Substitution of quartz and clay with fly ash in the production of architectural ceramics : A mechanistic study

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
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  • Jianyu Wang
  • Xiao-yan Li
  • Tao Qi


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12514-12525
Journal / PublicationCeramics International
Issue number9
Online published16 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


Quartz and clay are substituted gradually by fly ash using a triaxial ceramic formulation under simulated industrial conditions and the effects of fly ash substitution on the macroscopic properties and microstructures of the sintered ceramics are evaluated systematically. With the substitution of 35 wt% (1250 °C), the ceramic sample exhibited optimal properties, including linear shrinkage of 15.61%, bulk density of 2.39 g cm-3, water absorption of 0.62% and flexural strength of 41.70 MPa, due to the accelerated densification and fly ash-spurred needle-shaped mullite. The microstructure analysis shows that the sintered matrix consists of three types of particles, quartz-, clay- and feldspar-like particles showing sintering behavior with respect to filling the glassy matrix with preserved morphology, precipitating mullite crystals, and fusing with the surrounding glassy matrix, respectively. The strength of the fly ash - containing ceramics is analyzed by the dispersion-strengthening mechanism and porosity and the results indicate that the fly ash particles affect the mechanical strength due to Griffith flaws when the total porosity is less than 25% and pores at higher total porosity. This study provides a viable strategy to recycle industrial fly ash in the production of architectural ceramics.

Research Area(s)

  • Ceramic, Dispersion-strengthening mechanism, Fly ash, Microstructure, Porosity