Strength and Durability of Mortar Using Cork Waste Ash as Cement Replacement


Mat. Res.




Cork powder, the major waste from cork processing industries, is generated from grinding, cutting and finishing operations throughout the industrial cork process. Cork powder has been used mainly as fuel in cork industries. Cork waste ash is usually landfilled but if efficiently used in cement based construction materials it could contribute to sustainability. Strength and durability testing was undergone on mortar with 10 and 20% cement replacement with cork waste ash. Although strength is acceptable for 10% cement replacement with cork ash (5% loss at 90 days, compared to control), most durability properties (tested up to 6 months according to test type) reduced performance probably due to a broader pore structure caused by coarse particles in the ash which tested non pozzolanic. Moreover, cork waste ash does not present the necessary requirements in terms of chemical properties considering several standards. Present work has revealed that this cork waste cannot be used as a pozzolan or as a filler in cement based materials. In fact it is known that chemical composition of biomass ash is highly variable due to moisture variations, ash yield and different genetic types of inorganic matter in biomass and therefore it is important to pinpoint which types of biomass waste are adequate or not to use as cement replacement in construction.

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