Characterization of soil-cement bricks with incorporation of used foundry sand
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In order to contribute to the sustainability of the foundry and construction industrial sectors, this work investigated the possibility of employing used foundry sand (UFS) in soil-cement bricks. Modular bricks were prepared with percentages of 10 wt% cement, 0-25 wt% commercial sand, 0-65 wt% used foundry sand, 25-65 wt% clay, and 15-30 wt% gravel dust. A content of 10 wt% Portland cement was adopted to ensure economic feasibility, and gravel was used to improve mechanical strength. The modular bricks were tested to determine their technical properties. The interfaces between the constituent materials were observed by scanning electron microscopy. In durability tests, the bricks showed water absorption and weight loss in accordance with current technical standards. The addition of UFS together with gravel dust reduced water absorption and provided an acceptable level of mechanical resistance, in accordance with established soil-cement standards.