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Open AccessArticle

Industrial Ceramic Blocks for Buildings: Clay Characterization and Drying Experimental Study

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campina Grande 58429-900, Brazil
2
CONSTRUCT-LFC, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
3
Department of Agriculture Science, State University of Paraiba, Catolé do Rocha 58884-000, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2834; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112834
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Energy Management in Buildings)
The conformation of a ceramic piece follows the steps of preparing the raw material, molding, lamination, drying, and firing. Drying is a thermodynamic process of heat and mass transfer, with dimensional variations of the product that requires a large amount of energy. Ceramic materials when exposed to non-uniform drying may suffer cracks and deformations, reducing their post-drying quality. Thus, this work aimed to study the drying of industrial ceramic blocks in an oven with forced air circulation. Experiments were carried out to characterize the clay and drying of the ceramic block at temperatures ranging from 50 °C to 100 °C. Results of the chemical, mineralogical, granulometric, differential thermal, and thermogravimetric analysis of the clay, and heating kinetics, mass loss, and dimensional variation of the industrial ceramic block are presented and analyzed in detail. It was found that the clay is basically composed of silica and alumina (≈ 80.96%), with an average particle diameter of 13.36 μm. The study proved that drying at high temperature and low relative humidity of the air generates high rates of mass loss, heating, and volumetric shrinkage in the ceramic product, and high thermo-hydraulic stresses, which cause the appearance and propagation of cracks, gaps, and cleavages, compromising the final quality of the product. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceramic blocks; clay; mass; heat; dimensional variation ceramic blocks; clay; mass; heat; dimensional variation
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Vasconcelos da Silva, A.; Delgado, J.; Guimarães, A.; Barbosa de Lima, W.; Soares Gomez, R.; Pereira de Farias, R.; Santana de Lima, E.; Barbosa de Lima, A. Industrial Ceramic Blocks for Buildings: Clay Characterization and Drying Experimental Study. Energies 2020, 13, 2834.

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