Thermal behaviour of a zeolitic tuff
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Natural zeolites undergo structural changes after heating which open their possible use in different fields, related to their chemical and physical properties, such as building stone, lightweight aggregate, ceramic foam, concrete bricks, tiles, porcelain stoneware and additive in puzzolonic cements. In this study, thermal behavior of zeolitic tuff quarried from Gördes-Manisa, region of Turkey was investigated. Zeolitic rocks were first reduced to 2 μm and pellets were prepared by dry-pressing. The pellets were heated for 30 min in the temperature range of 200-1200 °C. Heating the tuff up to 600 °C did not cause any structural change detectable by X-Ray powder diffraction (X-Ray), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermal characterization methods with regard to the original sample, while further increase in the temperature caused structural breakdown of zeolitic tuff. The appearance of the broad low intensity peaks in X-Ray diffraction diagrams indicated most probably a partial transformation of crystal structure into an amorphous structure. The Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs showed that the crystals seen in the original rock sample were broken during grinding and pressing processes. The crystal structure disappeared above 1000 °C and the spherical pores was observed at 1200 °C. Chemical composition of the zeolitic tuff did not change significantly with respect to temperature. The highest density (2.28 g/cm3) and hardness (387 Hv) were obtained by sintering the pellets at 1000 °C for 30 min.