Topic: Utilizing Plastic Flooring Tiles to produce Light Weight Concrete
A plastic is any material that contains one or more polymers with a larger molecular weight. Any solid in its finished form used to manufacture or process its finished products or articles may also refer to a plastic. There is need the massive research that conducted on the huge end products of plastics be implemented so that the consumption and the consumer waste can be cycled in the most efficient and sustainable way. The researchers used plastics to make concrete following the increasing need for concrete by the people placing the second needed material on the surface of the earth after water. The use of the post-consumer plastic waste will not only be a safe method of disposal of plastic but may in tern improve the concrete properties including creep , chemical resistance, tensile strength and drying shrinkage. This will be a stepping stone top other efforts tailored to improve quality of the ordinary concrete.
Plastics, due to the presence of polymers as their component, have a desirable range of properties which when exploited either singly or in combination to other materials give a significant feel and value to the constructional needs. Plastics have the rare durability required in construction with an additional advantage of being resistant to corrosion. It also provides good insulation to heat, electricity and sound hence saves a lot of energy in the process. As these technology employs the use of waste it is very economical and has a longer concrete life ever seen on the earth. Concretes made with the use of plastics are also known to be maintenance free as it does not require repeated paintings a part from being hygienic and clean. The processing and installation of this type of concrete is very easy and it enjoys quite a flexible style due to its light weight.
Plastic added concrete is made up of cement, coarse aggregate, fine aggregate (commonly known as sand), recycled plastics and water. All these components of the plastic added concrete should met certain condition for the achievement of the proper quality requirements. Ordinary cement is used as a satisfied requirements of IS: 269- 1969. In the world currently, it is a requirement that the coarse aggregate is required to meet the specifications of the requirement of IS 383 so as to ensure adequate durability. The aggregate used in the production of blocks should be mechanically sound and free from soft and honeycombed particles. There should be a clear and distinct clarifications regarding the aggregates. The fine aggregates should also conform to the requirement of IS 383 while the water used should be the portable drinking water. Water is used in conjunction with cement to provide paste to help hold together the components of the plastic added concrete.
With the ever increasing world’s population, there is a corresponding increase in the quantity of solid waste deposition in our environment. Plastic solid wastes are at the center of these solid waste with a remarkable disadvantage of being non-biodegradable and as such would have a negative impact on the environment which may have an extended harm on the lives of the biodiversity on the earth’s surface (Ishwar Singh, 2007). The fact that the plastic waste can stay in the environment for hundreds of years without being destroyed makes it more impacting on environment as compared with other solid waste. The art of combining these plastic solid wastes in the concrete to produce light weight concrete may help reduce the negative effects these wastes may pose to the environment to some extent.
Waste plastics falls under the categorization of non-hazardous industrial waste. Any industry generates two streams of waste mainly from two categories of activities. The first stream of wastes results from the production process where both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes emanate. The wastes in this category also comprises the laboratory and sludge from sewage treatment plants. The other type of solid waste results from the building maintenance and activities of the staff within the industries. Office wastes, wastes resulting from construction and demolition and wastes from the company canteens and restaurants all belong here.
The plastic solid wastes mainly emanate from the production process which relies solely on the product and the product technology adopted by a particular industry. The previous factors determine the characterization of solid waste in general. The quantity of wastes produced largely depend on the size of production and the efficiency of the plants or the technology used by the industry.
The information on waste generation is very important in developing and extrapolating data for similar industries and estimation of the future trends so as to predict the production of the useful products from the plastics wastes. If the data is not available then survey for industrial solid wastes may be used to locate the wastes from where the plastic ones are isolated and then used in the manufacture of the concrete. Production of any type of products is in vain in absence of raw materials. The knowledge of location and the amounts of the plastic wastes will be paramount for the production of a given level of light weight cement.
According to Youcef Ghernouti and Ba¬hia Rabehi, the use of such wastes in the production of heavy mass concretes such as PCC in pavements and other application s where the strength of concrete is critical provides a greater possibility of a disposal strategy (2011). The plastic wastes are integral part of the municipal solid Waste. The research has been concerned with the use of the by-products from industries to augment the properties of concrete. The by-products ranging from glass culvert, silica fumes, granulated blast furnace slag and fly ash among other play a key role in the concrete production to be use in civil construction. Following arguments by Batayneh (2007), the use of plastic wastes as an industrial by-product in concrete is seen as a partial replacement of cement or aggregate. Using solid plastic wastes in concrete production a milestone in the control of the environmental problems they would cause or the constraints involved in the safe disposal of such wastes. If the plastic wastes are used to prepare coarse aggregate a sustainable option to deal with plastic wastes is sought.
Concrete is usually formed from a mixture of cement, pebbles, sand and water among other things. The cement and water forms the paste used to cement the contents of the concrete together. Cement is made up of lime, silica, alumina, alkalis, magnesia and Sulphur in different proportions. It’s a grey powdered substance that is used in construction industry to bind building blocks. The cement can be used for casting of cubes and cylinders for all concrete mixers. The color of cement is made uniformly grey with a slightly greenish shade and free from any lumps.
The comparison of the performance of the concrete made by use of the recycled plastic waste and the ordinary concrete materials reveals a minimal loss of the desired level of quality hence making the light weight concrete befit the construction usage. The workability of the concrete for instance is assessed by compaction factor. The compaction factor for the plastic added concrete compared with that of the controlled mixed is no different. There are no complains that are out yet from the constructors and other stakeholders in construction industry regarding the quality of light weight concrete. Moreover, it has the best weight desired for most structures.
Dhir et al., (2012) argues that it is very easy to produce lumps of plastic as aggregates for concrete by simply cooling the molten waste plastics. The problem only arises when the molten waste plastics to be cooled are from different types hence have a different characteristics like chemical properties. There will be emission of poisonous gases during the formation of the aggregates from the lumps and subsequent production of poisonous materials in the concrete aggregates formed. The lumps may also have differences in their properties due to differences in the properties of the aggregates used in their production.
Plastics can be used both as a filter in the production of concrete and as a fuel in the production of concrete. The most important thing is to find a balance on how a certain usage may impact on the ecology and its sustainability. Recyclability of concrete matters too. Some authorities require that the concrete be recyclable for example the authority of Zurich. The implication is that choosing to use plastics as filler in concrete will require an additional processing technique that will separate out the plastic. There is also another worry on how the aggregates will behave in presence of fire and whether the aggregate will be resistive enough to fire. These points need further clarification with regard to the production of plastic added concrete.
Praveen, Shibi, Thomas, and Eldho in their study on ‘Recycled Plastics as Coarse Aggregate for Structural Concrete’, found out that a sustainable and healthy reuse of plastics and polymers offers a number of advantages. They discussed the suitability plastics if recycled and utilized in concrete as a coarse aggregate. They highlighted various advantages on this employment too. The question that initially arose about the plastics’ hydration heat and the plastic bond strength got resolution. They again carried out tests on determination of the aggregate plastics specific gravity, density and crushing value. Since 100% replacement of plastic coarse aggregate (PCA) with natural coarse aggregate (NCA) is not possible, they examined partial replacement at several percentages. Thereafter, the substitution that arose to a greater compressive strength was utilized to get other characteristics such as flexural strength, split tensile power and modulus of elasticity (Parshetti, Kalme, Saratale, & Govindwar, 2006). According to their results, a 20% NCA substituted concrete produced a higher compressive strength. The PCA also had characters that would resist heat behaviors of different environments.
In a pilot study, an experiment was carried out to determine the feasibility of PCA for construction concrete. It was found that a percentage substitution of 22 percent NCA with PCA was superior in solid compressive strength. With respect to PCA’s tensile behavior, the attraction strength of PCA with any matrix requires more attention, because concretes made of PCA have revealed a substantial decrease in elastic modulus and split tensile power. If there exist limited bond strength in PCA concrete, an admixture can be added at 0.4 percent to the mixing water by the cements weight to increase bonding between the matrix and plastic aggregate. The results showed that the compressive quality improved at 14% when contrasted to PCA concrete lacking admixture. Some assessments were also steered to study the resistivity of heat in PCA concrete. In this experiment, concrete samples were subjected to various ranges of temperatures and in each point, the compressive strengths was noted. The results finally showed that at a 4000 degrees Celsius temperature, the NCA concrete showed a 33 percent decrease of strength whereas the PCA concrete showed around 75 percent reduction. Since PCA concretes have high fire risks a special fire proof coat would hence be needed to control such cases. This would ultimately increase the cost of construction but improve the longevity of such products (Parshetti et al., 2006).
According to the research that Praveen, Shibi, Thomas, & Eldho, they found out that according to the director, India Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), plastics or rubbers mixed with butimen would increase the lifespan and quality of roads. The CRRI’s deputy director as well noted that butimen-polymer mixture would improve the longevity of the any construction despite their high costs. This is because plastics concretes increase the butimen’s melting point. He also noted that the use of this innovative technology would not only strengthen the roads and increase their lifespan but will also assist in environment improvement and as well as improvement of the Indian country economy by reduced road renovation costs. This would in turn increase the income. Concretes made from plastics would make the highways construction be a benefit especially in extremely hot and humid climate, where the temperatures would cross 50 degrees Celsius. In such areas, heavy torrential rains cause havoc and leave most of the highways or roads with huge potholes. There was hope that in the forthcoming periods or future, there would be eco-friendly, strong and durable constructions which will as well deal with the waste plastics issues. The research conclude that when waste plastic is pulverized, that is, ground into powder and 3% to 4 % of it mixed with bitumen, then the road construction result would be stronger and durable (Praveen, Shibi, Thomas, & Eldho, 2013). This is because the plastics in the concrete improve the roads flexibility retention due to increase in the melting point.
On a research article on ‘Studies on Concrete containing E plastic Waste’ by Lakshmi and Nagan, an analysis on the strength properties was made by carrying out the tests on electronic wastes to make concretes using e plastic aggregate and the fly ash. The outcome revealed that if 20% or thereabout of concrete is made of electronic waste replacement; the resultant electronic waste concrete gives an improvement in tensile and compressive strength of concrete. The flexural strength and the compressive strength of an electronic plastic concrete, with the ratio of the mixture of electronic plastic aggregate can be shown in a graphical illustration. The same criteria can show the illustration with different graph levels with an addition of 10 percent fly ash. This study indicated that with the waste plastic content; only 20 percent content had a significant effect on split tensile and compressive strengths. Any further addition of e plastic did have no more effect on the split tensile and compressive strengths. Otherwise, as the content of e plastics increased gradually with enhancements of 6 days, 12 days, 24 days, the flexural strength and the compressive strength increase at 16%. When there was an addition of 10 percent of fly ash, the improvement of the strength properties of the plastic concretes was as well noted. On contrasting the conventional concrete mixture with the ash improved mixture, the difference exists in their strengths. The fly ash concrete mixture shows strength both at early stage of 6 days and at the latest stage, 24 days of experiment (Lakshmi, & Nagan, 2011). This revealed that with the presence of fly ash in the concrete, the fly ash improved the flexural and the compressive strength by approximately 50%. This is the results of an ultrasonic experiment of electronic plastics concrete. The strength quality is determined by use of an acceptability quality criterion. Within the 6th day and the 12th day, the results of the concrete showed a weakness. However, by the end of the 24th day, the results showed the strength of the concrete improved and was good (Lakshmi, & Nagan, 2011).
According to the research paper done by Kacker on ‘Recycled Plastic Used in Concrete Paver Block’, plastic aggregate recycled are used in different quantities in a concrete mixture and there suitability analyzed. They noted that the waste plastics amounts that accumulated in the 21st century created a big problem regarding their disposals. This forced the authorities to look for ways of investing in such plastics. The authority and the researchers saw it significant to employ these wastes in plastic concrete manufacturing thereby rendering them a fundamental to the prosperous construction industries. In an environment, such plastics disposals create an omen since they are of low biodegradability and their presence is ever in large quantities. The uses of such plastics wastes were in recent periods realized to be an alternative replacement in conventional concrete aggregate (Kacker, 1995). These industrial wastes of plastics such as carry bags, polypropylene, Terepthalate, polyethylene, pallets and plastic bottles were studied to be good in concrete strengthening. The study also found out that if waste plastics could be used with the mass in concrete in about 20% mixture or in some form, without any interference with other properties of the concrete. Industrial wastes from plastics, polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene were studied in this forum as alternative substitutions that would adequately be utilized in conventional concrete aggregate. The replacement levels here were 10 percent, 20% percent and 30 percent by weight of the total aggregate (Kacker, 1995). These rates were used in the preparation of the plastic concrete.
The conclusions from the above research were as follows: first, the concrete majorly consists of cement, Aggregate, sand and water. In this, the aggregate consists of 60 percent to 70 percent in concrete. From the observation above, it is calculated to use the 20 percent of Recycled plastic combined in concrete which will not affect the characteristics of concrete. Second, according to the above research, it is possible to use the plastics in the concrete material mixture up to 20 % weightiness of granular aggregate. Third, regarding the concept studied too, the plastics in the mixture can occasionally have their percentages increase while reducing the strength of the concrete. Fourth, the use of the plastic mixture of concrete reduces the general block or concrete weight by 15 percent. Also, the admixture added during the concrete preparation can increase the strength and the flexibility of the concrete. Finally, the study also recorded that the use of plastics in making concretes has greatly reduced the environment pollution by a great deal.
A research by Kandasamy and Murugesan on plastic concrete shows that concretes have higher brittleness when their strengths increase. This is a main drawback since delicateness can lead to sudden and disastrous failure. This is major especially in constructions which are exposed to blast, earthquakes or loads suddenly applied. This grave drawback of concrete can be partially overcome by the integration of fibers such as polymers. The integration of fiber can be a basis of a change in the catastrophe mode prone to a compressive distortion from fragile to pseudo-ductile, hence imparting a level of stiffness to the concrete. In India, national waste plastics are leading to considerable damage to the atmosphere and hence an effort has been made to comprehend whether they can be effectively be used in concrete to advance some of the mechanical characteristic as in the circumstance of the plastics. The primary goal was to experiment the plastics reinforcement on concretes regarding flexural strength and compressive strengths (Kandasamy, & Murugesan, 2014).
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