Challenges and prospects for development of a climate-friendly brick and tile industry

On 21 and 22 September, the Brick and Tile Research Institute in Essen updated around 50 attendees from Germany and several neighbouring countries with information in numerous papers on the central topic “Challenges and prospects for development of a climate-friendly brick and tile industry”.

Welcoming the attendees, the Deputy Institute Director Eckhard Rimpel opened the series of papers, which were presented by his colleagues from the IZF and two guest speakers. Dipl.-Ing. Rimpel went into the political challenges and the Roadmap 2050. The attendance at the Essener Hof hotel was gratifyingly high, as in previous years.

In his introductory talk on the funding programme “Decarbonization in industry“, Sebastian Varga from the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) discussed several specific case studies as well as the various options for support and funding.

After this, Dipl.-Ing. Silke Sabath addressed various aspects, from the increase in energy efficiency to decarbonization of the brick and tile industry, looking at the as-is situation, the actual increase in efficiency and the utilization of government funding programmes.

 

Alternative fuels for decarbonization

In the first paper of the afternoon, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Alexander Winkel M.Sc. spoke on the influence of mineral additives on the drying behaviour and product properties of bricks and tiles. One of the focuses was a study of the packing density of spheres and brick bodies.

Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ruppik then explained shrinkage-related deformation during drying and went into detail on the shrinkage differences, stresses and strength development as well as the calculation program ZiTro. Energy saving during drying thanks to a novel drying concept (low-energy continuous dryer) was the topic addressed by Dr Arman Rahimi.

The last session of talks was opened by Dr Rigo Giese with an outlook on the origin and usability of alternative fuels for decarbonization. One important aspect was a comparison of their combustion-related properties, in addition, he addressed the subject of hydrogen as the energy source of the future.

To conclude the first day of the seminar, Dipl.-Ing. Eckhard Rimpel reported on a special coating for the inside of kiln chambers aimed at energy saving and, in the second part of the talk, on process-related emissions from raw materials with regard to emission trading. In a raw material analysis, the Deputy IZF Director compared brick/facing brick clays, clay block clays and roofing tile clays, moreover the carbon content in papermaking waste was analysed.

After the first day of talks, the attendees met for a convivial get-together at the IZF, where, in keeping with tradition, there was opportunity for sharing ideas and information.

 

Raw materials for mineral binders

The second day of the seminar started with another talk by Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Alexander Winkel M.Sc. about the use of low-fired bricks as raw materials for mineral-based binders. The main focus was on the characterization of various brick raw materials and the use of brick flour in cement or geopolymers.

In the following talk on building materials recycling and sustainability, Dipl.-Ing. Sandra Petereit answered current key questions like “Why recycling?”, “Why sustainability?”, “Why recycling of old building materials?” or “What exactly is cradle to cradle?”.

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Kleemann spoke about international development in climate protection, climate change and its impact, urban microclimate and climate impact adaptation by means of greening buildings. In the next talk, Dipl.-Ing. Kleemann presented vegetation substrates on the basis of crushed brick and the effect of greened roofs on buildings.

Guest speaker Dr Dieter Figge from the Pro Massiv initiative presented a fact check on the topic “Naturally solid” and stressed that brick as a building material had no need to shy away from a sustainability comparison with wood, which unfortunately is still regarded as more ecological by sections of the public.

In the last paper of the event, Lars Etscheid M.Sc. spoke on studies on the out-of-plane loadbearing strength of brick masonry during earthquakes, including the development of a new calculation model and experimental studies on brick masonry walls (see the paper in ZI 5/2021 p. 16 ff.).

The event ended with the attendees lunching together. The next IZF seminar is expected to take place on 13 and 14 September 2022 in Essen.

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