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ID: SEE 061

2nd International Conference on Advances in Civil Engineering 2014 (ICACE-2014)


26 28 December, 2014
CUET, Chittagong, Bangladesh
A STUDY OF LIGHTWEIGHT GREEN CONCRETE USING WASTE
PLASTIC
M J Islam 1*, A Hasnat 2, F Tousif 3 & A. S. M. Sayem 4
1

Assistant professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Islamic


University of Technology (IUT),
Gazipur - 1704, Bangladesh, email:mjislam@iut-dhaka.edu
2
B.Sc. Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Islamic University of
Technology (IUT),
Gazipur - 1704, Bangladesh, email:hasnatsamit@yahoo.com
3
B.Sc. Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Islamic University of
Technology (IUT),
Gazipur - 1704, Bangladesh, email: asmsayem15@gmail.com
4
B.Sc. Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Islamic University of
Technology (IUT),
Gazipur - 1704, Bangladesh, email: fahmidtousif@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
In this study, polypropylene (PP) plastics have been used as the partial replacement for the
conventional coarse aggregate. Polypropylene, a waste polymeric material, is produced nowadays to
produce buckets, toys, etc. However, it is imperative to identify an alternative procedure for recycling
them since they are non-biodegradable. Thus for doing so, recycled polypropylenes are melted at 170
0
C and then cooled within molds to produce high density plastic coarse aggregate. Waste plastics as a
partial replacement (10%, by volume) of conventional coarse aggregate, such as brick chips, by has
been used in this study. Water-cement ratio of 0.48 has been selected to observe the performance of
concrete mixture. The selected mix proportion is 1:1.5:3 (Cement: Fine aggregate: Coarse aggregate)
by volume. Compressive and tensile strength of concrete at 28 days has been investigated. Findings
from the experiments shows that the incorporation of plastic does not results in significant reduction
in compressive strength compared to the natural aggregate concrete. Furthermore, it produces lower
density concrete which can be used for structural purposes.
Keywords: Polypropylene, lightweight concrete, compressive strength, tensile splitting strength

INTRODUCTION
Light Weight Concrete (LWC) can be produced by making concrete lighter by incorporating
relatively lighter aggregate in place of conventional coarse aggregate (i.e. stone chips, brick chips
etc.). Light weight aggregate is basically of three types. The first type is natural ones (i.e. volcanic
pumice), the second type is industrial by-products (i.e. fly ash, Lytag, foamed slag, sintered
pulverized fuel ash) and the third type is artificial ones like treated with temperature, clay, shale or
slate. The LWC contributes in reducing self-weight of load bearing members, such as beams,
columns,
slabs,
foundations
etc.

The Structural LWC has densities ranging from 1360 to 1920 kg/m3 and minimum compressive strengths
of 17.0 MPa. On the other hand, low-density concretes, whose density seldom exceeds 800 kg/m3, are
used chiefly as insulation. While their thermal insulation values are high, their compressive strengths are
low, ranging from approximately 0.7 to 7.0 MPa (ACI Education Bulletin E1-07). In the Bangladesh
National Building Code (BNBC) specification of minimum load bearing strength is 17 MPa.
Polypropylene (PP) is form of plastic, drawn up from different plastic products like bucket, jar, toys,
technological apparatus etc. These products are not bio degradable, and thus, possess threats to the
surrounding environment. Recycling of these plastics offer sustainable waste disposal and
management with a goal towards pollution free environment. In our study, PP has been used as the
replacement of coarse aggregate in concrete. PP can be used in shredded form after melting &
cooling, to provide a rough surface for proper bonding between the mortar and aggregates.
Marzouk et al. (2006) ran research on an innovative use of consumed plastic bottle waste,
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as sand-substitution aggregate within composite materials. A
volumetric percentage of sand was replaced by the same volumetric percentage of recycled
aggregates, ranging from 2% to 100%. In a similar study Ismail and Al-Hashmi (2007) substituted
fine aggregates in concrete with waste plastics. In their research, a concrete mixture made of 20%
waste plastic had 30.5% lower flexural strength, at 28 days curing age, than the reference concrete
mixture. At 28 days curing age, the lowest dry density (2223.7 kg/m3) exceeded the range of the dry
density of structural lightweight concrete. The fresh density values of waste plastic concrete mixtures
tend to decrease by 5%, 7%, and 8.7% for 10%, 15%, and 20% waste plastic substitution,
respectively. The reuse of thermosetting plastic waste was investigated by Panyakapo et al (2008).
The ratio of cement, sand, fly ash, and plastic was equal to 1.0:0.8:0.3:0.9 in an appropriate mix
proportion. The results of compressive strength and dry density were 4.14 MPa and 1395 kg/m3,
respectively. In an another work Frigione (2010) substituted 5% of the weight of total fine aggregate
(natural sand) with an equal weight of PET aggregates manufactured from the waste un-washed PET
bottles (WPET). The compressive strength was determined to be 40.7 MPa with a water-cement ratio
of 0.55; whereas the reference concrete (without plastic aggregates) has the compressive strength of
41.5 MPa.
Sim et al (2013) conducted research on effect of aggregate and specimen sizes on lightweight
Concrete. At their research, artificially expanded clay granules were used as the lightweight
aggregates.
Rahman et al. (2012) investigated on the incorporation of waste polymer materials,
especially expanded polystyrene (EPS) based packaging materials, to the concrete which makes the
material very light weight. Concrete with modified EPS showed lighter properties than that of HDPE
and tire modified concrete. The result shows that the inclusion of waste polymer materials decreases
compressive strength, density, porosity and water absorption characteristics. The mechanical
behaviour of concrete with recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) has been studied by Albano et
al. (2009). Portland cement, fine aggregate (river sand), coarse aggregate (crushed stone) and lightweight aggregate (recycled PET) were used in their study with varying water/cement ratio (0.50 and
0.60), PET content (10% and 20% by volume) and the particle size along with the influence of the
thermal degradation of PET in the concrete when the blends were exposed to different temperatures
(200, 400, 600 C). Both w/c ratios presented lower compressive strengths. On the other hand, the
flexural strength of concrete-PET when exposed to a heat source was strongly dependent on the
temperature, water/cement ratio, as well as on the PET content and particle size.
From the literature review, it is evident that, higher the replacement of plastic as coarse aggregate
lowers the compressive strength. Furthermore, use of water more than 50% weight of cement lower
the compressive strength. Based upon the findings, a method for replacement (10% by volume) of
conventional coarse aggregate by PP has been adopted for our study and the water-cement ratio used
was 0.48.

MATERIALS
Various materials are used to cast concrete. The materials are chosen based on the application and
purpose of the concrete. For the preparation of concrete mixture coarse aggregate, fine aggregate and

binding material is the main ingredient. Stone or brick chips are widely used as coarse aggregate;
while sand is used as fine aggregate, and cement is the first choice for binding material.
Binding material
In the present study, Portland Composite Cement was used as binding material. It contained 65-79%
clinker, 21-35% lime stone, fly ash, blast furnace slag 2135% and Gypsum 0-5%. Chemical
Composition of the used binding material (CEM / B-M conforming to ASTM C 595 Specification
of Portland Composite Cement) is presented in Table 1.
Table 1 Chemical Composition of binding material
Chemical Composition

Unit

Test result

Calcium Oxide (CaO)


Silicon dioxide(SiO2)

(%)
(%)

51.63
23.79

Aluminium Oxide(Al2O3)

(%)

8.36

Ferric Oxide(Fe2O3)

(%)

3.41

Sulfur trioxide(SO3)
Magnesium Oxide(MgO)

(%)

2.24

(%)

1.67

Loss of Ignition(LOI)

(%)

3.17

Insoluble Residue(IR)

(%)

17.30

Coarse aggregates
Brick chips along with PP were used as coarse aggregate. PP was used to partially replace the brick
chips as coarse aggregate. Bricks were obtained from local brick fields. They were crushed manually
and then washed to remove dust and dart. The used PP was collected from a local manufacturer. The
aggregates were produced from waste plastic. The used PP was crushed and sieved properly (Figure
1). To obtain their physical properties several tests were performed according to ASTM standard
C127.

Fig. 1 PP aggregate

Fine aggregate
Sylhet Sand was used as fine aggregate. The sand was first sieved through 4.75 mm sieve to eliminate
particles greater than 4.75mm. Then it was washed to remove the dust. Relevant tests were performed
according to ASTM C128 standard to get various properties.
The properties of the aggregates, used in this study, obtained from various tests are tabulated in Table
2.

METHODOLOGY
In order to prosecute the research work, some experiments have been done to analyze the outcome.
The goals were to inspect the properties of the materials used and to examine the compressive
strength, tensile splitting strength and failure pattern of the sample cylinder. Thus the experimental
procedure includes mix design, casting and curing, slump test, density measurement and strength
tests.
Table 2 Properties of the aggregates

Characteristics
Maximum size
Specific gravity
Water absorption
Fineness modulus
Unit Weight

Coarse aggregate (Brick)


25mm
2.045
20.56%
2.54
980.295 kg/m3

Value
Coarse aggregate (PP)
25mm
0.8452
0.7476%
2.4
506.451 kg/m3

Fine aggregate (Sand)


4.75mm
2.39
8.9%
2.95
1632.3 kg/m3

Mix design
W/C ratio of 0.48 and mix proportion of 1:1.5:3 (Cement: Fine aggregate: Coarse aggregate) by
volume has been selected. The resultant mix proportions of all the mixes by weight are tabulated in
the Table 3.

Designation

w/c ratio

W48R0
W48R10

0.48
0.48

Water (kg)
4.22
4.22

Cement
(kg)
6.6
6.6

Sand
(kg)
7.55
7.85

Brick chips
(kg)
12.51
10.14

PP aggregate
(kg)
0.00
0.53

Casting and curing


Casting and Curing of concrete cylinder specimen was performed according to ASTM C192.
Generally the compressive strength of concrete differs according to the age (i.e. 14, 21 & 28 days).
For this project 28 days of curing was considered as standard.
Slump test
Slump test is an empirical test which measures the consistency of fresh concrete. More precisely, it
measures the consistency of the concrete of a specific batch. The test was performed according to
ASTM C143.
Compressive strength test
This test method covers determination of compressive strength of cylindrical concrete specimens such
as molded cylinders which consists of applying a compressive axial load to molded cylinders at a rate
which is within a prescribed range until failure occurs. ASTM C 39 standard specification of Standard
Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens was followed.
Tensile splitting strength test
This test method covers the determination of the splitting tensile strength of cylindrical concrete
specimens, such as molded cylinders. The tests were performed according to ASTM C496 standard
specification.

RESULTS & DISCUSSIONS

Data obtained from the experiments have been analyzed to assess the suitability of PP as an
alternative lightweight aggregate in load bearing structures. From the findings of the experiments,
comparison between concrete with PP (as coarse aggregate) and regular concrete has been made.
Densities of the concrete samples were measured at surface dry condition at 28 days just before the
compressive strength test. As shown in Figure 2, 7.2% reduction of density is achievable with 10%
replacement (by volume) of natural aggregates with PP coarse aggregates.
The compressive strength tests were carried out after 28 days of casting. Figure 3(a) demonstrates the
compressive strength test results. As observed from the figure, only 4% reduction of compressive
strength was detected for Plastic Coarse Aggregate (PCA) concrete compared to Regular Concrete
(RC). The probable reason for decreased compressive strength with the increment of PP aggregate in
concrete is the poor bondage between PP aggregate and mortar.
2200
Concrete Type
PCA Concrete
RC

Density (kg/m3)

2100

2000

1900

1800
0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

W/C Ratio

Fig. 2 Density of different types of concrete.

The split tensile strength tests were also carried out after 28 days of casting. As illustrated in Figure
3(b), about 59% increase in tensile strength was observed for PCA concrete compared to regular
concrete. This increase in tensile strength can be attributed to the better crack resistance of the PCA
concrete.
Table 4 summarizes the various test results for both regular and PCA concrete. It also lists the
strength to density ratio. The PCA concrete has better strength to density ratio (14.05 kPa/ kg/m3) than
that of regular concrete (13.58 kPa/ kg/m3). Slump test results indicate workability of concrete. From
the test results, it was observed that for same w/c ratio, slump value was lower for PCA concrete
which indicated lower workability for PCA concrete compared to regular concrete. Failure pattern of
the PCA concrete specimens were also monitored. As demonstrated in Figure 4(a), a combination of
cone and shear failure was detected during the compressive strength test of the PCA concrete. On the
other hand, a vertical plane failure was observed during the split tensile strength test.

% of
PP

W/C
ratio

Average
Density
(kg/m3)

Slump
(cm)

Average
Compressive
Strength
(MPa)

Average
Tensile
Strength
(MPa)

Strength to
Density
Ratio
(kPa/
kg/m3)

Failure
pattern
For
compression

For
tension

0.48

2143

3.0

29.10

5.024

13.58

Cone and
Shear

Along vertical
plane

10

0.48

1988

0.0

27.94

7.975

14.05

Cone and
Shear

Along vertical
plane

32

10
Concrete Type
PCA Concrete

Concrete Type
PCA Concrete
RC

Tensile Strength (MPa)

Compressive Strength (MPa)

RC

30

28

26
2

24

0
0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

W/C Ratio

W/C Ratio

(a)

(b)

0.7

0.8

Fig. 3 Comparison of strength of different types of concrete.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 4 (a) Cone and shear failure during compressive strength test; (b) Vertical plane failure during split tensile
strength test.

CONCLUSION
The present experimental work deals with the possibility of using the PP as a replacement
of conventionally used coarse aggregate to obtain a light weight concrete mixture which can be
used in load bearing structures. The experimental results lead to the following conclusions:
1. Density of the PCA concrete was found to be 1988.412 kg/m3. Since this value is close to the
ACI range of lightweight concrete the PCA concrete can be termed as lightweight concrete.
2. The compressive strength was obtained 27.94 MPa, which is distinctly higher than the mentioned
standard. Henceforth, this lightweight concrete can be used for structural purposes.
3. For 10% PP replacement (by volume), 7.2% of density reduction was achieved; whereas only
4% of compressive strength reduction was monitored compare to the RC.

4. Tensile splitting strength of the PCA concrete is significantly higher (59%) than the regular
concrete.

LIST OF REFERENCES
Albano, C; Camacho, N; Hernndez, M; Matheus, A; Gutirrez, A. 2009. Influence of content and
particle size of waste pet bottles on concrete behavior. Science Direct, Waste Management 27072716
Frigione, M. 2010. Recycling of PET bottles as fine aggregate in concrete. Science Direct, Waste
Management 11011106.
Ismail, ZZ; AL-Hashmi, EA. 2007. Use of waste plastic in concrete mixture as aggregate
replacement. Science Direct, Waste Management 20412047.
Marzouk, O.Y; Dheilly, R.M.; Queneudec, M. 2006. Valorization of post-consumer waste plastic in
cementitious. Science Direct, Waste Management 310318.
Panyakapo, P; Panyakapo, M. 2008. Reuse of thermosetting plastic waste for lightweight concrete.
Science Direct, Waste Management) 15811588.
Rahman, MM; Islam, MA; Ahmed, M. 2012. Recycling of waste polymeric material as a partial
replacement of aggregate in concrete. International Conference on Chemical, Environmental and
Biological Sciences (ICCEBS'2012).
Sim. J; Yang, KH; Lee, ET; Yi, ST. 2013. Effect of Aggregate and Specimen Sizes on Lightweight
Concrete. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. Doi: 10.1061/ (ASCE) MT.1943-5533.0000884