Background: Baking-free bricks have the advantages of saving energy and soil, being environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is interesting to prepare baking-free muck bricks using the muck as the main raw material by the curing process under the moderate environment.
Methods: The muck baking-free bricks were analysed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The roles of the ratio of the cement to muck in determining the compressive strength, water absorption, softening coefficient, stability of the freeze-thaw cycles and stability of the drying-wetting cycles of the muck bricks have been investigated.
Results: The compressive strength and softening coefficient of the muck bricks were the highest with the values of 15.81 MPa and 0.80, respectively, while the water absorption and mass loss percentage were the lowest with the values of 8.12% and 0.61%, respectively when the ratio of the slag cement to muck is 1:4. Hydration products formed by the hydration reaction resulting in the increase of the density and compressive strength of the muck baking-free bricks.
Conclusion: Muck baking-free bricks with good physical performance have been prepared using slag cement as the cementing material for the amalgamation of muck. The obtained baking-free bricks exhibited high mechanical performance.