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Fly ash 'timber' fit for building

MATERIALS - Cutting Edge

SCIENTISTS in India have developed a composite building material using waste from coal fired power stations.

They used waste fly ash from power plants to produce a material that can be cut, sawn or drilled like timber.

It contains as much as 70 per cent fly ash and, according to Vagish Shrinet, senior manager at the Electrical Research and Development Association, the material could be used for producing partition walls, tiles and other products.

He said: 'It can be sawn, nailed, drilled and painted, just like wood.We only need to improve the finish to make it more appealing.'

The development is part of a project by the research centre, which aims to highlight potential applications for the waste material including its use in manufacturing water-cured bricks.

It is launching a dedicated research showcase at the ERDA headquarters in India. According to Sangita Gulkindi at ERDA's materials division, the Fly Ash Utility Centre will help demonstrate further applications for fly ash-based building products.