Materials

Tires and building rubble combine for 35% stronger concrete

Tires and building rubble comb...
Key to the strong recycle concrete developed at RMIT is a custom mold, used to compress the different ingredients in a compact form
Key to the strong recycle concrete developed at RMIT is a custom mold, used to compress the different ingredients in a compact form
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Key to the strong recycle concrete developed at RMIT is a custom mold, used to compress the different ingredients in a compact form
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Key to the strong recycle concrete developed at RMIT is a custom mold, used to compress the different ingredients in a compact form

Aside from simply finding a new use for discarded goods, we’ve seen how adding recycled rubber tires to concrete can make the material stronger and more heat resistant. New research has continued to expand the possibilities in this area, with scientists coming up with a new manufacturing method for a recycled concrete aggregate that produces a version 35 percent stronger than traditional concrete.

Made from a blend of cement, water, crushed rocks, sand and other ingredients, scientists are constantly experimenting with the makeup of these various components in pursuit of better construction materials. Last year, we looked at research from Australia’s RMIT University, where scientists used discarded tires and building rubble to form a new recycled concrete aggregate that appears highly suitable for use on roads.

This latest breakthrough also comes from engineers at RMIT University, and also makes use of rubber tires and building rubble reduced to course and fine aggregates. Key to the breakthrough was a customized mold, which was used to compress these ingredients, along with cement and water, down to their minimum volume, resulting in a prefab concrete material with up to 35 percent greater strength.

“By enhancing the properties of the recycled waste without the use of any additional materials, we have developed a feasible and practical solution that addresses the performance issues affiliated with waste recycling in concrete,” says Professor Yufei Wu from RMIT's School of Engineering.

The researchers are now looking for industry partners to develop and test precast concrete items such as blocks, roadside barriers, wall panels and slabs, saying the technique’s simplicity bodes well for the possibilities in such applications.

“The technology can be easily applied in the precast concrete industry and requires very little change to existing manufacturing processes with the addition of just one extra step in the final stage of production,” says Kazmi.

The research was published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling.

Source: RMIT University

1 comment
1 comment
Grunchy
This looks straightforward enough, a mold with a hydraulic ram on top. Then you mix a bunch of trash and rubble with the cement along with shredded tire rubber, compress it to a few hundred psi (maybe), let it cure. What could you make? Parking lot stops, maybe train ties.