Diatomites from the Iberian Peninsula as Pozzolans

Costafreda Mustelier, Jorge Luis and Martín Sánchez, Domingo Alfonso and Astudillo Matilla, Beatriz and Presa Madrigal, Leticia and Parra y Alfaro, José Luis and Sanjuán, Miguel Ángel (2023). Diatomites from the Iberian Peninsula as Pozzolans. "Materials", v. 16 (n. 10); ISSN 1996-1944. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16103883.


Title: Diatomites from the Iberian Peninsula as Pozzolans
  • Costafreda Mustelier, Jorge Luis
  • Martín Sánchez, Domingo Alfonso
  • Astudillo Matilla, Beatriz
  • Presa Madrigal, Leticia
  • Parra y Alfaro, José Luis
  • Sanjuán, Miguel Ángel
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Materials
Date: 22 May 2023
ISSN: 1996-1944
Volume: 16
Freetext Keywords: diatomite; mortars; calcination; pozzolanicity; mechanical strength
Faculty: E.T.S.I. de Minas y Energía (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Geológica y Minera
UPM's Research Group: Estudios Ambientales GEA
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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The object of this work is to study and characterize diatomites from the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula to establish their character and quality as natural pozzolans. This research carried out a morphological and chemical characterization study of the samples using SEM and XRF. Subsequently, the physical properties of the samples were determined, including thermic treatment, Blaine particle finesse, real density and apparent density, porosity, volume stability, and the initial and final setting times. Finally, a detailed study was conducted to establish the technical properties of the samples through chemical analysis of technological quality, chemical analysis of pozzolanicity, mechanical compressive strength tests at 7, 28, and 90 days, and a non-destructive ultrasonic pulse test. The results using SEM and XRF show that the samples are composed entirely of colonies of diatoms whose bodies are formed by silica between 83.8 and 89.99% and CaO between 5.2 and 5.8%. Likewise, this indicates a remarkable reactivity of the SiO2 present in both natural diatomite (~99.4%) and calcined diatomite (~99.2%), respectively. Sulfates and chlorides are absent, while the insoluble residue portion for natural diatomite is 1.54% and 1.92% for calcined diatomite, values comparatively lower than the standardized 3%. On the other hand, the results of the chemical analysis of pozzolanicity show that the samples studied behave efficiently as natural pozzolans, both in a natural and calcined state. The mechanical tests establish that the mechanical strength of the mixed Portland cement and natural diatomite specimens (52.5 MPa) with 10% PC substitution exceeds the reference specimen (51.9 MPa) after 28 days of curing. In the case of the specimens made with Portland cement and calcined diatomite (10%), the compressive strength values increase even more and exceed the reference specimen at both 28 days (54 MPa) and 90 days (64.5 MPa) of curing. The results obtained in this research confirm that the diatomites studied are pozzolanic, which is of vital importance because they could be used to improve cements, mortars, and concrete, which translates to a positive advantage in the care of the environment.

More information

Item ID: 74004
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/74004/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:74004
DOI: 10.3390/ma16103883
Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/16/10/3883
Deposited by: Dr. Jorge Luis Costafreda Mustelier
Deposited on: 23 May 2023 09:25
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 09:25
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