Municipal incinerator bottom ash (MIBA) and sewage sludge ash (SSA) are secondary wastes produced from municipal incinerators. Landfills, disposal at sea, and agricultural use have been the major outlets for these secondary wastes. As global emphasis on sustainability arises, many have called for an increasing reuse of waste materials as valuable resources. In this study, MIBA and SSA were mixed with clay for ceramic tile manufacturing in this study. Raw materials firstly went through TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) to ensure their feasibility for reuse. From scanning electron microscopy (SEM), clay’s smooth surface was contrasted with the porous surface of MIBA and SSA, which led to a higher water requirement for the mixing. Specimens with five MIBA mix percentages of 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% (wt) and three SSA mix percentages of 0%, 10%, and 20% (wt) were made to compare how the two waste materials affected the quality of the final product and to what extent. Shrinkage tests showed that MIBA and SSA contributed oppositely to tile shrinkage, as more MIBA reduced tile shrinkage, while more SSA encouraged tile shrinkage. However, as the kiln temperature reached 1150 °C, the SiO2-rich SSA adversely reduced the shrinkage due to the glass phase that formed to expand the tile instead. Both MIBA and SSA increased water tile absorption and reduced its bending strength and wear resistance. Increasing the kiln temperature could effectively improve the water absorption, bending strength, and wear resistance of high MIBA and SSA mixes, as SEM showed a more compact structure at higher temperatures. However, when the temperature reached 1100 °C, more pores appeared and seemingly exhausted the benefit brought by the higher temperature. Complex interactions between kiln temperature and MIBA/SSA mix percentage bring unpredictable performance of tile shrinkage, bending strength, and water absorption, which makes it very challenging to create a sample meeting all the specification requirements. We conclude that a mix with up to 20% of SSA and 5% of MIBA could result in quality tiles meeting the requirements for interior or exterior flooring applications when the kiln temperature is carefully controlled.
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