Binders and Ceramic Building Materials

Lecturers: Jörg Kropp


Mineral binders such as gypsum, lime and cements are amongst the most important and widely used industrial products manufactured in huge quantities around the world – with a corresponding impact on natural resources, energy consumption and ecological impact due to emissions. It is worthwhile to note that with increasing living standard also the demand of building materials increases.
Mineral binders are used to manufacture building elements and components, in case of concrete even whole structures, where they provide strength due to hardening in chemical processes. Since the hardened products often provide high compressive strength but brittle behaviour they are often referred to as cold ceramics or chemically bonded ceramics. In contrast, clay minerals serve as basis for fired construction products such as bricks, tiles, tubes or pavement units.

For mineral binders as well as for fired clay products the necessary natural resources are discussed and the production processes are presented, indicating parameters for tailor-made material properties. Aside from natural resources on-going developments in the use of secondary materials from construction wastes or other industrial by-products are presented and their beneficial impact on the ecological foot print of building materials are outlined.

The lecture also presents the use of mineral binders to manufacture various construction products and discusses the typical properties. Similarly, typical areas for the application of ceramic building products are presented.


Understanding the behaviour of mineral materials on the basis of their composition and production process.


written exam


Illston, J.M. [ed.] Construction Materials, SPON Press, London
Neville, A. ; Concrete