Utilization of mining and stone processing waste dust in the production of synthetic aggregate and construction materials (Part 1)

The development of technology in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in the world has led to an extensive exploitation of non-renewable resources and an increase in emissions and waste. It has become a financial burden for the producers and an environmental burden for the society. The construction industry has been significantly contributing to the current situation. Within the European Union, the industry is responsible for approximately 40 % of all waste.

The recovery of renewable resources is limited, non-renewable resources are irrecoverably depleted, and an effective utilization of waste in the construction is still in its infancy. It is, therefore, quite natural to look for new ways to utilize waste, especially the waste that can be used locally and processed cheaply. One of the tried and tested alternatives is the production of the synthetic aggregate RUGEN. This technology uses a large amount of waste dust to produce synthetic aggregate for further utilization. The waste dust producers can then make alternative products from their own waste materials.

The lightweight synthetic aggregate RUGEN RU is made from fine inorganic waste materials, special binding agents, additives, and admixtures. It is an effective lightweight synthetic aggregate with the strength from 1 to 20 MPa and is of the average extent of widely used fractions that can be utilized in the construction. The production technology allows to determine not only the strength of the aggregate, but also its bulk density and other parametres. It is a naturally non-flammable material which can be used in various kinds of construction processes. The most easily obtainable materials can replace some of the natural resources whilst at the same time helping us decrease landfilling and disposal of fine waste materials. The aggregate production is energy-saving and, therefore, environment friendly.

Figure 1: Spherical synthetic aggregate RUGEN RU
Figure 2: Irregular synthetic aggregate RUGEN RU

The synthetic aggregate RUGEN RU is mostly spherical (Image 1), or alternatively it can take an irregular shape (Image 2). Apart from the low price, the main advantages of the aggregate are its low and adjustable bulk density and quick absorbability that allows the product to be used in concrete or mortar without change in consistency.

© 2020 Ing. Václav Vachuška
Photo: Ing. Václav Vachuška