Artificial Superplasticized Aggregates for Decorative Applications
G. Ferrari, T. Cerulli, A. Lolli, G. Novella, and R. Pellay
Appears on pages(s):
artificial aggregates; artificial "Terrazzo" flooring; superplasticizers
Natural stones have always represented major aesthetic factors in building construction. One of the more ancient and important applications, is the production of decorative floorings. The most famous example in the flooring field is the "Terrazzo alla Veneziana". In recent years, the extensive exploiting of quarries and consequent environmental problems have reduced the availability of good low cost quality stone. In the present work, artificial superplasticized aggregates have been produced and used as decorative elements in this new "Terrazzo" flooring. The substitution of natural stones with these artificial materials is a first application of new practice. These aggregates are produced by combining inorganic binders, finely divided carbonaceous and/or siliceous minerals, superplasticizers and water. The use of nanostructural polycarboxylate superplasticizers allows to obtain very low water to cement ratios and, consequently, the final products are characterised by physical and mechanical properties, similar to those of natural stones. Additional ingredients, such as pigments and other materials have been added in order to obtain artificial aggregates with the desired properties and outstanding aesthetic characteristics.