An average mine produces 100,000 tons of mining tailings every day. They are not utilized for anything, just stored in giant dams. Sometimes these mines burst causing ecological disasters.
The urgency to create a solution for transforming mining tailings from waste to product has motivated us to develop an alkali activated, just-add-water 3D printable mortar that can be used for various industrial and utility structures. We believe in a better future built faster, cheaper, safer and using waste products and this project was an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to greener construction.
We used tailings from Nord Kalk Lappeenranta wollastonite mine. Project was structured as an iterative R&D process, where every new developed recipe was first tested in small scale simulated 3D printing and then in real robotic 3D printing, results were harnessed and used to inform the next iteration of the recipe. We proceeded from printing small beams to 1 m diameter cylinders to 2 m by 2 m water tank, printed in just 90 minutes. Material’s compressive strength is 60 MPa.
We see great potential in continuing the development of our Geo-mix mortar utilized in conjunction with our 3D printing system. In the future, we plan to use tailings from different mines and explore various suitable applications for the material.
We proceeded from printing small beams to 1m diameter cylinders to 2 m by 2 m water tank, printed in just 90 minutes. Material’s compressive strength is 60 MPa.