Red muds are waste materials obtained from the aluminium extraction industry. They consist mainly of clays, aluminium and iron hydrated oxides. Three muds were studied; they differed in chemical and mineralogical compositions. They were converted into reactive pozzolans by calcination in the temperature range 600–800°C for five hours. Pozzolanicity was investigated on calcined red mud-OPC mixes studying strength development and lime consumption as evaluated by DTA. The nature of hydrates formed during hardening was also identified.
The mineralogical composition of the mud is the most important factor affecting its pozzolanicity. Blended cements containing 30% calcined red mud develop significant strengths.