Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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This study was designed to determine the effects of wood ash on the physical and mechanical properties of fired clay bricks. The clay bricks were fabricated with the addition of 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16% by weight of wood ash. Strength development of brick was cased byfired at 900, 1000, and 1100°C for 40 min. The experimental results demonstrated that the physical property and strength of the fired clay bricks depend on the wood ash contentand firing temperature. Higher wood ash content affected an increase in porosity and water absorption, while the bulk density of the clay brickswas reduced. The compressive strength of the clay bricks increased with an increase in the firingtemperature or a decrease in the wood ash amount. The minimum compressive strength of fired clay bricks, in accordance with the ASTM strength requirements, is 17.2 MPa and was satisfied by bricks containing 4% added wood ash fired at 1000°Cand 1100°C, which attained a compressive strength of 17.9 and 19.4 MPa, respectively. The study confirmed that wood ash is a material that can be used to add extra porosity during the production of raw clay bricks.1.IntroductionFired clay brick is a popular building material and has been usedfor a long time. This brick has several advantages, including good thermal insulating property and low price.The disadvantages includeheavy weight and small size. These drawbacks negatively affect itstransportation and also slow down the construction speed. Recently,a number of attempts have been tried to improve these drawbacks[1].The development of fired clay bricks to be light weight and goodinsulating properties that utilise agricultural and industrial wastematerials has been considered. However, there are other clay brick properties that have also been claimed to be important [2].The properties of fired clay bricks depend on the composition of raw materials, firing temperature, and production method [3]. The use of waste materials as an additive in the clay brick productionallows the improvement of various properties of fired clay bricks and solves some environmental problems [4]. Agricultural waste is a common additive in clay bricks (e.g., coconut husk,grass, tea, cottonstalk, tobacco, rice husk, sugarcane bagasse) [5]. The incorporation of an additive into clay bricks leads to the generation of pores and results in reduced thermal conductivity [6,7]. The pores directly affect the fired clay bricks density and also influence various other properties of fired clay bricks. The benefits of high clay bricksporosity are the lightweight and better thermal and sound insulation [8,9].The wood waste from the furniture industry is normally used as a fuel source in the factory. This waste composes of both inorganic and organic residues. After burning, a large amount of wood ash is obtained. The ashes are classified according to the chemical composition as high calcium ash and high silica ash. The high calcium group is produced from hardwood, while the high silica group is generated from rice straw, grass and rice husk. The mixed wood ash-clay composite was studied for use in the pavement. The use of wood ash as a fuel source is not only an important point to the industry, it also helps with environmental conservation [11].A number of researchers have previously examined the use of wood ash in cements, ceramics materials, mortar, and concretemixtures [12-16]. Admixtures of wood ash and sawdust were researched inthe laterite-clay bricks, which was tested inaccordance with ASTM C67. Wet and dry compressive strength of the bricks made from the control mix were about 18.4 and 15.2 MPa,respectively. Water absorption of the bricks made from the control mix was 13-15%. It was reported that wood ash addition presented lightweight and high porous products [17]. However, there is still a need to study the effects of wood ash on porosity, density, and strength characteristics of fired clay bricks. This study aimed to utilize the wood ash from the powergenerating industry in fired clay brick composition. The effect of wood ash addition in fired clay brick on the physical andmechanical

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