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Rem: Revista Escola de Minas

Print version ISSN 0370-4467


PICANCO, Marcelo de Souza; ANGELICA, Rômulo Simões  and  BARATA, Márcio Santos. Pozzolanic activity of zeolite-bearing sandstone from northeast Brazil. Rem: Rev. Esc. Minas [online]. 2012, vol.65, n.2, pp.161-168. ISSN 0370-4467.

In northeastern Brazil, sedimentary zeolites occur associated with sandstones of the Corda Formation (Parnaiba Paleozoic Basin), discovered in the 2000s. These sandstones are composed of quartz, natural zeolites (estilbite) and clay minerals (smectite). Preliminary studies have shown that this sandstone can be used as a pozzolanic material in Portland-cement-based systems after the material has been sieved to remove the quartz and after thermal activation because the estilbite has low pozzolanic activity. The main objective of this study was to determine the best particle size distribution that yields the highest smectite and zeolite concentration, besides the best temperature for higher pozzolanic activity. The experimental program employed the zeolitic sandstone passing through a #200 and #325 mesh sieve and calcination at the following temperatures: 150°C, 300°C and 500°C. Chemical analysis of the sieved samples was carried out by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and X-ray diffractometry, while mineralogical characterization was done by X-ray and thermogravimetric analysis and thermogravimetry..To assess reactivity, calorimetry driving and mechanical tests for pozzolanic activity in hydrated lime and cement Porltand were performed. The results showed that the sample sieved through at #200 mesh was the most suitable because it had a higher concentration of estilbite and a higher percentage of material seived compared to the sample sieved at #325 mesh, 15% and 2% respectively. The 500°C calcination temperature was accompanied by increased pozzolanic activity due to changes in estilbite and smectite cristalinity; the more moderate temperatures of 150°C and 300°C were not sufficient to achieve similar results. The mortars with sandstone sieved at #200 mesh and calcinated at 500°C reached the minimum limits required for a material to be considered as pozzolanic, i.e, 6 MPa for hydrated lime mortars and 75% for the pozzolanic index activity (PAI).

Keywords : Pozzolan; Portland cement; limestone; zeolite; estilbite.

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