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Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle

fiber: An experimental study
Lisa Mary Thomas ⇑, Syed Aadil Moosvi
Department of Civil Engineering, Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore 641049, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The mechanical and fracture properties of binary cement concrete containing recycled waste PET bottle
Received 16 December 2019 fiber (RWPBF) are studied as part of this experimental research work. The mix was designed to produce a
Received in revised form 16 February 2020 concrete of grade M50. The binder for the first series of mix was Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and the
Accepted 2 March 2020
second series of mix contained binary cementetious blends of 10% metakaolin (MK) and 90% OPC, with
Available online xxxx
varied percentages of RWPBF. RWPBF was added at five designated percentages of 0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6%
and 0.8%. The 28 days test results show an increased compressive strength of 5% in addition of MK and
further increase of up to 10.67% on inclusion of RWPBF. Moreover, the use of RWPBF significantly
PET bottle fiber
improved the tensile, elastic and flexural strength of concrete specimens. The optimum level of addition
Binary cement of RWPBF was found to be 0.4%, beyond which the strength decreased and was lower than control
Fiber reinforced concrete specimens.
Strength Ó 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 3rd International Con-
ference on Innovative Technologies for Clean and Sustainable Development.

1. Introduction circular rings which were used to reinforce concrete. B.S.

Al-Tulaian et al. [8] recommends the use of 1.5% PET fibers in
Plastic has become a prominent constituent in every product concrete. It was found to minimize plastic shrinkage and improve
manufactured due to its long life, flexibility, low weight and better flexural strength. Ochi et al. [9] in his research, mentions the easy
thermal properties. The harmful effects of plastic to the environ- incorporation of up to 3% of PET fibers. Yin et al. [10] conducted a
ment are numerous and despite the awareness, polyethylene comprehensive review on macro fibers, and recommends the use
terephthalate (PET) bottles are still manufactured for packaging of PET fiber in concrete. Moreover, PET fibers can be easily mixed
of drinking water and other uses. As mentioned by Siddique et al. in concrete due to their high density and wetting tension when
[1] plastic has various applications which make it an everyday compared to Polypropylene (PP) fibers. Similarly, waste PET con-
usable commodity by numerous industries such as medical, auto- crete is found to exhibit lower thermal transmittance and better
motive, food packaging etc. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a insulation properties [10]. Significant cost and environmental ben-
category of thermoplastics utilized to manufacture thick clear plas- efits can be obtained while using macro plastics such as PET fiber
tic bottles [2,3]. It forms the second largest form of plastic found in [4]. Therefore, for this study, fibers which are manually cut from
plastic waste stream [1,4]. After use, it is littered in public spaces waste PET bottles have been used, hence the cost of manufacture
which eventually accumulates in water bodies such as lakes and of fibers is nil.
oceans causing ecological imbalance and environmental crisis. Oliveira et al. conducted a study of PET bottle fiber in mortar
This makes it imperative for existing waste plastic materials to and reported that the optimum volume of PET fiber for the best
either be recycled or reused, so that it may not harm the environ- performance to be 1.5%, which displayed significant improvement
ment. Extensive research has been done incorporating PET bottles of the bending strength but no improvement of compressive
in concrete. Bottles have been used as whole without cutting [5] or strength [11]. Borg et al. [12] also reported similar results while
are cut into fibers [6,7] and flakes. Foti [6] has cut the bottles into investigating properties of hardened concrete which had straight
and deformed fibers added at 0.5%, 1% and 1.5%. However, in all
the previous studies, it is mentioned that the higher percentage
⇑ Corresponding author. of fiber added in concrete, poor are the mechanical properties.
E-mail address: lisathomas90@gmail.com (L.M. Thomas).

2214-7853/Ó 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the 3rd International Conference on Innovative Technologies for Clean and Sustainable

Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025
2 L.M. Thomas, S.A. Moosvi / Materials Today: Proceedings xxx (xxxx) xxx

Recently many researchers have made an effort to check the  The properties of fibers have been analyzed and its mechanical
possibility of utilizing other pozzolanic materials with fiber rein- behavior when combined in a binary cement concrete has been
forced concrete. Alani et al. [7] investigated the effect of binary bin- studied
ders with PET bottle fibers and the results showed an improved
compressive strength at all ages. The highest compressive strength 2. Experimental investigation
obtained was 144.1 MPa for specimens containing 20% ultra-fine
palm oil fuel ash and 1% shredded plastic fiber. Also, a study on Five different proportions of recycled waste PET bottle fibers
Roller Compacted Concrete Pavements which contained a combi- (RWPBF) 0.0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6% and 0.8% were used for the study.
nation of recycled PET, Shredded Recycled Steel Fibers and Meta- These fibers used are manually cut from waste recycled PET bottles
kaolin powder was conducted by Noroozi et al. [13]. Metakaolin (Fig. 1(a)). In order to produce a binary cementetious mix, 10% of
is a mineral additives which possess pozzolanic properties and OPC is replaced with MK (Fig. 1(b)).
can be partially replaced in cement. An improvement in cube The number of specimens which were cast for experimental
(compression) strength is reported in most of the experimental work is given in Table 1. Two sets of concrete mix were produced
studies [13–15]. Similarly, creep and shrinkage was found to which were, Recycled Waste PET bottle fiber reinforced binary
reduce due to the inclusion of MK [14] and the tensile property, cement concrete (FRBC) and control specimen (CS). FRBC had vary-
electrical resistivity of concrete were enhanced along with lowered ing percentages of fiber as mentioned in Table 1.
water absorption and void content [16], gas penetration and ion
diffusion [15]. Replacement of 10% MK in OPC increased the com-
2.1. Material properties
pressive strength [16–19], whereas Wild et al. [20] recommends an
optimal level of 20% replacement.
For the fabrication of PET fiber reinforced concrete, a binder,
Though there are quite a number of studies which used pet bot-
commercially available ordinary Portland cement (OPC) according
tle fiber with supplementary cementetious materials such as fly
to the Indian standards were used [22]. MK was used as supple-
ash, palm oil fuel ash [7] and silica [21]. However, there are no
mentary cementetious material and 10% of OPC was replaced with
studies which consider the use of MK and PET fiber in concrete.
MK. Chemical constituent of binders were analysed in the labora-
Therefore, the current study is aimed at exploring the effect of
tory and summarized in Table 2. Aggregates conforming to IS
varying proportions of fiber (0%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6% and 0.8%) on the
hardened properties of binary cement concrete. Also this experi-
mental work could become a base for studies to be conducted in Table 1
future for developing eco-friendly fiber reinforced concrete of Mix composition and number of specimens cast.
reduced cost.
Mix designation Metakaolin (%) Fiber (%) Cube Cylinder Prism
CS 0 0 6 9 6
1.1. Research significance
0FRBC 10 0 6 9 6
2FRBC 10 0.2 6 9 6
There has been an increasing demand to recycle materials such 4 FRBC 10 0.4 6 9 6
as plastic, glass. Through recycling or reuse, the energy consumed 6FRBC 10 0.6 6 9 6
8FRBC 10 0.8 6 9 6
in their production reduces and also provides a solution to environ-
mental effects posed due to dumping of these wastes. Here, an
attempt has been made to incorporate PET waste in the form of
Table 2
fibers in concrete. Moreover, the bottles were shredded manually,
Chemical composition of Binders.
hence no energy was consumed in fiber manufacture. Also, MK a
supplementary cementetious material has been used to replace Oxide composition OPC (%) MK (%)
small amounts of cement. In particular, this work has concentrated SiO2 20.42 54.3
mainly on studying the workability and hardened properties of Al2O3 4.07 38.3
concrete which has both fiber and MK. The following are the two Fe2O3 5.37 4.28
CaO 59.61 0.39
aspects of novelty in the study-: MgO 0.82 0.08
K2O 0.27 0.50
 Fibers are manually cut from waste PET bottles, thus no energy Na2O 0.23 0.12
is consumed in the production of fibers

Fig. 1. (a) Fiber from waste PET bottles (b) Metakaolin (MK).

Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025
L.M. Thomas, S.A. Moosvi / Materials Today: Proceedings xxx (xxxx) xxx 3

383:1970 [22] were used. In order to have better packing, 12.5 mm and type of failure is noted. Elastic modulus was ascertained for
and 20 mm sized coarse aggregates with 2.70 specific gravity are specimens after 28 days of water curing [24]. On the day of testing
used [19]. Manufactured sand of specific gravity 2.60 is used as fine the cylinders are taken from the curing tank and test setup is
aggregate. The fiber was produced from waste PET bottles, thrown arranged in the wet condition as depicted in Fig. 2. The readings
away after use in the campus premises. R.P. Borg et al. [12] men- are recorded at each stage of loading with which stress–strain
tioned that longer fibers (50 mm) had better anchorage and lesser graphs are developed to determine the elastic modulus. Three
crack formation tendency, hence for this study fibers were manu- specimens are taken for each test and the average value is
ally cut to a length of 50 mm and a width varying between 2 and reported.
2.3 mm. The properties of RWPBF were ascertained in the labora-
tory and are outlined in Table 3. In order to obtain adequate flowa- 3. Experimental results and discussion
bility, a viscosity Modified Naphthalene Formaldehyde Sulphonate
with a specific gravity of 1.15 (adopted as provided by the manu- 3.1. Workability test
facturer) is used.
While incorporating fiber in concrete, it is necessary to examine
2.2. Mix proportion, casting, curing and testing its impact on the workability of the concrete mixture. In order to
achieve the required workability or target slump, a viscosity mod-
For this study, concrete of grade M50 was formulated and pro- ifying agent was used. Similar measures were taken by Dinakar
portioned as per IS 10262:2009 [23] and the specimens for the et al. [19]. The mix nomenclature and corresponding slump values
intended study were cast in accordance with IS 516-1959 [24]. are presented in Table 4. In general, the obtained slump ranges
The proportion adopted was 1:1.45:2.47 with a w/c ratio of 0.36 from 97 mm to 74 mm. Target slump was achieved as per design
and target slump of 75–100 mm. During the process of mixing, ini- for all concrete mixtures, except for 8FRBC mixture. When meta-
tially, the dry ingredients (without fiber) are fed into a mixer of kaolin (0FRBC) was added there was a reduction in slump [18]. This
50 kg capacity. It is then mixed thoroughly for 2 min. Afterwards could be due to the higher surface area possessed by MK which
the measured water and SP is added. Finally, PET bottle fibers are raised the water requirement and lowered the slump.
sprinkled on the concrete mixture and mixed briefly. This ensures Further, on adding RWPBF there was a reduction of slump but
that the fibers do not settle at the bottom of the mixture, instead, no balling or clumping of fibers were observed. Besides, they were
are uniformly distributed in the concrete mixture. In addition, it found to be uniformly distributed within the concrete matrix [12],
also ensures a smooth surface of specimens after casting. Three which subsequently gave a smooth surface on casting. Similar
layers of mixture is filled in cleaned, greased moulds, with each results were reported by Ghernouti et al [26,27]. The lowering of
layer compacted using tamping rods as per IS 516-1959 [24]. The slump value could be attributed to the fibers which causes certain
specimens cast are demoulded after 24hrs and placed in water cur- hindrance to the flow of concrete is present [7]. Also, Pelisser et al
ing till the date of testing under controlled temperature of [28] in his study limited the fiber content to 0.3%, as higher addi-
27° ± 2 °C. Compression test and flexural test were performed tions gave a loss in slump. Hence, from this study it is noted that
[24] at 7 days and 28 days. During compression test, the maximum irrespective of MK content, an increase in RWPBF consequently
load applied and type of failure is noted. The load at failure and the reduced both the slump and workability of concrete.
distance of the crack to the nearest support is measured [24] after
the flexural test. The spilt tensile test is conducted on cylindrical 3.2. Compression test on FRBC
specimens [25] whose load at failure, any unusual appearance
Cubes with dimension 150x150x150mm were tested for com-
pression Fig. 3(a) and the 7 day & 28 day compressive strength
Table 3 results are given in Fig. 2. FRBC displayed an effective improve-
Properties of RWPBF.
ment of compressive strength for a fiber percentage till 0.4%. Bin-
Parameter Value ary cement containing 10% MK increased the compressive
Specific Gravity 1.11 strength by 5%. This improvement may be attributed due the pres-
Length (mm) 50 ence of MK, which provides intrinsic properties as suggested by
Dimension (mm) 0.25  2.3 Noroozi et al., Mansour et al. and Wild et al.[13,17,20]. At 0.6
Tensile strength (MPa) 989 and 0.8 fiber percentages, the compressive strength decreased.
Elastic modulus (MPa) 0.705  104
Density (g/cm3) 0.91
For instance, 2FRBC containing 0.2% fiber in binary cement con-
Melting point (°C) 160–170 crete, 3.0% improvement in compressive strength was observed.
Similarly, 4FRBC mix, which contains 0.4% fiber, increment in
strength was 5.36%. A further increase in fiber content to 0.6%
and 0.8% caused 7.4% and 15.3% reduction in strength, respectively.
The failure pattern of 4FRBC specimens are shown in Fig. 3(b)
and it was similar to the failure of the reference concrete specimen.
On inspection of crushed specimens after testing, it is found that

Table 4
Mix nomenclature and slump value.

Mix designation Slump(mm)

CS 97
0FRBC 89
2FRBC 85
4 FRBC 81
6FRBC 80
8FRBC 74
Fig. 2. Cube (compressive) strength values at 7 days and 28 days.

Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025
4 L.M. Thomas, S.A. Moosvi / Materials Today: Proceedings xxx (xxxx) xxx

Fig. 3. (a) Cube (compressive) test specimens; (b) Cube specimens after testing for compression.

the fibers were well rooted in the concrete matrix. A significant cement concrete 0.4% RWPBF may be added to attain the maxi-
improvement from 7 days to 28 days compressive strength results mum strength. It may be noted that Oliveira et al. [11] suggests
were observed, which demonstrated a clear influence of fibers and an incorporation of 1.5% fiber in mortar to achieve suitable
MK. strength. The specimens for testing the flexural strength were of
length 500 mm and of cross section 100  100 mm (Fig. 5(a)).
Fig. 5(b) depicts the 4FRBC specimens subjected to flexural test.
3.3. Flexural test on FRBC

For the flexural test, prism specimens were subjected to three 3.4. Spilt tensile test on FRBC
point loading system at 7 days and 28 days. It can be inferred from
Fig. 4 that, for a fiber addition of up to 0.4% the flexural strength The results of adding PET bottle fiber in binary cement concrete
increases, beyond which it decreases. are given in Fig. 6. On examining the 28 days strength, split tensile
On adding 0.2% and 0.4% fiber in binary cement concrete, 23.8% strength of 2FRBC mix increased by 20.78% in comparison with
and 35.6% are the increase in 28 day flexural strength. At higher concrete without fiber (0FRBC). Further 0.2% (4FRBC) increment
percentages the flexural strength tends to reduce, which is consis- of the fiber content improved the tensile strength by 11.6%. 4FRBC
tent with the results obtained in the previous studies [13]. In this specimens shows an increase of 84.6% when compared to control
study, when 0.6% RWPBF was added to the binary cement concrete, specimens. The strength increments reduced as the fiber percent-
the 28 day flexural strength reduced by 30%. Hence in binary age was increased, but higher than 0.4% addition of RWPBF

Fig. 4. Flexural test results. Fig. 6. Split tensile test results.

Fig. 5. (a) Flexural (prism) test specimens; (b) Prism specimens after flexural test.

Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025
L.M. Thomas, S.A. Moosvi / Materials Today: Proceedings xxx (xxxx) xxx 5

Fig. 7. (a) Split tensile test (cylinder) specimens; (b) Cylinder specimens after split tensile test.

decreased the strength. Similar results were reported by Pelisser of concrete. However, it was observed that RWPBF specimens were
et al. [28]. Also, higher strength gain (4–74%) was achieved by able to withstand deformations at higher load applications.
Ghernouti et al. while using plastic bag fibers in SCC [26].
In this study higher increments of fiber from 0.4% and above did 4. Conclusion
not compliment the tensile strength. For instance, the tensile
strength of 8FRBC specimens at 28 days is 2.4 MPa, which is lower The following are the conclusions regarding the above men-
than the split tensile strength of specimens which neither has fiber tioned experimental work:-
nor MK (control specimen). Fig. 7(a) shows 4FRBC specimens
which were cast for the test and Fig. 7(b) are the specimens after 1. The addition of RWPBF to binary cement concrete reduced the
testing for split tensile. Here, it is observed that the fibers tend to slump further. 8FRBC mixtures failed to achieve the target
hold the concrete pieces from splitting and prevents the propaga- slump value, whereas the remaining concrete mixture achieved
tion of cracks [26]. Also, the ability of RWPBF to withstand the a slump ranging from 97 to 80 mm.
stresses due to tensile force is noted [4]. 2. It is found that 4FRBC mix containing 0.4% RWPBF and 10% MK
gave an increase of 10.67% of compressive strength in compar-
3.5. Modulus of elasticity of FRBC ison to specimens which did not have neither MK nor fiber. The
fineness of MK and its ability to fill voids could have been the
Results of 28 day static elastic modulus tests with respect to reason for this improvement of strength.
percentage of addition of fiber are presented in Fig. 8. These results 3. There is an increase of 84.6% of tensile strength for 4FRBC mix.
are consistent with the results obtained while testing for mechan- Similarly, the flexural test results also showed an increase of
ical strength. 80% for specimens with 0.4% RWPBF and 10% MK.
The inclusion of RWPBF in binary cement concrete led to the 4. The highest modulus of elasticity was observed for 4FRBC spec-
improvement of modulus of elasticity. The elastic modulus values imens, but the difference in values are not significant.
ranging from 36.7 to 50.5 GPa were achieved in this study, with a 5. The optimum level of addition of RWPBF is found to be 0.4%.
maximum of 50.5 GPa for concrete produced with fiber content of Further additions do not contribute to the enhancement of nei-
0.4% (4FRBC). The results depict that modulus of elasticity is ther strength nor elastic modulus of concrete.
enhanced at lower percentages of fiber (0.2–0.4%). With a rise in 6. On inspection of the tested specimens, a good bonding of fiber
replacement level of RWPBF content to 0.4% the static elastic mod- with concrete was observed.
ulus was increased by 37.6% with respect to control specimens.
Similar improvements were noted by N.K. Bui et al. [21] in concrete This investigation has shown that recycled waste PET bottle
contained recycled concrete aggregate reinforced with PET bottle fiber has the potential to be incorporated into a binary cement con-
fibers. Also, the elastic modulus values of each mix did not vary crete mixture. Hence, the inclusion of PET bottle fiber in built envi-
as much as the compressive test results, which corresponds to that ronment may be considered. Studies should be conducted to
stated by Dinakar et al. in his work [19]. Also Pelisser et al. [28] improve its durability and performance. It will play a major role
found that pet fibers did not influence the elastic modulus values in mitigating damage to the environment and climate.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Lisa Mary Thomas: Conceptualization, Methodology, Investiga-

tion, Writing - original draft, Supervision, Validation. Syed Aadil
Moosvi: Data curation, Writing - review & editing.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing finan-

cial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared
Fig. 8. Elastic modulus values at 28 days. to influence the work reported in this paper.

Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025
6 L.M. Thomas, S.A. Moosvi / Materials Today: Proceedings xxx (xxxx) xxx

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Please cite this article as: L. M. Thomas and S. A. Moosvi, Hardened properties of binary cement concrete with recycled PET bottle fiber: An experimental
study, Materials Today: Proceedings, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2020.03.025