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Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401

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Construction and Building Materials


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Review

Use of plastic waste as aggregate in cement mortar and concrete preparation: A review
Nabajyoti Saikia a,1, Jorge de Brito b,
a b

Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources, Instituto Superior Tcnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal ICIST Research Institute, Instituto Superior Tcnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
A substantial growth in the consumption of plastic is observed all over the world in recent years, which has led to huge quantities of plastic-related waste. Recycling of plastic waste to produce new materials like concrete or mortar appears as one of the best solution for disposing of plastic waste, due to its economic and ecological advantages. Several works have been performed or are under way to evaluate the properties of cement-composites containing various types of plastic waste as aggregate, ller or bre. This paper presents a review on the recycling plastic waste as aggregate in cement mortar and concrete productions. For better presentation, the paper is divided into four different sections along with introduction and conclusion sections. In the rst section, types of plastics and types of methods used to prepare plastic aggregate as well as the methods of evaluation of various properties of aggregate and concrete were briey discussed. In the next two sections, the properties of plastic aggregates and the various fresh and hardened concrete properties of cement mortar and concrete in presence of plastic aggregate are discussed. The fourth section focus on the practical implications of the use of plastic waste in concrete production and future research needs. 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 12 October 2011 Received in revised form 21 January 2012 Accepted 25 February 2012 Available online 5 April 2012 Keywords: Plastic waste Aggregate Concrete Cement mortar Mechanical property Durability

Contents 1. 2. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A look on the materials and method sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1. Preparation of plastic aggregates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2. Evaluation of properties of plastic aggregate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3. Types and amount of substitution of natural aggregate by plastic aggregate in cement mortar/concrete mixes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4. Preparation and curing of cement mortar/concrete using plastic aggregate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5. Evaluated properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Results. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1. Properties of plastic aggregates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2. Fresh concrete properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.1. Slump value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.2. Unit weight/fresh density/dry density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2.3. Air content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3. Hardened concrete properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.1. Compressive strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.2. Splitting tensile strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.3. Modulus of elasticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.4. Flexural strength. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.5. Toughness/Poisons ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.6. Failure characteristics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.7. Abrasion resistance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386 386 386 387 387 387 387 387 387 389 389 390 391 391 391 392 393 394 395 396 396

3.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +351 218419709; fax: +351 218497650.


1

E-mail addresses: saikianj@gmail.com (N. Saikia), jb@civil.ist.utl.pt (J. de Brito). Tel.: +351 218418372; fax: +351 218497650.

0950-0618/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2012.02.066

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N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401

4. 5.

Durability performance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1. Permeability behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1.1. Water absorption and water accessible porosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1.2. Gas permeability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.1.3. Chloride migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.2. Carbonation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.3. Shrinkage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4.4. Freezing and thaw resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5. Other properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5.1. Fire behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5.2. Thermo-physical properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Practical implications of the results so far and future developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.4.

396 396 397 398 398 398 398 399 399 399 400 400 401 401 401

1. Introduction Plastic, one of the most signicant innovations of 20th century, is a ubiquitous material. A substantial growth in the consumption of plastic is observed all over the world in recent years, which also increases the production of plastic-related waste. The plastic waste is now a serious environmental threat to modern civilisation. Plastic is composed of several toxic chemicals, and therefore plastic pollutes soil, air and water. Since plastic is a non-biodegradable material, land-lling using plastic would mean preserving the harmful material forever. The hazards that plastics pose are numerous. They may block the drainage system of a city. The blocked drains provide excellent breeding grounds for disease-causing mosquitoes and water borne diseases besides causing ooding. Plastic garbage can reduce the rate of rain water percolating and deteriorate the soil fertility if it is mixed with soil. Plastic waste dumped into rivers, streams and seas contaminates the water and marine life. Aquatic animals can consume plastic waste, which can damage their health. Some marine life has been found with plastic fragments in the stomachs and plastic molecules in their muscles. The Great Pacic Garbage Patch mainly consists of plastic waste and it is believed to constitute 90% of all rubbish oating in the oceans. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of oating plastic. More than one million sea birds and approximately 100,000 sea mammals die each year after ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris. The threat of plastic waste seems to be ever increasing. Many countries have restricted the use of plastic bags and many are in the process of doing so. Land-lling of plastic is also dangerous due to its slow degradation rate and bulky nature. The waste mass may hinder the ground water ow and can also block the movement of roots. Plastic waste also contains various toxic elements especially cadmium and lead, which can mix with rain water and pollute soil and water. Recycling plastics is a possible option. As plastic is an organic hydrocarbon-based material, its high caloric value can be used for incineration or in other high temperature processes. But, burning of plastics releases a variety of poisonous chemicals into the air, including dioxins, one of the most toxic substances. Plastic waste can also be used to produce new plastic based products after processing. However it is not an economical process as the recycled plastic degrades in quality and necessitates new plastic to make the original product. Although these alternatives are feasible except for land-lling, recycling of plastic waste to produce new materials, such as cement composites, appears as one of the best solution for disposing of plastic waste, due to its economic and ecological advantages. A vast work has already been done on the use of plastic waste such

as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle [18], poly vinyl chloride (PVC) pipe [9], high density polyethylene (HDPE) [10], thermosetting plastics [11], shredded and recycled plastic waste [1214], expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) [15,16], glass reinforced plastic (GRP) [17], polycarbonate [18], polyurethane foam [19,20], polypropylene bre [21] as an aggregate, a ller or a bre in the preparation of concrete. A review on the use of plastic waste in preparation of cement mortar and concrete preparation is already available [22]. However, several important properties such as toughness, failure characteristics, thermo-physical properties, durability performance of cement mortar and concrete containing plastic as aggregate were not discussed before due to lack of available information. Data were provided only for some of properties, where plastic was used as bre in concrete and therefore the amount incorporated was very low in comparison to its use as aggregate or ller. Moreover, information that appeared in several works that have been published recently provided a clearer picture on the properties of concrete containing plastic as aggregate, ller or bre (granular additive) in the preparation of cement mortar and concrete and therefore, from the authors point of view, a new review is needed to look at the latest development on the evaluation of this material as granular additives in the preparation of cement-based mixes. Therefore, in this paper, a thorough review on the use of plastic waste as a partial or full replacement of natural aggregate in cement mortar or concrete preparation is presented. Several plastic wastes are also used in the preparation of polymer concrete [22]. However in this review, the behaviour of this type of materials is overlooked due to size limitations of the manuscript. For a better presentation, the paper is divided into four different sections along with the introduction and conclusion sections.

2. A look on the materials and method sections 2.1. Preparation of plastic aggregates The majority of plastic aggregates used in different studies were prepared from plastic waste obtained from different sources. In general plastic bottles were grinded in the laboratory by using a grinding machine and then sieved to get the suitable size fraction [6,9,23,24]. Different types of crusher like propeller crushers or blade mills are used to grind the plastic waste. However in some studies, plastic waste with suitable sizes was collected from plastic waste treatment plants or plastic manufacturing plants [1,13,25]. In this case, sieving into suitable size range was done at the laboratory [1820,25]. In some studies a washing stage is adopted to remove impurities present in the plastic wastes [1,6,26]. Separate grinding steps are also adopted after normal shredding to increase the cement pasteplastic aggregate bonding. For example, Remadnia et al. shredded plastic pieces in one more stage using a propeller crusher in order to control size limit with crushing and to facilitate matrix-aggregate adhesion due to the irregular shape and rough surface texture [26].

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401 In plastic waste treatment plants, several steps are adopted to recycle the waste plastic. Saikia and de Brito [27] reported the use of three types of plastic aggregate (aky waste PET aggregate with two different size ranges and a pellet-shaped product) directly collected from waste PET treatment plant as aggregate in concrete. The two types of aggregates were obtained after mechanical grinding of PET waste. The washing of waste PET was done before and after grinding by using alkaline solutions. Stirring of ground PET in a clean water bath and centrifugation of grinded PET waste were also done to remove impurities. Several impurities such as paper, dust, PVC, ground glass and glues were removed during these treatment steps. The grinding of PET waste generated aky PET particles in the size range of 10 14 mm with small amount of ne particles. These ne PET particles were removed by using a de-dusting system. The pellet-shaped PET-waste fraction was produced from coarse plastic akes in a reactor according to predetermined conditions. The heating and melting of the heated material is performed in such a way that allows the extraction of volatile contaminants. The extrusion process is relatively short, which limits the occurrence of secondary reactions during the melting stage. After passing through a spinneret, the melt is collected in a cooling bath that solidies the polymer before being granulated in a rotary cutter in water. The mixture of water and grains of polymer is subjected to a vibratory separator and then the grains of polymer (plastic pellets) are centrifuged to remove excess water. Modications of plastic waste by heating, by mechanical means, by soaking in water, melting followed by mixing with other materials and other techniques were also done to improve the quality of plastic waste for using as aggregate in concrete [3,4,15,16,28]. Choi et al. prepared two types of plastic aggregates by mixing granulated pet waste bottle with powdered river sand and blast furnace slag at 250 C [3,4]. After air-cooling the mixtures, the prepared aggregates and remaining powdered fractions were screened by using a 0.15 mm sieve. The schematic diagram to produce a typical PET aggregate according to Choi et al. is presented in Fig. 1 [3]. a prepared an aggregate from expanded polystyrene (EPS) Kan and Demirbog foams waste. This modied expanded polystyrene (MEPS) waste aggregates were prepared by melting EPS foams waste in a hot air oven at 130 C for 15 min [15,16].

387

of plastic aggregate, decomposition temperature, melting and initial degradation temperatures and melt ow index (MFI), heat capacity, and thermal conductivity were also reported. 2.3. Types and amount of substitution of natural aggregate by plastic aggregate in cement mortar/concrete mixes Plastic aggregates are generally produced from big sized plastic waste materials. Therefore both coarse and ne sized natural aggregate can be replaced by plastic aggregates. Both partial and full substitutions of natural aggregates by plastic aggregates were reported in various references. In several studies, ne natural aggregate of cement mortar and concrete was replaced by coarse sized aggregate too [2,13]. Table 1 highlights the types and amounts of substitution of natural aggregate by plastic aggregate in the preparation of cement mortar and concrete. 2.4. Preparation and curing of cement mortar/concrete using plastic aggregate Generally, the design, preparation and casting of concrete mix containing plastic aggregate are similar to the normal concrete/mortar mix design and done according to various standard specications. However, designing and/or curing of some concrete mixes containing plastic aggregate were done by slightly different approaches than for normal concrete mix design [2,6,13,15,20,28]. Some types of plastic aggregate such as plastic foam can consume water that is necessary for hardening and therefore concrete specimens containing these types of plastic aggregate at certain replacement amount cannot be completely hardened after 24 h of normal curing before demoulding the specimens [19]. 2.5. Evaluated properties The slump and density/unit weight of fresh concrete and different strength properties and elasticity modulus of hardened concrete are normally evaluated along with some durability properties and some other special properties like re behaviour, thermal insulation properties, microstructure and reactivity of plastic in alkaline solution (Tables 2 and 3). The evaluation of properties was done using the normal procedures adopted for conventional concrete and mortar.

2.2. Evaluation of properties of plastic aggregate The properties of plastic waste to be used as an aggregate in concrete preparations such as size distribution, bulk density, specic gravity, and water absorption were generally evaluated in the majority of the reported studies. The evaluation of size distribution of plastic aggregates was generally done by standard sieving methods [6,9,11,13,2325]. However, in some studies, slightly different approaches were adopted [2,20]. From the authors experiments, it can be stated that the standard procedures used to evaluate properties like bulk density, specic gravity, and water absorption of coarse and ne natural aggregates can be used to evaluate these parameters in plastic aggregate with slight modications [25]. On the other hand, some other properties such as hardness (tensile and compressive strengths, elastic modulus)

3. Results 3.1. Properties of plastic aggregates As the chemical nature of plastic aggregate is completely different from that of natural aggregate i.e. one is organic and the other is inorganic and therefore a big difference in aggregate properties

Fig. 1. Manufacturing process of sand coated PET aggregate [3].

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N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401

Table 1 Types of substitution of natural aggregate by plastic aggregate in cement mortar/concrete. Reference [2] [24] [13] [9] [6] [11] [19] [23] [26] [18] [15] [20] [1] [3,4] Types of composite Concrete Concrete Concrete Light-weight aggregate concrete Mortar Non-load-bearing lightweight concrete Concrete Concrete Mortar Mortar Concrete Mortar Mortar Mortar and concrete Types and amounts of substitution Fine Fine Fine Fine aggregate aggregate aggregate aggregate 10 and 20 vol.% 5, 10, 15, 20 vol.% 10, 15, 20 wt.% 5, 15, 30, 45 vol.% Origin of plastic waste PET-bottle Plastic containers (80% polyethylene and 20% polystyrene) PVC pipe PET-bottle Melamine waste Waste polyurethane foam collected after destruction of insulation panels used in building industry PET-bottle PET-bottle A mixture of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate Industrial waste Waste packaging materials composed of expanded polystyrene foams Waste polyurethane foam collected after destruction of insulation panels used in building industry PET-bottle PET-bottle

Fine aggregate 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 70, 100 vol.% With sand fraction in aerated concrete Coarse aggregate 34, 35, 45 vol.% of concrete Fine aggregate 5 wt.% Fine aggregate 30, 50, 70 vol.% Fine aggregate 3, 10, 20, 50 vol.% Fine and coarse aggregate 25, 50, 75, 100 vol.% With ne aggregate 13.133.7 vol.% of concrete With ne aggregate 50 and 100 wt.% With ne aggregate 25, 50, 75, 100 vol.%

Table 2 Fresh and hardened mechanical properties of concrete reported in the literature. Reference Slump p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p Density Fresh [2] [23] [13] [6] [9] [24] [11] [1] [15] [20] [27] [3,4] [19] [26] [18] Dry p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p (Toughness) p p p p p Compressive strength Tensile strength Flexural strength Elasticity modulus SS curve Pulse velocity

p p

(Poisons ratio)

p p p p p

p p p p p p p p (Toughness)

Table 3 Durability-related and other properties of concrete reported in the literature. References [2] [23] [6] [9] [1] [15] [20] [19] [26] [18] [3,4] [27]
a

Shrinkage

Water absorption p p (Steam water) p (Porosity)

Water sorptivity

Gas permeability

Carbonation

Cl migration

Fire behaviour p

AEa p

Microstructure

Thermal properties

Freezethaw resistance

p p p p p p p p (Porosity) p p p p p p p p p p

p p

(Mass loss) p

AE: activation energy.

is generally observed. The properties of some types of plastic used as an aggregate in concrete are presented in Table 4.

The use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as aggregate was studied extensively compared to other types of plastic aggregates.

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401 Table 4 Properties of some types of plastic used as an aggregate in concrete. Reference Type of plastic [2] PET Particle size/shape 0.26 and 1.14 cm (average size of two fractions) Density/specic gravity/apparent bulk density# Water Other properties absorption MP: 248 C Initial degradation temperature: 412 C MFI: 70 g/10 min CS: poor

389

[24] [13]

Plastic waste 80% polyethylene + 20% polystyrene PET

0.154.75 mm Length: 0.1512 mm

386.7 kg/m3

0.02%

[6]

[26]

PET

Width: 0.154 mm/Flakes Type A: 60.5 cm Type C: 60.2 cm Type D: 60.1 cm 64 mm/thin

Type A: #326 kg/m3 Type C: #345 kg/m3 Type D: #408 kg/m3 # 327 kg/m3

TS: 5000 psi

TS: 75 MPa MP: 249271 C TC: 0.13 W/mK MHC: 1.11.3 kJ/kg K Colour: white MP: 255 YM: 17002510 MPa Colour: transparent MP: 230250 YM: 2700 MPa FM: 4.11 FM: 4.11 CS: 65 MPa TS: 60 MPa Temperature resistance: 300 C Porosity: 98% CS: 174 kPa YM: 5.6 MPa Porosity: 98%

[1] [18]

PET PET

0.254 mm 1.610 mm

1.27 g/cm3 547 kg/m3/1.36

[18]

PC

65 mm

646 kg/m3/1.24

[4] [3] [23] [9] [11] [19]

PET (coated with slag) Round and smooth PET (coated with sand) 0.154.75 mm/round and smooth PET Thickness: 11.5 mm Size: 0.15 mm PVC 65 mm/granular Melamine waste <10 mm Rigid polyurethane foam 820 mm

1.39 g/m3/#844 kg/m3 1.39 g/m3/#844 kg/m3 1400 kg/m3/#546 kg/m3 1.48 45 kg/m3//#21 kg/m3

0 5.6% 13.9%

[20]

Rigid polyurethane foam

<10 mm

45 2 kg/m3 (apparent density)/2191 kg/m3 (density without porosity)

MP: melting point; MFI: melt ow index; CS: compressive strength; TS: tensile strength; TC: thermal conductivity; MHC: mass heat capacity; YM: Young modulus; FM: neness modulus; SGF: specic gravity factor. and # indicate specic gravity and apparent bulk density of plastic aggregate respectively.

Slump (cm)

The PET has very low thermal conductivity (0.130.15 0.24 W m1 K1) compared to two common concrete aggregate, limestone (1.261.33 W m1 K1) and sandstone (1.7 W m1 K1). Again the specic heat capacity of PET (1.01.1 kJ kg1 K1) is higher than those of limestone (0.84 kJ kg1 K1) and sandstone (0.92 kJ kg1 K1). PET consists of polymerised units of the monomer ethylene terephthalate with repeating C10H8O4 units and therefore the molecular formula of PET can be represented as (C10H8O4)n. The molecular structure of PET is presented in Fig. 2. Highly alkaline concrete pore uid can degrade PET [7]. The ions present in pore uid, Ca2+, Na+, K+, and OH can attack the CO bonds of PET and split the polymer into two groups: the group of the aromatic ring and the group of aliphatic ester. The alkali ions can interact with aromatic rings and form Ca, Na, and K-terephthalates. On the other hand, hydroxyl ion can form ethylene glycol by reacting with the aliphatic ester group.

Fig. 2. Molecular structure of PET.

100 80 60 40 20

[A] fine [A] coarse [A] mix (1:1) [B] [C]

3.2. Fresh concrete properties 3.2.1. Slump value The slump is used to measure the workability or consistency of fresh concrete mix. Being an important property, the slump of concrete and cement mortar mix containing plastic aggregate was studied extensively. Some typical results observed in various studies are presented in Fig. 3.

0 0 5 10 15 20

Substitution amount (%)


Fig. 3. Slump value of concrete mix containing plastic aggregate: [A] [2]; [B] [13]; [C] [24].

390

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401 Table 5 Water/cement ratio and slump values of concrete containing modied expanded polystyrene foam as aggregate [15]. MEPS/ NA ratio 100/0 75/25 50/50 50/50 50/50 25/75 Fine fraction of MEPS/ coarse fraction of MEPS 50/50 25/50 0/50 50/0 25/25 25/0 Fine fraction of NA/ coarse fraction of NA 25/0 50/0 0/50 25/25 25/50 W/C value 0.38 0.39 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.43 Slump value 25 30 30 30 40 50

There are two parallel views on the workability behaviour of concrete containing plastic aggregate. In the majority of the studies, a lower slump value of fresh concrete due to the incorporation of several types of plastic aggregates than that of the conventional concrete mix was observed and an increasing addition of plastic aggregate further lowers the slump value [2,9,13,23,24]. The reasons for the lower slump value of the concrete mix containing plastic aggregate are the sharp edges and angular particle size of plastic aggregate. On the other hand, in a few studies, an increase in the slump value due to the incorporation of plastic aggregate is also reported [3,4,12], the increase of the slump of concrete mixes due to the incorporation of plastic aggregates is due to the presence of more free water in the mixes containing plastic than in the concrete mix containing natural aggregate since, unlike natural aggregate, plastic aggregates cannot absorb water during mixing [12]. Choi et al. reported an increase in the slump value of concrete with increasing content of two types of treated PET-bottle aggregate in concrete (Fig. 4) [3,4]. The aggregates were spherical in shape. According to the author, this trend is due to the spherical shape of the PET aggregate as well as the slippery surface texture, which decreases the inner friction between the mortar and the PET aggregate and therefore increases the slump value. Saikia and de Brito found two types of workability behaviour in concrete mixes containing two differently shaped PET aggregates [25]. In this work, a pellet-shaped PET aggregate with very smooth surface texture and two different size fractions of a aky PET aggregate were used to partially replace coarse and ne sized natural aggregates. All the PET aggregates were obtained from the same type of plastic waste materials. To achieve a constant slump value, the concrete mix containing pellet plastic aggregate required a slightly lower w/c value and the concrete mixes containing the two aky plastic aggregates with different particle size required much higher w/c values than that required by the concrete mix containing natural aggregate. On the other hand, a substantially higher w/c value was obtained for the concrete mix containing coarse aky PET aggregate than that observed for the concrete mix containing ne aky PET aggregate. This clearly indicated that the addition of pellet PET aggregate increased the slump value of the resulting concrete mix, due to its spherical nature and smooth surface texture. On the other hand, the decreasing slump values due to the addition of ne and coarse aky plastic aggregates are attributed to the fact that these PET aggregates have sharper edges compared to natural aggregate (NA). Moreover in comparison to NA, these aky aggregates are angular and non-uniform in nature. The addition of some types of plastic aggregate such as rigid polyurethane foam waste or heat-treated expanded polystyrene foam (MEPS) decrease the slump value of the resulting concrete mix due to the presence of large amounts of surface pores in these

aggregates [15,19,20]. The slump values of various concrete mixes containing modied expanded polystyrene foam aggregate is presented in Table 5. 3.2.2. Unit weight/fresh density/dry density Irrespective of the type and size of substitutions, the incorporation of plastic as aggregate generally decreases fresh and dry densities of the resulting concrete due to the lightweight nature of plastic aggregate [3,4,6,9,12,13,18,25]. Some results are presented in Fig. 5. Ismail and Al-Hashmi reported the fresh density of concrete containing plastic as ne aggregate [13]. Their results indicated that the fresh density of concrete containing 10%, 15%, and 20% plastic aggregate as a replacement of ne aggregate tends to decrease by 5%, 7%, and 8.7% respectively, below the reference concrete. Al-Manaseer and Dalal also found 2.5%, 6% and 13% lower densities of concrete mix containing 10%, 30%, and 50% plastic aggregates respectively [12]. Saikia and de Brito observed a reduction of the density of fresh concrete with increasing volume of embedded PET aggregates [25]. The authors found a trend of this density reduction for three different types of PET aggregates used in this investigation: pellet plastic aggregate < ne fraction of aky plastic aggregate < coarse fraction of aky plastic aggregate. Marzouk et al. reported the bulk density of cement mortar mixes prepared by replacing 0100% in volume of sand by two different sizes of PET aggregates [6]. Their results showed that the reduction of bulk density remained small when the volume occupied by aggregates varies between 0% and 30%, regardless of their size. However, when this volume exceeded 50%, the composite bulk densities started to decrease until reaching a value 1000 kg/ m3. They also found that for the same volumetric percentage of substitution the bulk density decreased with decreasing particle size. Fraj et al. observed a signicant reduction in fresh density and 28-day air-dried density of concrete containing coarse rigid

2.5

Density (103) (Kg/m3)

2.3

[A]
2.1 1.9 1.7 1.5 0 10 20 30 40 50

[B] [C] coarse [C] fine [C] pellet

Substitution amount (%)


Fig. 4. Improvement of workability due to the addition of slag coated PET aggregate, WPLA [4]. Fig. 5. Fresh density of concrete due to the incorporation of various types of plastic aggregate: [A] [13]; [B] [9]; [C] [25].

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401 Table 6 Mix proportions and density values of the concrete mixes [19]. Mix code Mix proportions (kg/m3) Cement NWC LWAC-1 LWAC-1sat LWAC-2sat LWAC-3sat 397 397 397 415 353 Water 220 220 220 183 156 Sand 824 824 824 862 734 Normal aggregates 867 PUR foam aggregates 15.1 15.1 15.8 20.1 SP 1.405 1.196 0 34 34 35 45 0.55 0.55 0.55 0.44 0.44 PUR foam volume content (%) w/c ratio Density (kg/m3) Fresh 2327 1791 1779 1776 1656 Dry

391

1699 1679 1678 1538

polyurethane (PUR) foam waste aggregate due to the lower density of the PUR foam aggregates (Table 6) [19]. According to the authors, the fresh densities of different concrete mixes containing dry and water saturated PUR foam aggregate can be considered as lightweight concrete and these values were 2733% lower than the control concretes density. The density values decreased as foam proportioning increased. Hannawi et al. reported the fresh and dry densities of concrete containing PET waste and polycarbonate (PC) waste as aggregate [18]. Their results showed that there was a decrease in the fresh and dry densities as the plastic aggregates content increased. The dry density decreased from 2173 kg/m3 for mixes containing 0% of plastic aggregates to 1755 and 1643 kg/m3, respectively, for mixes containing 50% of PET and PC plastic aggregates. These values were lower than 2000 kg/m3, the minimum dry density required for structural lightweight concrete according to RILEM LC2 classication. The 50% replacement of ne aggregate by PET and PC reduced the dry density by up to 19% and 24% of that of normal concrete, respectively, which is mainly attributed to the lower specic weight of the plastic. 3.2.3. Air content No report is available on the evaluation of air-content of cement mortar or concrete mixes containing untreated plastic waste as aggregate. Choi et al. reported the air content of concrete containing sand stone coated PET as partial replacement of ne aggregate (Table 7) [3]. An air-entrainment agent was used during preparation of concrete. The air-contents of concrete mixes containing PET aggregate were slightly lower than that of the control concrete for the same w/c ratio and a reducing trend was observed with increasing PET content in concrete. 3.3. Hardened concrete properties 3.3.1. Compressive strength The compressive strength of concrete and cement mortar is a fundamental property that is thoroughly studied in almost all reTable 7 Air content of fresh concrete [3].

search works related to plastic aggregate. In all of these studies it was found that the incorporation of plastic as aggregate decreased the compressive strength of the resulting concrete/mortar [1 4,6,9,11,13,15,18,19,2326]. Fig. 6 shows some of the reported results of 28-day compressive strength performance of concrete containing plastic waste as partial substitution of ne and coarse natural aggregates. The factors that may be responsible for low compressive strength of concrete containing plastic aggregate are: (1) the very low bond strength between the surface of the plastic waste and the cement paste; (2) the hydrophobic nature of plastic waste, which can inhibit cement hydration reaction by restricting water movement. Albano et al. reported that concrete with 10% of recycled PET exhibits a compressive strength that meets the standard strength values for concrete with moderate strength (between 21 and 30 MPa for a curing age of 28 days) [2]. According to the authors, the compressive strength at the age of 28 days is near the values for 60 days. They recognised several factors such as the type of failure and the formation of honeycombs, low workability, particle size, which are responsible for lower compressive strength of concrete containing PET aggregate than concrete containing natural aggregate. The reduction in compressive strength was more pronounced in concrete containing larger aky PET aggregate than smaller one. Saikia and de Brito [25] observed similar trends in compressive strength for concrete containing ne and coarse aky PET aggregate, which was mainly due to the loss of workability of the concrete mix due to the shape of the PET aggregate, especially for larger particles. The results obtained in both studies were presented in Fig. 6. Batayneh et al. also observed a reduction in the compressive strength of concrete due to the addition of plastic waste as a partial substitution of ne aggregate [24]. For 20% replacement compressive strength shows a sharp reduction up to 72% of the original strength and for 5% replacement the compressive strength drops 23%. Ismail and Al-Hashmi reported that the compressive strength of concrete prepared by replacing 10%, 15% and 20% of ne natural aggregate by PET aggregate are higher than the minimum compressive strength required for structural concrete, which is

Compressive strength (MPa)

45

w/c 0.53

Sand replaced by PET aggregate (%) 0 25 50 75 0 25 50 75 0 25 50

Air content (%) 4.5 4.2 4.1 4.1 5.0 4.5 4.3 4.2 5.0 4.8 4.0

Control [A]
35

Coarse [A] Fine [A]

25

Control [B] Coarse [B]

0.49

15

Fine [B] [C]

5 0 10 20 30 40

[D]

0.45

Substitution amount (%)


Fig. 6. Compressive strength of concrete containing plastic aggregate: [A]: [25]; [B]: [2]; [C]: [24]; [D] [9].

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17.24 MPa, even though the values are lower than the compressive strength of concrete containing only natural aggregate [13]. Frigione reported that the compressive strength of concrete prepared by replacing 5% in weight of natural ne aggregate by PET waste aggregate (PETW) is slightly lower (not lower than 2%) than that of concrete containing natural aggregate [23]. According to the author, the compressive strength of PETW concrete increases from 28 to 365 days similarly to what is observed for the specimens without PETW. The big differences in strength between concrete containing PETW aggregate and that containing natural aggregate was observed for low cement content and, most of all, for high values of the w/c ratio. According to the author, this is due to the higher content of bleeding water in concrete mixes containing PETW than in the conventional concrete mix. This water in the concrete mix containing PETW is located mostly around the aggregate particles of PETW and produced a weaker bond between the cement matrix and PETW. Kou et al. reported that the compressive strength of concrete containing PVC granules derived from scraped PVC pipes decreased with the increase in PVC granules content [9]. The reduction in 28day compressive strength of the lightweight concrete mixes prepared by replacing 5%, 15%, 30% and 45% of natural ne aggregate by PVC granules were respectively 9.1%, 18.6%, 21.8% and 47.3% with respect to the control mix. The lower elastic modulus of PVC aggregate compared to normal ne aggregate, higher particle size of PVC aggregates than natural ne aggregate, and low bonding strength between PVC aggregate and cement paste due to internal bleed water from the fully saturated lightweight aggregates that accumulated and surrounded the waste PVC granules are the reasons behind the strength reduction. Hannawi et al. reported the 28-day compressive strengths of cement mortar containing PET and polycarbonate (PC) aggregates prepared by replacing 3%, 10%, 20% and 50% of sand [18]. A decrease in compressive strength was observed when the plastic aggregates in mortar content increased. For the same substitution rate, the reduction in compressive strength of the mortar containing PET aggregate was greater than that of the mortar containing PC aggregate. A decrease in compressive strength of 9.8%, 30.5%, 47.1% and 69% for mixes with, respectively, 3%, 10%, 20% and 50% of PET aggregates, and of 6.8%, 27.2%, 46.1% and 63.9% for mixes containing, respectively, 3%, 10%, 20% and 50% of PC-aggregates was observed. The compressive strength of the mortar was proportional to their dry unit weight. Marzouk et al. reported that the 28-day compressive strength of mortar containing plastic aggregate decreased slightly, by 15.7% in comparison with the reference mortar when the sand volume replaced by aggregates increased from 0% to 50% [6]. However when the rate of substituted aggregate exceeded 50%, the mechanical properties including compressive strength fell sharply. Akcaozoglu et al. investigated the utilisation of shredded waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle granules as a lightweight aggregate in mortar preparation using two types of binders: normal Portland cement (NPC) and a 50:50 mixture of blast furnace slag (bfs) and NPC [1]. The authors found that the compressive strength of mortar containing PET aggregate is higher for the binder prepared by using NPC-bfs than the same property for only NPC mortar. Panyakapo and Panyakapo reported that the concrete containing melamine waste aggregate as a partial replacement of natural ne aggregate and y ash as a partial replacement of normal Portland cement met most of the requirements for non-load bearing lightweight concrete according to ASTM C129-05 Type II standard though strength decreased with the introduction of plastic waste in concrete [11]. Fraj et al. detected 5778% lower 28-day compressive strength values of concrete containing rigid polyurethane (PUR) foam with a size of 820 mm as aggregate compared to the control concrete,

due to the lightweight nature of the concrete as well as the low mechanical properties and the high porosity of PUR foam aggregate [19]. Pre-wetting the PUR foam aggregate further lowers the compressive strength due to the increase of the mortar porosity. On the other hand the addition of superplasticizer along with an increase in cement content increases compressive strength. The use of superplasticizer made it possible to decrease cement content by 15% and to increase PUR foam content by 33% compared, with an acceptable reduction (15%) of compressive strength. The concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate almost satised the criteria of structural lightweight aggregate concrete as dened in ACI 318 and ASTM C 330. Mounanga et al. reported that water curing of concrete containing PUR foam aggregate and normal aggregate slightly improved the compressive strength compared to the corresponding value after dry-state curing [20]. For normal lightweight concrete the increase in strength was about 69% and this improvement for concrete containing 13.1%, 21.2% and 32.7% in volume of PUR foam aggregate was 39%, 34% and 5% respectively. a reported that lightweight concrete containKan and Demirbog ing heat-treated expanded polystyrene (MEPS) waste aggregate exhibited 40% higher compressive strength than concrete containing vermiculite or perlite aggregate at equal concrete density [15]. However, the compressive strength of concrete containing MEPS aggregate decreased with increasing incorporation of aggregate. The development of compressive strength of concrete containing 100% MEPS aggregate after 7 day with respect to 90 day strength was about 83% whereas the same for concrete containing 25% MEPS aggregate was 69%, which might be due to the high hydration heat of the former type of concrete because of low specic thermal capacity of the MEPS aggregate. The compressive strength of concrete containing coarse MEPS aggregate was lower than that of the concrete containing ne MEPS aggregate as the coarse MEPS aggregate had higher porosity and was therefore more brittle and weaker than the ne MEPS aggregate. Laukaitis et al. found that the compressive strength of the composite prepared by using crumbled recycled foam polystyrene waste as well as spherical large and ne blown polystyrene waste as granular additive depends on the density of the composite and the type of granules used [28]. The order of compressive strengths of the composite at equal density was: ne granules > large granules > crumbled granules. According to the authors, the higher compressive strength of composite containing ne granules was due to the formation of uniform monolithic bulk structure with uninterrupted pores where the ne polystyrene granules were evenly spread. On the other hand, the structure of the composite containing large granules was damaged, and the pores were partially disintegrated. 3.3.2. Splitting tensile strength Similarly to the behaviour of compressive strength, the incorporation of any type of plastic aggregate lowers the splitting tensile strength of concrete. The causes for the reductions observed in splitting tensile strength reported in various references were similar to those used to explain the decrease in compressive strength due to the incorporation of plastic aggregate. Some results on the tensile strength behaviour of concrete and mortar containing various percentages of different types of plastic aggregates are presented in Fig. 7. Frigione found lower values of splitting tensile strength in concrete containing PET aggregate prepared using high w/c value than in a similar mix prepared at low w/c value [23]. Kou et al. reported that the splitting tensile strength was reduced with an increase in PVC content in a manner similar to that observed for compressive strength [9]. According to them, the splitting tensile strength of concrete is inuenced by the properties of the interfacial transition

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401


4

393

Spl. tensile strength (MPa)

Control [A] Coarse [A]

concrete [3]. Fig. 8 shows the relationship between splitting tensile and compressive strengths. 3.3.3. Modulus of elasticity According to ASTM C 469, the modulus of elasticity is dened as a stress to strain ratio value for hardened concrete. The type of aggregate inuences this modulus, since the deformation produced in concrete is partially related to the elastic deformation of the aggregate. The effect of plastic waste aggregate on the behaviour of concretes modulus of elasticity is reported in a few publications and some results are presented in Fig. 9. From their study on the use of three size fractions of PET waste aggregate in the preparation of concrete, where concrete was prepared at two w/c ratios and with two natural ne aggregate replacement levels, Albano et al. concluded that: (1) a higher modulus was achieved with 10% of PET at a xed particle size than with the 20% of PET in concrete since PET is less resistant than sand and would deform less when an equivalent stress is applied; (2) for the same amount of PET, the particle size had no detrimental effect on the modulus of the concrete; (3) at both w/c values, the trends obtained were similar for the three particle sizes and for the two PET contents; (4) a higher modulus of elasticity was observed for concrete prepared at w/c of 0.50 then for that prepared at w/c of 0.60, due to the greater porosity in the concrete prepared at higher w/c value; (5) the observed modulus of elasticity of concrete containing PET aggregate met the requirement as described in American Manual of Reinforced Concrete (1952) except the concrete composition prepared by using 20% large sized PET aggregate at w/c of 0.60 [2]. Frigione plotted the stressstrain curves (re curve) during determination of compressive strength of the reference as well as a PET containing concrete prepared at w/c of 0.45 with cement content of 400 kg/m3 [23]. The strain values corresponding to the maximum stress for the concrete containing PET aggregate and the reference concrete were 0.0018 and 0.0020 respectively. The elastic modules calculated from the re curve were 48.1 and 41.8 GPa for the reference concrete and the concrete containing PET, respectively. Marzouk et al. reported that the modulus of elasticity values (as determined by the ultrasonic method) decreased as PET quantity increased [6]. Compared with the modulus of elasticity of reference mortar (27.94 MPa), a 50% reduction was observed for the mortar prepared by replacing 50% of ne natural aggregate by PET aggregate. The reduction in modulus of elasticity was due both to the reduction of mortars bulk densities and to the presence of plastic

Fine [A] Pellet [A]

Control [B] Coarse [B]

Fine [B] Mix (1:1) [B]

0 0 10 20 30 40

[C] [D]

Substitution amount (%)

Fig. 7. Splitting tensile strength of concrete containing plastic waste aggregate containing plastic aggregate: [A]: [25]; [B]: [2]; [C]: [24]; [D] [9].

zone (ITZ) and therefore the smooth surface of the PVC particles and the free water accumulated at the surface of PVC granules could cause a weaker bonding between the PVC particles and the cement paste. According to Albano et al. the decrease in splitting tensile strength was due to the increased porosity of concrete caused by the incorporation of PET aggregate as well as the in a also reported that the crease in w/c ratio [2]. Kan and Demirbog splitting tensile strength of concrete containing heat-treated expanded polystyrene (MEPS) aggregate decreases with its increasing content in concrete, due to the generation of more porosity because of the incorporation of MEPS [15]. Batayneh et al. reported that the decreasing trend of splitting tensile strength was not as prominent as that for compressive strength [24]. Saikia and de Brito also reported lower 28-day tensile strength of concrete containing three differently shaped PET aggregates [25]. The authors reported that the concrete cylinders containing akier PET aggregate did not split into two fractions after determination of tensile strength, which is generally observed for cylinders containing natural and pellet plastic aggregates, since the aky-shaped plastic aggregate can act as a bridge between the two split pieces. Kou et al. found an excellent correlation between the 28-day splitting tensile strength and the 28-day compressive strength of concrete containing PVC aggregate as replacement of ne natural aggregate, which follows a linear relationship [9]. Choi et al. also 1=3 found an expression, fst 0:23 fc , for the relationship between the 28-day compressive strength and the splitting tensile strength of concrete containing PET aggregate and an expression, fst = 1.40 (fc/10)(1/3), for a similar relationship for conventional

Fig. 8. Relationship between the compressive strength and the splitting tensile strength of concrete containing plastic aggregate.

394
40

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[A]
30

[B] type A [C] type C

20

[B] type D [C] fine

10

[C] coarse [C] mix (1:1)

0 0 10 20 30 40 50

Substitution amount (%)


Fig. 9. Elasticity modulus of concrete and cement mortar with plastic aggregate: [A]: [18]; [B] [6]; [C] [2].

aggregates, which decreased the velocity of wave by disturbing the ultrasonic wave propagation. Hannawi et al. found that the increasing plastic content in concrete decreased the resulting elastic modulus, probably due to the low values of elastic modulus of PET and PC plastics as well as the poor bond between the matrix and plastic aggregates [18]. Saikia and de Brito also found lower modulus of elasticity for concrete containing three differently shaped PET waste aggregates than that for concrete containing natural aggregate [25]. According to them, the lowering of modulus of elasticity of concrete due to incorporation of PET aggregates is due to the lower modulus of elasticity of PET aggregate than that of the natural aggregate as well as to the generation of higher porosity due to a higher w/c value. Compared to compressive strength, Fraj et al. observed a less signicant effect on the modulus of elasticity due to the incorporation of ne expanded polyurethane (PUR) foam aggregate in lightweight concrete [19]. The same authors found an increasing linear correlation between air-dry density and dynamic modulus of elasticity. As the PUR foam had a low elastic modulus due to its high porosity, increasing the content of PUR foam in concrete reduced the elastic modulus of resulting concrete. Pre-wetting of PUR foam aggregates, improving the cementitious matrix properties by using super plasticizer and decreasing the w/c ratio did not have inuence on the modulus of elasticity. Increasing the replacement amount of ne aggregate by PVC granules in concrete also reduced the resulting elastic modulus [9]. The replacement of 5%, 15%, 30% and 45% of ne aggregate by PVC granules reduced the elastic modulus by 6.1%, 13.8%,

18.9% and 60.2%, respectively, when compared to that of the control concrete. According to the authors, the major causes of this reduction were (1) lower elastic modulus of PVC granules than that of the cement paste; (2) lower compressive strength of the concrete containing PVC than that of the normal concrete. They also reported that the prediction of the modulus of elasticity of concrete containing PVC granules by using the equation suggested by ACI 318-83 over-estimated the modulus of elasticity of concrete (Fig. 10). Choi et al. reported that the increasing incorporation of granulated blast furnace slag coated PET aggregate in concrete decreased the resulting elastic modulus [4]. In another study, Choi et al. compared the relationship between the 28-day compressive strength and the 28-day elastic modulus of concrete containing various proportions of sand coated PET aggregate as a replacement of ne natural aggregate with CEB-FIP model code (CEB Bulletin Information No. 213/214: Comit Euro-international du Bton, 1993) and ACI code (ACI 318M-05: Building code requirements for structure concrete and commentary; ACI Manual of concrete practice, 2005) [3]. The relationship between the compressive strength and elastic modulus of concrete containing plastic aggregate was in close agreement with the relationship suggested in ACI 318-05, in which the concretes density was taken into consideration (Fig. 10). Laukaitis et al. determined the elastic modulus of composites prepared by using three types of polystyrene waste beads [28]. Their results indicated that the modulus of elasticity depended on the density of composite and the type of beads. 3.3.4. Flexural strength Flexural strength is dened as the materials ability to resist deformation under exural load and is measured in terms of stress. It represents the highest stress experienced within the material at the collapse load. The transverse bending test is most frequently employed, in which a specimen with either a circular or rectangular cross-section is bent until fracture using a three or four point exural test technique. Fig. 11 presents a few typical results of exural strength of concrete and mortar containing various amounts of plastic aggregate. Akcaozoglu et al. determined the ratios between exural strength and compressive strength values of cement mortar, prepared using various conditions [1]. The authors found average values of exural strength similar to those of normal weight mortar. Batayneh et al. also reported a decreasing trend of exural strength with increasing plastic waste aggregate content in the concrete

Elastic modulus (GPa)

Fig. 10. Relationship between compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of concrete containing plastic aggregate.

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6

395

Flexural strength (MPa)

three various types of polystyrene waste granules followed a proportional relationship with their density [28].
PET [A] PC [A] Coarse [B]

Fine [B] Pellet [B]

0 0 10 20 30 40 50

Substitution amount (%)


Fig. 11. Flexural strength behaviour of cement mortar and concrete containing plastic aggregate: [A] [18]; [B] [25].

[24]. However, this reduction was not as signicant as for compressive strength. Ismail and Al-Hashmi reported the exural strength of concrete containing 10%, 15% and 20% of plastic waste as a replacement of ne natural aggregate [13]. Their results showed that the exural strength of plastic waste concrete mixes at each curing age was prone to decrease with the increase of the plastic waste ratio in these mixes. Saikia and de Brito also found lower exural strength values for concrete containing PET aggregate than for concrete containing natural aggregate only [25]. Hannawi et al. reported they did not nd signicant changes in the exural strength of mortar specimens containing up to 10% of PET aggregates and up to 20% of PC aggregates compared to a control mix [18]. However, a decreased of 9.5% and 17.9% for mixes with, respectively, 20% and 50% of PET aggregates was observed. For mixes with 50% of PC aggregates a decrease of 32.8% was measured. According to the authors, the elastic nature and the nonbrittle characteristics under loading of the plastic aggregate might have an effect on the observed exural strength. The exural strength of cement composites prepared by Laukaitis et al., using

3.3.5. Toughness/Poisons ratio Ismail and Al-Hashmi plotted the loaddeection curves of the reference concrete and of concrete mixes prepared with 10%, 15%, and 20% plastic waste as ne natural aggregate replacement at the curing ages of 3, 7, 14, and 28 days [13]. The curves are illustrated in Fig. 12. They show the arrest of propagation of microcracks due to the introduction of plastic waste particles in concrete. The authors also evaluated the toughness indices for concrete compositions containing plastic waste aggregate at the curing ages of 3, 7, 14, and 28 days (Table 8). For all concrete mixes at 14 and 28 days curing ages, the toughness indices of those containing plastic waste aggregate for all replacement levels complied with the plastic behaviour according to ASTM C1018, desirable for many applications that require high toughness. Frigione plotted the stressstrain curves (re curve) during determination of compressive strength of the reference as well as PET containing concrete [23]. Compared to the reference mix, a higher strain value corresponding to the maximum stress was registered for the concrete containing PET waste aggregate. The peak shapes of the two curves also suggested that the concrete containing PET waste aggregate is less brittle than the reference concrete. The failure modes registered for concrete containing PET waste aggregate indicated that this type of concrete could withhold a larger deformation while still keeping its integrity (Fig. 13). Kou et al. observed an increasing Poissons ratios with increasing contents of PVC waste aggregate in concrete [9]. As the higher Poissons ratios meant higher ductility, the incorporation of PVC improved the ductility of the resulting lightweight aggregate concrete, due to the elastic nature of PVC. Hannawi et al. plotted the exural loaddeection curves of concrete containing various percentages of PET and PC waste

Fig. 12. Loaddeection curves of concrete prepared by replacing ne aggregate by (A) 0% plastic waste (reference); (B) 10% plastic waste; (C) 15% plastic waste and (D) 20% plastic waste [13].

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Table 8 Toughness indices for concrete containing various percentages of plastic wastes as a replacement of ne aggregate [13]. Percentages of plastic in concrete mixtures (%) Toughness indices at curing ages 3-days I5 10 15 20 3.0 6.8 I10 11.0 13.7 I10:I5 3.7 2.0 7-days I5 8.3 4.5 7.3 I10 11.6 9.5 14.8 I10:I5 1.4 2.1 2.0 14-days I5 4.3 4.2 5.2 I10 8.6 8.4 11.5 I10:I5 2.0 2.0 2.1 28-days I5 2.5 8.0 5.7 I10 7.5 16.1 11.6 I10:I5 3.0 2.0 2.0

Fig. 13. Stressstrain curves for reference concrete (plain line) and concrete containing PET waste aggregate (dotted line) [23].

natural aggregates (Fig. 14) [2]. As the smooth surface of the PVC particles and the free water accumulated at the surface of PVC granules could cause a weaker bonding between the PVC particles and the cement paste, most of the PVC granules in the concrete matrix did not fail, but were debonded from the cement paste after reaching their ultimate stress [9]. Fraj et al. reported that the rupture mechanism of concrete containing PUR foam aggregate was different from that of normal weight control concrete: in the case of concrete containing PUR foam aggregate, rupture occurred on the mortar matrix/PUR foam aggregate interfaces as well as in the middle of the PUR foam aggregate [19]. On the other hand, in normal weight concrete rupture mainly took place in the ITZ because of the poor properties of this zone compared to the other concrete components. From the observation of the splitting behaviour of concrete blocks after tensile strength and exural strength tests, Saikia and de Brito concluded that aky PET aggregate can act as bridge between the two split pieces of concrete specimen after failure, which was not observed in concrete specimens containing natural as well as pellet PET aggregate [25]. 3.3.7. Abrasion resistance Compared to other properties, very few information is available on the abrasion resistance behaviour of concrete (or mortar containing any type of plastic waste aggregates. Soroushian et al. only reported the abrasion resistance of concrete containing plastic waste bre [14]. The authors found a reduction of the abrasion resistance of concrete due to the incorporation of plastic waste bre in concrete. However, the incorporation of the commercial plastic aggregate in concrete improved the abrasion resistance of the resulting concrete [29]. Recently Saikia and de Brito reported that the incorporation of PET aggregate can improve the abrasion resistance of concrete (Fig. 15A) [25]. The authors found that the abrasion resistance of concrete containing pellet PET aggregate increased with increasing content. On the other hand, for the mixes containing two types of aky aggregates the best results were obtained for 10% substitution level. From the relationship between compressive strength and depth of wear for concrete containing different types of plastic aggregates, the authors found a given compressive strength level for concrete containing PET aggregate over which the abrasion resistance deteriorates (Fig. 15B). 3.4. Durability performance Several durability factors are evaluated for concrete or mortar containing plastic as aggregate. These include water absorption and sorptivity, shrinkage, carbonation resistance, chloride ion permeation and resistance against freezing and thawing. However, compared to the available information on mechanical performance of concrete containing plastic aggregate, there is less information on the durability behaviour of concrete of this type of concrete. 3.4.1. Permeability behaviour Generally the permeability of aggressive chemical species through the pores of concrete is the major factor that controls sev-

Table 9 Flexural toughness factors for concrete containing various amounts of PET and PC waste aggregates [18]. Concrete type Flexural toughness factors

rb150 (MPa)
Control 3% PET 10% PET 20% PET 50% PET 3% PC 10% PC 20% PC 50% PC 0.44 0.51 0.60 0.92 1.66 0.58 0.91 1.08 1.45

rb100 (MPa)
0.32 0.39 0.46 0.73 1.31 0.49 0.77 0.92 1.26

rb50 (MPa)
0.15 0.24 0.30 0.48 0.85 0.37 0.57 0.74 0.95

aggregates as a replacement of ne natural aggregates [18]. Their results showed an improvement in ductility when the plastic aggregates content increased. The authors found an increase in the exural toughness factor for mixes containing PET and PC aggregates (Table 9). The toughness factor was calculated from the experimental exural loaddeection curves. The greater amount of plastic aggregates resulted in a greater toughness for both PC and PET plastic mixes. This indicated that the incorporation of plastic aggregate could lead to high energy absorbing materials. 3.3.6. Failure characteristics After failure during determination of compressive strength, specimens containing plastic aggregates do not exhibit the typical brittle type of failure for conventional cement mortar and concrete. As the plastic aggregates content increases the failure becomes more ductile. The specimens containing plastic aggregates can carry load for a few minutes after failure without full disintegration, which was observed by various investigators [6,18,25]. Albano et al. found various types of failure including normal cone type for concrete specimens prepared by replacing 20% of ne

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397

Fig. 14. Types of failures observed in the cylinders after compressive strength testing: (A) longitudinal, (B) cone, (C) border, (D) diagonal [2].

Fig. 15. (A) Depth of wear of concrete with various percentages of replacement of NA by PET aggregates after abrasion resistance test; (B) cubic compressive strength versus depth of wear [25].

eral durability properties. Tests like water absorption, gas permeability, and chloride permeability measurement can provide information on the vulnerability of concrete to the ingress of deleterious chemical species. 3.4.1.1. Water absorption and water accessible porosity. Albano et al. reported higher water absorption for concrete containing PET aggregate than for concrete containing natural aggregate only [2]. The water absorption is further increased with increasing content of PET aggregate in concrete, increasing size of PET aggregate and increasing w/c ratio. According to the authors, the difference in size distribution as well as in shape of plastic aggregate from the ne natural aggregate was responsible for this behaviour. Marzouk et al. reported that volumetric substitutions of plastic aggregate lower than 100% decreased the rate of water adsorption with respect to the reference mortar that contained no waste [6]. The authors carried out the adsorption of steam water in the different cement mortar specimens in a temperature-controlled room under saturated atmosphere (100% relative humidity and 20 2 C). They also determined the sorptivity of various cement mortars at ambient temperature, by placing one surface of the dried samples in contact with liquid water. The mass increase per unit area was then plotted against the square root of time, which gave a straight line. The water absorption coefcient or the sorptivity was then determined from the slope of line. The

authors found lower sorptivity for cement mortars containing PET aggregate than for mortars containing no plastic waste (Fig. 16). The sorptivity further decreased with increasing volume of substitution up to 50%. Thus their results suggest better durability performance of cement mortar containing PET aggregates then of mortar containing natural aggregate only if it comes into contact with aggressive solutions. Choi et al. measured the sorptivity coefcient of 28-days cured cement mortars prepared by replacing 0%, 25%, 50% and 75% of ne natural aggregate by sand powdered coated PET aggregate [3]. Their results indicated that the sorptivity of cement mortar containing PET aggregate at 25% replacement level was lower than the control mortar and for 50% and 75% replacement level it was higher than the control mortar. According to the authors, at 50% and 75% replacement level, the change in grading size of the ne aggregate mixture increased the inside porosity of mortar and thus increased the sorptivity. Hannawi et al. measured the water absorption and apparent porosity values of the different concrete mixes containing various amounts of PET and polycarbonate (PC) waste aggregates [18]. Their results revealed that replacing 3% (in volume) of sand by an equal volume of PET or PC waste does not exert inuence either on water absorption or on apparent porosity of the composites in comparison with the control mortar. However apparent porosity and water absorption increased with increasing plastic content.

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Fig. 16. Coefcient of sorptivity of cement mortar containing various volume percentages of PET aggregate [6].

Fig. 17. Resistance to chloride penetration of concrete prepared by replacing various amounts of ne natural aggregate by PVC waste granules [9].

Akcaozoglu et al. found higher water absorption and porosity values for a cement mortar containing 100% PET aggregate than a mortar containing a mixture of equal percentage in volume of PET aggregate and sand [1]. The authors found a similar trend for cement mortar containing a mixture of equal weight of blast furnace slag and normal Portland cement (NPC) though the blast furnace slag addition with NPC increases the water absorption and porosity of the resulting cement mortar. However, according to the authors, all the values for all types of mortar meet the range that is generally observed for lightweight concrete. Fraj et al. recorded a higher value of the water accessible porosity of cement mortar containing polyurethane (PUR) foam aggregate than that of mortar containing no plastic aggregate [23]. The authors also reported that pre-wetting of PUR foam aggregate further increased the porosity. However the addition of a super plasticizer to the cement mortar containing pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate can decrease its porosity. 3.4.1.2. Gas permeability. Hanawi et al. evaluated the apparent permeability of concrete prepared by replacing different percentages of ne aggregate by PET and PC aggregate using helium gas under 0.2 MPa pressure [18]. The authors found an increase of the permeability coefcient with increasing plastic aggregates content in concrete, which indicated an increase of the percolated porosity of concrete due to the incorporation of plastic aggregate. According to the authors, the increase in porosity due to weak bonding between the cement paste and plastic aggregate is the cause of the higher permeability of concrete containing plastic aggregate. They also reported greater percolated porosity of concrete containing PET aggregate than that of concrete containing PC aggregate at the higher replacement level (10%, 20% and 50%). Fraj et al. reported higher permeability of concrete containing dry and pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate than of conventional concrete [19]. The permeability of concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate is 2.2 times higher than that of conventional concrete. Pre-wetting of PUR foam aggregate can increase the value considerably. Decreasing the w/c value and increasing super plasticizer content can reduce this value for concrete containing pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate. 3.4.1.3. Chloride migration. Kou et al. investigated the resistance to chloride ion penetration of 28 and 91 days hardened concrete prepared by partially replacing ne natural aggregate by PVC waste granules [9]. The chloride ion penetration resistance of concrete was represented by the total charge passed in Coulomb during a test period of 6 h. Their results (presented in Fig. 17) indicated that the resistance of chloride ion penetrability of concrete increased with an increase in PVC content as well as with longer curing. They

found reduction of about 36% in the total charges passed through the 28-day cured concrete, prepared by replacing 45% of natural aggregate by PVC granules in comparison with the concrete containing no waste PVC granules and the same curing age. According to them, the increase in the resistance to chloride ion penetration of concrete is attributed to the impervious PVC granules blocking the passage of the chloride ion. Fraj et al. evaluated the chloride diffusion coefcients of concrete containing rigid polyurethane (PUR) foam as partial replacement of coarse natural aggregate [19]. Their results are presented in Table 10. The authors observed a lower value of chloride diffusion coefcient for concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate than that of concrete containing natural aggregates only. However, the pre-saturation of PUR foam aggregate in water resulted in a signicant increase of the chloride diffusion coefcient, due to an increase in porosity of concrete, which rises with increasing volume of PUR foam aggregate in concrete. They also reported that the reduction in w/c ratio and increase in cement content could signicantly improve the chloride resistance performance of concrete containing pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate.

3.4.2. Carbonation Akcaozoglu et al. measured the carbonation resistance of various types of cement mortars by measuring carbonation depth [1]. The phenolphthalein solution was applied on the broken surfaces of the half pieces obtained after exuraltensile strength test. The compositions of various mixes along with carbonation depth at various time periods are presented in Table 11. Irrespective of binder types, the carbonation depth of mortar containing only PET aggregate at or after 28 days of curing are lower than that of the mortar containing an aggregate mixture of PET and sand. The authors also found a higher porosity of mortar containing sand and PET mixture than the mortar containing PET aggregate only. According to the authors, PET and sand aggregates used together did not combine with each other sufciently and therefore the resulting mortar becomes porous. On the other hand, the depth of carbonation for concrete containing slag is signicantly higher than the mortar prepared by using cement as the only binder.

3.4.3. Shrinkage Frigione measured the drying shrinkage property of one year cured concrete containing PET aggregate, which replaced 5% in weight of ne natural aggregate [23]. The author found an increase in drying shrinkage value due to the incorporation of PET aggregate in concrete for the different experimental conditions. According to the author, this behaviour is primarily due to the lower elastic modulus of concrete containing plastic aggregate than that of conventional concrete. However the range of shrinkage for concrete

N. Saikia, J. de Brito / Construction and Building Materials 34 (2012) 385401 Table 10 Chloride ion penetration co-efcient of concrete containing PUR foam aggregate, mm [19]. Volume of PUR foam aggregate Control Dry PUR aggregate Pre-wetted PUR aggregate w/c ratio 0.55 0.55 0.55 0.44 0.44 Cement content (kg/m3) 397 397 397 415 353 Volume content of PUR foam (%) 0 34 34 35 45 Amount of superplasticizer (kg/m3) 0 0 0 1.405 1.196

399

Effective chloride diffusivity coefcient (1012 m2/s) 1.87 1.62 5.30 2.70 5.98

Table 11 Depth of carbonation of various cement mortar specimens [1]. Amount in mortar (%) Cement 51.28 25.64 33.90 16.95 Slag 0 25.64 0 16.95 PET aggregate 25.64 25.64 16.95 16.95 Normal aggregate 0 0 33.90 33.90 Water 23.08 23.08 15.25 15.25 Depth of carbonation (mm) 7 days 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.6 28 days 1.2 1.7 1.4 2.5 90 days 4.3 5.5 4.8 6.8 180 days 5.0 7.6 5.9 8.5

containing PET aggregate was acceptable for various uses of structural concrete. From his experiments on the use of waste PVC granules as a partial volumetric replacement of natural sand in the preparation of concrete, Kou et al. reported a decreasing trend of drying shrinkage with increasing content of plastic aggregates (Fig. 18) [9]. According to the authors, PVC granules were impermeable and did not absorb water when compared to sand and did not shrink, and hence were able to reduce the overall shrinkage of concrete. Fraj et al. found higher drying shrinkage for lightweight concrete containing dry and pre-wetted polyurethane foam (PUR foam) as a part of ne aggregate [19]. The concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate has 8.1% more 28-day drying shrinkage than the control concrete. On the other hand, concrete mixes containing pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate for 34% and 45% (in volume) replacement levels exhibited 72.5% and 149.5% higher 28-day drying shrinkage than the control concrete, respectively. Lowering the w/c ratio or increasing the super plasticizer, sand and cement contents can decrease the drying shrinkage of concrete containing pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate. In these conditions, the 28-day drying shrinkage value of concrete containing prewetted PUR foam aggregate by 35% (in volume) is 49.7% higher

than that of the control concrete. According to the authors, the lower elastic modulus of PUR foam aggregate and the higher amount of pre-wetting water in the case of concrete containing pre-wetted aggregate are the causes of its high drying shrinkage. Mounanga et al. also reported higher drying shrinkage of concrete prepared by replacing various fractions of ne aggregate by PUR foam aggregate than that of the control concrete [20]. According to the authors, this behaviour was mainly due to the effect of PUR foam aggregate on the stiffness of concrete. However some other factors such as the w/c ratio, sand content and thermal dilation during hydration also had a signicant effect. Akcaozoglu et al. observed signicantly higher drying shrinkage values of mortars containing PET aggregate only than that exhibited by a mortar containing equal weight percentage of sand and PET aggregate at the experimental drying periods [1]. Mixing blast furnace slag with cement can reduce the shrinkage values for both type of aggregate (PET only and sand-PET mix) containing mortars. 3.4.4. Freezing and thaw resistance a reported the freeze and thaw resistance of Kan and Demirbog concrete containing modied expanded polystyrene foam (MEPS) as partial or full substitution of ne and coarse natural aggregates by using standard method, ASTM 666 procedure B [15]. The following conclusions were taken from the results: (1) by increasing the MEPS aggregate ratio in mixes, the concrete is expected to exhibit a higher frost resistance and have a higher durability; (2) coarse lightweight MEPS aggregate is more susceptible to the freezethaw cycles when compared to the ne light-weight aggregate. 3.5. Other properties 3.5.1. Fire behaviour Albano et al. determined the re behaviour of concrete containing various percentages of shredded PET aggregate as partial replacement of ne natural aggregate [2]. The authors placed the cured slabs in a mufe furnace, the temperature inside the furnace was increased up to a pre-determined temperature, the slabs were kept at that temperature for 2 h, and then heating was stopped immediately. The temperatures chosen for this study were 200 C, 400 C and 600 C. After cooling the specimen to room temperature, the exural strength was determined. In parallel, unheated specimens were tested. Their results are presented in Fig. 19. As the temperature increased, the exural strength decreased regardless of the level of substitution and the PET particle size.

Fig. 18. Drying shrinkage of concrete containing various amount of ne granular PVC aggregate [9].

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ity of PUR foam aggregate is lower than that of natural aggregate. On the other hand, the heat capacity of concrete containing saturated PUR foam aggregate is higher than that of the reference concrete due to the higher heat capacity of water present in the pores of pre-wetted PUR foam aggregate.

4. Practical implications of the results so far and future developments The above discussion proves that the incorporation of plastic waste as aggregate in concrete can improve various properties, which can solve a part of the problem associated with plastic waste disposal. Some of these properties are highlighted below: 1. Incorporation of plastic can lower the density of resulting concrete. Studies indicate that concrete containing various types of plastic aggregate meets the various national standards for lightweight concrete. 2. Use of waste plastic in concrete can improve its toughness behaviour and therefore this type of concrete can absorb high amounts of energy, which has several practical implications. Combining the improvement of concrete toughness with the lightweight nature of plastic aggregate-based concrete, it can be envisaged that a lightweight plastic based concrete composite can be developed for earthquake resistance building construction. 3. Though very little information is available, it was observed that the addition of plastic waste as aggregate in concrete up to a certain level can improve the abrasion resistance of concrete, which has several practical applications such as concrete paving blocks and hydraulic structures. 4. Plastic waste aggregate has signicantly lower thermal conductivity than the natural aggregate used in concrete preparation. Thus the concrete containing plastic aggregate will have better thermal insulation properties than conventional concrete, which can be used to control heat loss from building during winter and heat gain during summer. However, for practical applications of plastic waste in concrete preparation, some other important aspects such as LCA and LCC analyses of the product and recycling at the end of the service life need to be evaluated. The life-cycle analyses of various plastic waste indicated that mechanical recycling (e.g. melting, grinding) provides a higher net positive environmental impact than recovery of energy (incineration) or land-lling [3133]. The product generated after mechanical recycling can have diverse applications including cement-based product generation. In this sense, improvement of properties due to addition of plastic waste can have immense practical implications and therefore future studies should be implemented to obtain durable improved but cost-effective plastic waste-based concrete products. No report is available on LCA and LCC analyses of plastic waste-based concrete, to the best of the authors knowledge. The majority of the plastics contain toxic organic and inorganic chemical constituents such as lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, bromine, tin, antimony, bisphenol A, and chloro-ethane monomer, and therefore the leaching of these toxic constituents from plastic waste-based concrete is another key aspect to be addressed when evaluating the possible degree of pollution. Silva et al. [7], for example, reported that the prolonged curing of PET bre in simulated cement pore-uid could initiate the alkaline hydrolysis of PET, and form some organic compounds. No report is available on the leaching behaviour of plastic waste-based concrete, to the best of the authors knowledge.

Fig. 19. Flexural strength behaviour of concrete containing PET as a partial replacement of ne natural aggregate before and after heat treatment [2].

However, the decrease in exural strength was more signicant when the PET content was 20% due to the presence of more porosity (voids), which act as stress concentration sites. Moreover, the PET aggregate was more susceptible to temperature than the ne natural aggregate. The volume change and the degradation of the PET particles, produce less cohesion between concrete components and a greater content of voids. The decrease in exural strength also increased with increasing w/c ratio. According to the authors, at high w/c ratio, the thermal stability of PET aggregate decreased due to the hydrolytic degradation of PET particles. The formation of carboxyl and hydroxyl end-groups occurred due to the reaction of one water molecule with one PET molecule, which accelerated its decomposition. Besides, the water vapour was difcult to be discharged at high temperatures, so the vapour pressure favours crack formation within concrete. 3.5.2. Thermo-physical properties Mounanga et al. observed signicantly low thermal conductivity for concrete containing PUR foam aggregate that used to partially replace the ne natural aggregate due to porous nature of PUR foam aggregate [20]. These pores contain air whose thermal conductivity is much lower than that of the other concrete components. The decrease in thermal conductivity was prominent for concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate compared to concrete containing saturated PUR foam aggregate. Dweik et al. also observed signicant improvement of thermal insulation properties of cement mortar blocks containing melamine formaldehyde solid waste as sand replacement due to the lower thermal conductivity and specic gravity of the plastic aggregate [30]. The heat capacity of concrete containing dry PUR foam aggregate is also lower than that of reference concrete as the heat capac-

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5. Conclusions Signicant work has been done on the use of various types of plastic waste as aggregate in concrete. The ndings from these studies indicated that plastic waste can be used as a partial replacement of natural aggregate. From the results obtained from these studies the following conclusions can be drawn: 1. Two parallel views exist on the workability performance of concrete containing plastic aggregate. This is mainly due to the size and shape of plastic aggregate. Flaky as well as porous plastic aggregate decreases the slump of fresh concrete mix while spherical shaped plastic aggregate increase it. The incorporation of plastic aggregate can reduce the density of resulting concrete and cement mortar and therefore several studies were undertaken to prepare lightweight concrete by using various types of plastic aggregates. 2. Irrespective of the type of plastics and amount of substitution, the incorporation of plastic aggregate lowers the various strength properties of resulting concrete and mortar specimens. This is mainly due to the very low binding strength between the surface of the plastic particles and the cement paste. Compared to control mixes, up to 72% reductions in compressive strength were observed for concrete prepared by replacing natural aggregate at the replacement level of 20%. However, about 16% reductions in compressive strength of mortar prepared by replacing 50% in volume of sand were also reported. The variations in the various compressive strength values are due to the differences in the type of plastic wastes used, their size and shape and the differences in the workability behaviour of concrete mix. The concrete containing partial replacement of plastic aggregate meet the several strength criteria for normal structural as well as lightweight concrete. Several techniques are adopted to improve the plastic to be used as an aggregate in concrete preparation including binding between the plastic aggregate and cement paste. 3. The reduction in tensile splitting strength and exural strength were relatively less prominent than the reduction in compressive strength of concrete due to the incorporation of plastic aggregate. This incorporation considerably changes the failure behaviour of the resulting concrete. This concrete is more ductile than conventional concrete and it can arrest the cracks generated during mechanical failure of concrete. 4. Not much has been reported on the durability performance of concrete containing plastic aggregates. However, existing data indicate that the incorporation of various types of plastic aggregate can improve the permeability behaviour of concrete and therefore concrete containing plastic aggregate will be more durable in the face of aggressive chemical attack. However, concrete shrinkage is considerably increased due to the incorporation of various types of plastic aggregates. 5. Concrete containing modied EPS aggregate exhibited higher frost resistance than conventional concrete. Similarly, re behaviour of concrete containing PET-aggregate is inferior to that of conventional concrete. Concrete containing polyurethane foam as aggregate also exhibited lower thermal conductivity than conventional concrete. However, more results are necessary to have a clear picture of these properties.

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Acknowledgments The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the ICIST Research Institute, IST, Technical University of Lisbon and the FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology).