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Thursday, 17 October 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Raw materials, Coatings additives

Can plastic waste be reused for the production of concrete?

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Two Portuguese researchers evaluated the effects of size and shape of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) aggregate on the fresh and hardened properties of concrete including abrasion resistance.

Recycling of waste can now be useful  for concrete production Source: Maria Christina Sferra - Fotolia.com

Recycling of waste can now be useful  for concrete production Source: Maria Christina Sferra - Fotolia.com

They replaced 5%, 10% and 15% in volume of natural aggregate in the concrete mixes by an equal volume of three differently shaped and sized PET-aggregates.

Compressive strength and modulus of elasticity deteriorate

The results indicate that the slump of fresh concrete increases slightly with the incorporation of pellet-shaped PET-aggregate. Flakier plastic aggregate sharply decreases the slump of the fresh concrete and it further decreases if the content and size of this type of PET-aggregate increase. The compressive strength, tensile splitting strength, modulus of elasticity and flexural strength of concrete deteriorate due to the incorporation of PET-aggregate and the deterioration of these properties intensifies with increasing content of this aggregate.

Abrasion resistance of concrete mixes shows good results

Differences in size, shape and texture of PET-aggregates change the water to cement ratio as well as the slump of fresh concrete mixes, which ultimately change the mechanical behaviour. Flaky PET-aggregates bridge the two separated concrete pieces and therefore prevent concrete from breaking apart after failure. The abrasion resistance of concrete mixes containing various types of PET-aggregate is better than that of the reference concrete. The abrasion resistance of concrete with incorporation of various types and contents of PET-aggregates can be related to its compressive strength.

The study is published in: Construction and Building Materials, Volume 52, 15 February 2014, pp. 236-244

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