggregate types and fine quarry residues as a waste byproduct. These residues are in huge quantities that cannot meet the requirements of the safe disposal which does not exceed 25% of the total accumulated amount forming a burden on the surrounded environment. So, it was suitable to try to utilize it as a ceramic tile raw material for both economical and environmental purposes, as well as sustainability, by keeping the natural resources for the coming generations.

A basic mixture with the same composition as that used in industry was prepared. The basic mixture raw materials and the waste were analyzed by XRF. The waste was investigated by DTA and TGA. Suggested mixtures were prepared, where the waste replaces limestone in the basic mixture as 3, 5, 7, 9% (total replacement) by weight. The tile specimens were prepared for each sample; as glazed and unglazed. Both molding and firing were required to be exactly as the industrial conditions. So, the tile samples were lab prepared then fired in the production line of the factory.

Physical and chemical properties of fired samples were tested according to ISO 13006 and harmonized ES 3168 – part 6. In addition, other vitrification parameters were measured as linear firing shrinkage, loss on ignition and hardness. Fired samples of the proposed mixtures were characterized by XRD and SEM techniques. The best results were obtained for the total replacement of limestone by this waste, which is recommended.



Limestone, quarry waste, vitrification parameters, ceramic tiles, sustainability.


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