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Compression strength of concrete elaborated with recycled limestone rock aggregate

Alberto Prez Martnez


Engineering Faculty of Autonomous University of Yucatan
Objective
Fabricate recycled concrete based on fine aggregate obtained from rock from Yucatan
Peninsula, Mexico and recycled coarse aggregate obtained from construction and demolition waste
from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Compare the compression strength behavior of this concrete with a
control concrete fabricated with natural aggregates, expecting that similar resistances to
compression would be obtained in both types of concretes, even with the high absorption of the
limestone rock of the region and the fact that is a recycled material, and propose the usage of
recycled concrete in the local Construction Industry in Merida, Mexico, with the goal of contributing
in the sustainable development of the country through Civil Engineering.

Theoretical Background
The natural environment daily presents a bigger deterioration due the uncontrolled usage of
natural resources. Nowadays the sustainable development and the moderated and rational use of
natural resources are adopted as priorities for protecting the natural environment. The concrete is
the most used material in the world after water. The Construction Industry is overusing quarries,
sedimentation banks, riverbeds, and other sources of coarse aggregate, for manufacturing concrete
because the demand for it is bigger every day. When construction and demolition wastes are
generated, a loss in natural resources is also represented. Therefore the amount of waste
generated (produced in all constructions) is to be considered, although the biggest contribution to
this waste is originated in the debris coming from demolitions or natural disasters. The Construction
and Demolition (C&D) Waste is defined as those residues that are generated during the
construction, renovation (refurbishment or extension), and demolition of all type of constructions,
such as residential buildings and non-residential buildings (industry, commerce, institutions).
Recycling concrete contributes for the solution of two problems of recently seriousness: the
availability of aggregates and the waste management. The former has resulted in making the
utilization of recycled concrete a priority in the Construction Industry of several countries

Methodology
In this research, the construction and demolition waste would be called raw materials since
are the material that would be transformed to obtain the coarse aggregate for concrete. This study
is done with material coming from the city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Without any doubt the
limestone rock is one of the most used materials in the Construction Industry, due the amount of
this type of rock that you find in the region and the importance it has for the elaboration of
construction materials used in the infrastructure of the region. The residues of concrete cylinders
previously tested for compression strength, for a Master Thesis of the Engineering Faculty of the
Autonomous University of Yucatan, were taken as raw material source. This cylinders were
fabricated with concrete made of limestone aggregates from the region, two types of aggregates
with different physical properties were used, the same cement was used, they were submitted to
two different concrete curing methods, and the average of compression strength resistance of this
cylinders was 309,83 kg/cm
2
. The fragments of the concrete cylinders were reduced to an
aggregate size with granulometry according the limits of the ASTM C 136. To accomplish this, a
previous trituration of the material was realized with a sledgehammer and after that a final trituration
through a jaw triturator. Finally all the triturated material was screened manually for separating the
fine and coarse fractions.
Two types of coarse aggregate were used: the aggregate that came from an material bank,
to elaborate the control concrete based on limestone aggregates; and the recycled aggregate to
elaborate the recycled concrete based on the aggregate coming from triturated concrete. The fine
aggregate was the same for both concretes: natural sand, coming from limestone rock of the
region, as well as the same cement (Class resistant 30R, Portland Compound). Physical tests were
conducted, according to the ASTM procedures, with the end of classifying the aggregates, realizing
the mix design, and analyze the concrete behavior. For the materials proportioning the absolute
volume method' of the ACI 211.1 (Mexican concrete normative) was used. The values of fc 200,
300, 400 y 500 kg/cm
2
were established as values for project design. To verify the amount of water
the design mix needed, two trial mixtures were elaborated. The compression strength of the
concrete samples was realized at the age of 28 days, based on the ASTM C 39M 05 normative.

Results
Recycled concretes of fc = 200 kg/cm
2
y fc = 300 kg/cm
2
(first batch) have resistances only
3,13 y 7,59 % lower than the control concretes of the same design resistance. The recycled
concrete of fc = 300 kg/cm
2
(second batch) obtained a resistance 3,40 % higher than the control
concrete. The recycled concretes of fc = 400 y 500 kg/cm
2
obtained similar resistances between
them, with only a difference of 7,08 kg/cm
2
, however this resistances were lower than the expected
resistance, this can be due to the addition of extra water to the fc = 500 kg/cm
2
concrete, since the
mixture acquired a water/cement relationship similar to the fc = 400 kg/cm
2
concrete.

Conclusion and Discussion
The recycled concrete obtained from triturating concrete from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico,
require bigger amount of water quantities than the control concretes, this requirements are very
higher than the ACI 211.1 normative recommendations. The recycled concretes with higher
resistances require a big amount of cement compared with the amount of water they need, resulting
in a very dry and absorbent mixture with low workability.
The former results show that recycled concretes could be elaborated for a fc = 200 kg/cm
2

y fc = 300 kg/cm
2
with coarse aggregate that comes from the trituration of limestone concretes of
Yucatan that had a compression resistance > 300 kg/cm
2
,

that were elaborated with a mix design
based on the absolute volume method of the ACI 211.1 and obtain the desired resistances
(practically the same resistances than the control concrete, with a difference of approximately
3,50 %). The recycled concrete designed for resistances higher than 400 kg/cm
2
elaborated under
the same conditions than before, doesnt reach the design resistances, but a maximum average
resistance of 368,85 kg/cm
2
and the samples present the same failure type. All the concretes
elaborated in this research were from excellent quality according the quality control criteria from
the ACI 214 norm.



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