Assessment of Suitability of the Beduh Deposits (Lower Triassic) for Lightweight Aggregates, North Amadyia, Kurdistan Region - Iraq

Farhad A. Hakeem , Mazin Y. Tamar-Agha , Ahmed M. Aqrawi
Department of Geology, College of Science, Salahaddin University, Erbil-Iraq
Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad-Iraq
Department of Geology, College of Science, Salahaddin University, Erbil-Iraq


This study deals with the assessment of deposits of the Beduh Formation (Lower
Triassic) for lightweight aggregate. It is carried out on channel samples of three
exposures (Beduhe, Sararu and Nazdur) at north of Amadyia. Lithologically, the
formation consists of alternation of reddish purple, reddish brown and greenish grey
shale with subordinate thin sandstone beds and some siltstone streaks.
XRD analysis revealed that the studied samples are composed mainly of clay
minerals such as illite in major proportion with kaolinite, chlorite, smectite and mixed-
layer illite-smectite in minor proportions. The non-clay minerals are quartz and calcite,
in major proportions and minor proportions of feldspar and hematite. Grain size analysis
showed that the raw materials are composed mainly of clay and silt, with subordinate
sand. The plasticity index of these shales is high due to high clay content. Chemical
analyses show that the raw materials are composed essentially of silica, alumina, calcium
oxide and relatively a less proportion of iron oxide, and appreciable amounts of MgO,
K2O, Na2O, TiO2 and MnO.
The raw materials are ground and sieved to two sizes: fine size (less than 0.075
mm) and coarse size (less than 1.00 mm). Water is added (about 12-15 %) to the sieved
samples and thoroughly mixed, pelletized by hand to lumps named here pellets (about
18-20 mm diameter). The pellets are dried and fired at different temperatures with
different soaking times. The evaluation physical tests (bloating, porosity, water
absorption and bulk density) shows that the best results achieved through flash firing at
1120°C with soaking time 30 minutes and rapid cooling, after pre-heating to about 300
to 350°C for 10 to 15 minutes. The coarse raw materials (less than 1.00 mm) show better
results than the finer size (less than 0.075 mm).

Key Words:
Beduh shale
Lightweight aggregate
Flash firing


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