Exploration of Sustainable Concrete with Waste Products

Caroline Burkhardt and Dr. Courtney Peckens, Department of Engineering, Hope College, 141 E 12th Street, Holland MI 49423

The world population creates approximately 2.12 billion tons of waste each year that is disposed of into the environment. Of that waste, the 136 million tons that accumulate in US landfills provide a potential opportunity to repurpose waste products in a more sustainable, environmentally conscious, and profitable solution. “Green Concrete” is one avenue of recycling waste into a product with high structural integrity and strength. Our work focuses on the exploration of crumb rubber, PET plastic, and powder coat paint waste as substitutes for cement and aggregate in cement mix designs at varying weight capacities to evaluate “Green Concrete” as a structural alternative. These products were chosen based upon their high prevalence in industry and consumer products. The compressive strength of each waste-repurposed concrete mixture was determined and split tensile strength, modulus of rupture, and modulus of elasticity were each separately calculated. While substitutions of waste products did not outperform standard concrete in strength capacity, certain mix designs had strength in the range of lightweight or grout concrete. 25% PET plastic aggregate substitution resulted in the highest compressive strength, with a 14 day compressive strength average of 2490.1 psi, 10.4% drop from the standard concrete mix. Further refinement of waste products prior to integration in concrete could create a product with structural capacity meeting/exceeding traditional grout concrete, thus having added benefits of environmental sustainability when incorporated at job sites.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Caroline Burkhardt

Institution: Hope College

Type: Poster

Subject: Civil Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Tue 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Number: 3628