Properties of hand-made clay balls used as a novel filter media

Rajapakse, Jay, Madabhushi, Gopal, Fenner, Richard, & Gallage, Chaminda (2012) Properties of hand-made clay balls used as a novel filter media. Geomechanics and Engineering, 4(4), pp. 281-294.

View at publisher


Filtration using granular media such as quarried sand, anthracite and granular activated carbon is a well-known technique used in both water and wastewater treatment. A relatively new prefiltration method called pebble matrix filtration (PMF) technology has been proved effective in treating high turbidity water during heavy rain periods that occur in many parts of the world. Sand and pebbles are the principal filter media used in PMF laboratory and pilot field trials conducted in the UK, Papua New Guinea and Serbia. However during first full-scale trials at a water treatment plant in Sri Lanka in 2008, problems were encountered in sourcing the required uniform size and shape of pebbles due to cost, scarcity and Government regulations on pebble dredging. As an alternative to pebbles, hand-made clay pebbles (balls) were fired in a kiln and their performance evaluated for the sustainability of the PMF system. These clay balls within a filter bed are subjected to stresses due to self-weight and overburden, therefore, it is important that clay balls should be able to withstand these stresses in water saturated conditions. In this paper, experimentally determined physical properties including compression failure load (Uniaxial Compressive Strength) and tensile strength at failure (theoretical) of hand-made clay balls are described. Hand-made clay balls fired between the kiln temperatures of 875oC to 960oC gave failure loads of between 3.0 kN and 7.1 kN. In another test when clay balls were fired to 1250oC the failure load was 35.0 kN compared to natural Scottish cobbles with an average failure load of 29.5 kN. The uniaxial compressive strength of clay balls obtained by experiment has been presented in terms of the tensile yield stress of clay balls. Based on the effective stress principle in soil mechanics, a method for the estimation of maximum theoretical load on clay balls used as filter media is proposed and compared with experimental failure loads.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
1 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

319 since deposited on 24 Jan 2013
49 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 56173
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Filter Media, Hand-made Clay Balls, Firing Temperature, Compressive Strength
ISSN: 2005-307X
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Techno-Press
Deposited On: 24 Jan 2013 23:03
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 05:28

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page