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OPTIMIZATION OF PERLITE PROCESSING FOR UTILIZATION IN NEW BUILDING MATERIALS

Objective


The main results of the project are:
Assessment of the geology, petrology and mineralogy of crude, raw and expanded Greek perlite. Formulation of relevant data bank with perlite property variation in terms of expansion conditions.
Optimization of expansion process of perlite: Development of an advanced, user-friendly computational tool for the prediction of combustion characteristics, of expansion process and of expanded perlite properties in terms of operating conditions in industrial furnaces. Verification experiments have been performed at three industrial furnaces and a prototype small-scale perlite expansion furnace, designed, constructed and operated for the purposes of the project.
Optimisation of the hydophobisation process of perlite. A Numerical code predicting deposition and coating efficiency of spraying agent on expanded perlite particles has been developed and applied to an industrial expansion furnace. Prototype, laboratory and industrial scale hydrophobisation system has been developed and evaluation experiments have been performed.
Following a number of test productions, the following products, based upon the gypsum-expanded perlite combination, have been successfully developed and produced using properly expanded perlite meeting the necessary requirements, with respect to granulometry, density, stability (compaction resistance) and purity from sinks:
Fire and acoustic boards
Hand applied plasters
Projection plasters
Extruded gypsum products
Some of these products have already been commercialised by the industrial partners.
The proposed research is directed at developing and testing new methodologies to improve the control and efficiency of the expansion and hydrophobization processes of perlite. It is proposed to use the optimised expanded perlite as light-weight aggregate, for the development of new building materials with improved density, thermal insulation and fire resistant properties. For building material applications perlites of uniform density, increased hardness and well controlled size distribution are required and cannot be produced without optimisation of the expansion and hydrophobization processes. The application of perlite in building materials either alone or together with other compounds, such as plaster and glass fibres has not been systematically investigated. Three major inter-disciplinary work packages will be performed:

(i) Raw Perlite Appraisal, Mathematical Modelling and Experimental Verification of the Expansion Process of Expanded Perlite
(ii) Improvement of the Hydrophobization Process of Perlite
(ii) Further and New Uses of Expanded and/or Hydrophobized Perlite in Building Materials.

It is estimated that the production price of expanded perlite can be reduced about 10% by optimising the expansion and hydrophobization processes. New light weight, low density, uniformly coated products will broaden the range of expanded perlite applications. Productivity gains in the order of 15% are anticipated with consequential lowering of unit costs up to 20% and improvement in market share.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

KNAUF GYPSOPIIA ABEE
Address
L.syngrou Av., 233
17121 N. Smyrni / Athens
Greece

Participants (7)

ATZ-EVUS
Germany
Address
Kroptersrichter Str. 6-8
92237 Sulzbach-rosenberg
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Ecole Centrale Paris - Grande Voie Des Vignes
92295 Chatenay Malabry
GEBR KNAUF WESTDEUTSCHE GIPSWERKE
Germany
Address

97343 Iphofen
IGME
Greece
Address
Messoghion Str., 70
11527 Athens
NTU ATHENS
Greece
Address
Patission, 42
10682 Athens
PERLITE HELLAS SA
Greece
Address
P.o. Box 1048
38110 Volos
UNIVERSITY OF ERLANGEN-NUREMBERG
Germany
Address
Cauerstrasse 4
91058 Erlangen