Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 733-761

First online:

Glass-ceramics: Their production from wastes—A Review

  • R. D. RawlingsAffiliated withDepartment of Materials, Imperial College London
  • , J. P. WuAffiliated withDepartment of Materials, Imperial College London
  • , A. R. BoccacciniAffiliated withDepartment of Materials, Imperial College London Email author 

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Glass-ceramics are polycrystalline materials of fine microstructure that are produced by the controlled crystallisation (devitrification) of a glass. Numerous silicate based wastes, such as coal combustion ash, slag from steel production, fly ash and filter dusts from waste incinerators, mud from metal hydrometallurgy, different types of sludge as well as glass cullet or mixtures of them have been considered for the production of glass-ceramics. Developments of glass-ceramics from waste using different processing methods are described comprehensively in this review, covering R&D work carried out worldwide in the last 40 years. Properties and applications of the different glass-ceramics produced are discussed. The review reveals that considerable knowledge and expertise has been accumulated on the process of transformation of silicate waste into useful glass-ceramic products. These glass-ceramics are attractive as building materials for usage as construction and architectural components or for other specialised technical applications requiring a combination of suitable thermo-mechanical properties. Previous attempts to commercialise glass-ceramics from waste and to scale-up production for industrial exploitation are also discussed.