Stone World

Innovative byproduct use by Brazilian slab producer

February 1, 2013
Decolores of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim
Since its foundation in 2001, Decolores of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Espírito Santo, Brazil, has placed an emphasis on the preservation of nature and respect for the surrounding community. As part of this, the company is committed to sustainability in relation to its operating procedures, and it is always seeking to reduce the environmental impact caused by its production activity. As part of this, for over two years, Decolores has been developing a method to reuse one of the most common byproducts of natural stone slab production — abrasive slurry. Ultimately, it has devised a method to use the slurry in the production of “ecological bricks,” which have been used for a variety of applications.

The ecological bricks are used for building construction as well as curbing, and they have been utilized for houses, retaining walls and industrial warehouses. The physical properties of the bricks allow them to be used as structural masonry, thus reducing construction time and labor requirements while also providing an environmentally friendly building solution. According to Decolores, the product is finding demand in markets across Brazil.

While part of the abrasive slurry is used for the production of environmental bricks, and curbing, the remainder is sent to AAMOL, an association licensed by the environmental agency, which treats and reuses it for future processing of natural stone.

“The ecological bricks are one of the most versatile and environmentally friendly products on the market,” stated Decolores. “Because it has structural features used in standard construction, the system can be used as self-supporting masonry, without the need for traditional columns and beams. This reduces the cost of hand labor, material and time. They offer the best value for the money through a number of advantages, including its visual aspect, ease of implementation, greater strength and competitive cost, besides the contribution to the environment.”

According to the company, the blocks have optimal compressive strength, and they are produced with strict quality control. They can be installed without grout or similar products, and the low water absorption of the bricks allows them to be used in a broad range of environments.