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EFFECTS OF HDPE PLASTIC WASTE AGGREGATE ON THE PROPERTIES OF CONCRETE

1A.Mohd Mustafa Al Bakri, 1G. Che Mohd Ruzaidi, 2M.N. Norazian, 1H. Kamarudin & 1S. Mohammad Tarmizi
1Schoolof Material Engineering and 2School of Environmental Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, P.O Box 77, d/a Pejabat
Pos Besar, 01007 Kangar, Perlis.

email: mustafa_albakri@unimap.edu.my

ABSTRACT

Quantities of polymer wastes have been increased these recent years due to the boost in
industrialization and the rapid improvement in the standard of living. In Malaysia, most of polymer
wastes is abandoned and not recycled. This situation causes serious problems such as wastage of
natural resources and environmental pollution. Polymer products such as synthetic fibers, plastics
and rubber belong to petrochemical compound and uneasily degrade in the natural environment.
Plastic materials are not easily biodegradable even after a long period. In fact wide variety of waste
materials can be utilized as inert in cement matrix. In this research, trash bag plastics are used as
polymer wastes HDPE for preparation of the polymer concrete (PC). The aim of this work is to
study the properties and characterization of polymer HDPE as the replacement of coarse
aggregate in concrete. Heating process were done at five different temperature; 160C,
170C,180C, 190C and 200C . Five compositions of coarse aggregate with different crushed
stone: HDPE waste ratios were used that are 0:100, 15:85, 30:70, 45:55, and 60:40 by volumetric
method. The comparisons of conventional concrete with polymer waste as coarse aggregate were
investigated. The effects of polymer wastes on the workability and strength of the concrete with
fresh and hardened concrete tests were analyzed. The compressive strength was measured after
28 days and it was found that the PC is suitable for nonstructural usage. As for cost analysis, the
results showed that the PC is more cost effective than conventional concrete.

Keywords: Polymer Wastes HDPE; Coarse Aggregate; Compressive Strength; Properties

1. Introduction

Since landfill sites in general are becoming overcrowded and expensive for waste procedures, and
then wherever possible, materials going to disposal should be minimized. If the production of the waste can
not be prevented, then it is attractive to create an alternative use in another process before considering
disposal. The benefits of his recycling can be economical, due lower costs of removing the waste, such as
reduction in pollution and contamination (Dhir Newlands Csetenyi, 2003).
This paper presents data to show the polymer wastes in Malaysia are not 100% recycled. Polymer
recycling has been through reprocessing of the waste materials into other polymeric items or energy
recovery from complete combustion. However, polymer reprocessing is limited in the number of recycling
cycle, since contamination and thermal degradation result from the steps of melting and reshaping
(Mustafa, 2007).
Development of concrete with non-conventional aggregate such as polystyrene foam wastes,
HDPE, PET and others plastic were used in concrete to improve the properties of the concrete and reduce
cost. By using these plastic wastes in concrete its will lead to sustain the concrete design and greener the
environments.

2. Experimental Programme
The target of the experimental program was to determine the contribution of the waste aggregate type
to the development of the strength behavior of the confined concrete. The experimental program also
comprises the following:
1) To study the characterization of HDPE polymer waste aggregate to compare with crushed stone
coarse aggregate.
2) To study the behavior of fresh and hardened concrete with polymer waste coarse aggregate and
compare the respective properties with conventional concrete.
3) To produce the lightweight polymer concrete for multi purpose use.

2.1 Raw Materials


2.1.1 Ordinary Portland Cement
The most important raw material is Ordinary Portland cement as cementitious material. OPC is
suitable for normal concrete and many applications in construction industry. The raw materials used to
manufacture Portland cement are lime, silica, alumina and iron oxide. It is manufactured by heating a
mixture of limestone and clay until it almost fuses and then grinding the clinker to a fine powder [M.Tajudin,
2006]. Portland cement is dry flour like substance that contains calcium, silicon and aluminum. It is the
cement that will harden to hold the aggregate together.
2.1.2 Sand as fine aggregate
River sand as fine aggregate consists of particles inch (600 um) or less in size. River sand is the
fine aggregate most commonly used in concrete to provide volume at low cost. Sand and gravel are types
of aggregate. A good concrete mix will contain both aggregate types.
2.1.3 Coarse aggregate
2.1.3.1 Plastics Waste
Lightweight aggregates were manufactured from the waste trash bag plastics were collected from
the landfill and at the environment. The plastics waste sheet was shaped into desired such as a ball in
diameter 25-30 mm. The heating temperature for its reach is in the range of 160C to 200C. Plastics
waste aggregate was modified by heat treatment. The heat treatment consisted of heating the plastics
waste aggregates in the laboratory oven and keeping the temperature over the melting temperature, Tm
such as 160C, 170C, 180C, 190C and 200C for 10 minutes. The hot aggregate was then removed
from the oven and allowed to cool in the room temperature. Thus, from the heating process the physical of
plastics wastes will be shrinkage and the microstructure changes were induced. The size spherical
diameter of sample plastics waste will shrinkage in range 14-20 mm in diameter could be obtained. The
shape and texture of samples not homogenous circle but in the angular shape and round like same the
crushed stone.

2.1.3.2 Crushed Stone or crushed gravels


Crushed stone is the basic properties of natural aggregate used in concrete. Crushed stone is
coarse aggregate produced by crushing hard stone respectively. Coarse aggregate are materials retained
on 5 mm (3/16 inch) BS 410 test sieve and containing only so much of finer materials as is permitted from
the various sizes in MS 29:1995.
2.1.4 Water
Water used is most important to mixing in the concrete. This is the single most important fact or
governing workability of concrete. A group of particles requires a certain amount of water. Water is
absorbed on the particle surface, in the volumes between particles, and provides "lubrication" to help the
particles move past one another more easily. Therefore, finer particles, necessary for plastic behavior,
require more water. Water are containing impurities will hinder the curing strength of concrete. Only used
potable water for mixing concrete. Add small amounts of water more can always be added if needed but
none can be removed. The less water are given the stronger concrete will be.

2.2 Characterization
Thermal analysis was performed using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) by Research
Instrument with a constant nitrogen flow rate at 20 ml/min. The investigated temperature range was
between 20 -180C. The samples were heated at 15C/min up to 180C, held at the temperature for 5
minute and cooled at 15C/min until 20C. Each sample (4-6 mg) was weighed and sealed in the
aluminium vessel.
Heat the plastics waste after shaped it in the oven following the result from DSC over the melting
temperature. Heat the plastics waste with different temperature stat 160-200C to search the best
temperature to give the best properties to aggregate in concrete.
After the heat treatment, the characterization for aggregate testing was determined such as size
and shape, surface texture, water absorption, color, and compression test.
Compression test cube test and flexural test for beam were determined using Universal Testing
Machine, operated at 3.0 kN/sec crosshead speed. All the result was performed after the cubes failure
occurred. The results of the compression test and flexural test were obtained by averaging the values at
least three measurement.

2.3 Procedure
2.3.1Mixing
The raw materials like water, Portland cement, sand and coarse aggregate was mixed. The mix of
design depends on the mix proportion ratio is 1:1.75:2.75.This ratio is referred from the previous research
of Yun-Wang Choi, etc., 2005 [12] were used waste PET bottles as coarse aggregate. In this research the
different only with ratio plastics waste to crushed stone were used (100% plastic waste, 80:20, 60:40 and
100% crushed stone) with water cement ratio are same 0.5 . The mixing process with homogeneous to
ensure the proper coating of cement on aggregate. The mixing process also must be through and not
rushed. During the mixed the raw materials together, add small amounts of water while mixing. The
consistency should be similar to that of cookie dough.
2.3.2 Mix proportion
The constituents were used in different fractions to determine mixture proportions that would yield
the targeted compressive strength at the test age of 28 days. The optimum mix proportions include cement,
sand, coarse aggregate, plastics waste and water to yield a cubic meter of concrete. Table 1 showed for all
the sampling plastics waste coarse aggregate concrete mixes were designed by the volumetric method with
the same water cement ratio is 0.5 .
Table 1: Mix proportion for concrete design

Crushed Plastics Waste


Model Cement Sand stone aggregate Water Ratio Mix
(kg/m3) (kg/m3) (kg/m3) (kg/m3) (kg/m3) Proportion

M1 380 665 0 286 190 1 : 1.75 : 2.75

M2 380 665 209 229 190 1 : 1.75 : 2.75

M3 380 665 418 172 190 1 : 1.75 : 2.75

M4 380 665 1045 0 190 1 : 1.75 : 2.75

Mix Proportion
( Plastics waste : Gravel )
M1 ( 100 : 0 % )
M2 ( 80:20 % )
M3 (60:40 % )
M4 ( 0: 100 %)

2.3.3Slump test
Workability is that property of the concrete which determines its ability to be placed, compacted
and finished. Workability is often defined in terms of the amount of mechanical energy, or work, required to
fully compact concrete without segregation. Workability may be measured by the slump test, compacting
factor test and Vebe test. In the laboratory, the entire model of mix proportion measured by the slump cone
test.

2.3.4 Preparation of Test Samples


To evaluate of mechanical properties of concrete such as compressive and flexural strength by age
and mixing ration, concrete test specimens were made in accordance British Standard and Malaysia
Standard. After mixing process, make a sampling with a mold cubes 100x100x100 mm and beam
100x500x100 mm for one day in air cured. Then take out from the molds and curing process for 28 days
cured in the water until they reached the required age.

3. Result and Discussion


3.1 Characterization for aggregate
3.1.1 Analysis DSC
DSC result showed the sample is measured with the Figure 1 below, the analysis for melting
temperature, Tm. For the research used any types the plastics waste polymer to make as coarse
aggregate. From the analysis DSC, the plastics waste was shaped into spherical shaped as a small ball
and heating over the melting temperature, Tm. From the graph showed the plastics waste will melts start at
the temperature 130C.

Figure 1: Analysis DSC for plastics waste

3.1.2 Size and shape


Before heated After heated Before heated After heated
Figure 2: Plastic waste aggregate comparison before and after heated
From the Figure 2 was showed, aggregate sizes in this research are range in 14-20 mm. Before
the heating process, the plastics waste was shape into the spherical diameter like small ball. The small ball
has a diameter around 30 mm before heating. After heating in the oven with the temperature 180 C, the
small ball will shrink and reduce size from the original size. The plastics waste will make more melt and
after a few minute take out the aggregate from the oven. Then, after cooled the plastic will constant at the
spherical shape like small ball with size around 14-20 mm. This is standard size for the coarse aggregate in
concrete.
3.1.3 Compression test for aggregate

Figure 3: Compressive Strength for Aggregate


Figure 3 showed the result for compressive strength aggregate. Around 5 pieces with different
color aggregates was heated with different temperature. After a few minutes, the aggregate was cooled and
make the compression test for each aggregate. From the graph below, the temperature 180C showed the
best result. The aggregate was heated with this temperature was given the best properties. Their strength
is highest until the MPa. From this result, make the conclusion where the suitable temperature to heat the
plastics waste is temperature 180C.

3.1.4 Surface and texture


Aggregate are three dimensional masses. Their shape, size and surface texture influence the
property of concrete, significantly influence the workability of fresh concrete and the bond between the
aggregate and the mortar paste. Shape and surface texture are considered as external characteristic.
Aggregate particles which have smooth and rounded particles surface to produce concrete. On the
other hand, due to interlock between aggregate particles and reduces the stronger aggregate mortar bond.
Smooth and rounded aggregate plastics give low compressive strength than a crushed aggregate with the
same water cement ratio.
3.1.5 Water absorption
After the aggregate heated in the oven, measure the weight before water absorption. Then, the
sample immerse in the water until 7 days or 1 week. Put the water in the room temperature. After 7 days,
wiped the aggregate surface and re-weighed. The absorption value is the increase in mass from the initial
dry condition after immersion in the water. The calculation for percent water absorption such as Table 2
below:
Table 2 : Water absorption result

water
color weight before, w1 weight after, w2 absorption
(g) (g) (%)

Red 1.6 1.6 0


Blue 1.6 1.68 5
Yellow 1.6 1.65 3
Green 1.6 1.68 5
Black 1.7 1.82 7

% water : W2 - W1 x 100 %
absorption W1

Where is W1 = weight before immerse (dry condition)


W2 = weight after immerse (wet condition)

3.1.6 Color
Plastic trash bag has many types of color. The color of plastic depends on the pigment during the
processing of bag plastics. In this research, the color of aggregate will make as attraction different with the
crushed stone.
3.1.7 Compressive Strength and Flexural Strength
Table 3: Properties of Plastics Waste Coarse Aggregate Concrete and Conventional Concrete Mixes at 28 days

cement Compressive Flexural


Mix w/c content Types Slump Strength Strength
(kg/m3) (mm) ( MPa ) ( MPa )

100 % Waste 0.5 380 Cubes 13 11.79


80 : 20 ( Waste : Gravel ) 0.5 380 Cubes 13.37
60 : 40 ( Waste : Gravel ) 0.5 380 Cubes 19.85
100 % Gravel 0.5 380 Cubes 55 29.19

100 % Waste 0.5 380 Beam 13 9.37


80 : 20 ( Waste : Gravel ) 0.5 380 Beam 12.56
60 : 40 ( Waste : Gravel ) 0.5 380 Beam 15.47
100 % Gravel 0.5 380 Beam 55 17.56

The mechanical properties of plastics waste coarse aggregate are presented in Table 3. The
results presented in the Table showed the fresh plastics waste coarse aggregate has lower water
absorption and smooth surface texture of the plastics waste coarse aggregate. Plastics usually not absorb
water although the aggregate after modified in heated; the plastics waste aggregate more dense. During
the mixing process, it can be reduce water content was used.
The compressive strength for cubes varied from 11-19 MPa. As far as strength are concerned, the
basic trend in the behavior of plastics waste coarse aggregate concrete is not significantly different from
that of the conventional crushed stone aggregate for lightweight concrete.
The flexural strength varied from 9-15MPa. The variations in flexural strength between plastics
waste concrete and conventional concrete are slightly very small. Form the fracture surface showed the
plastics waste not has strong interlocking bonding with cement.

4. Conclusion
The aim of this research was to evaluate the recyclability of domestic plastics waste as coarse aggregate
for concrete. From the results and discussion, the following conclusions are drawn:
1) The physical analysis of plastics waste coarse aggregates gave the value of 12-17 MPa in
compressive strength, 1400-1550 kg/m3 for density concrete, 5-7% in water absorption for
aggregate, and suitable as coarse aggregate for concrete. However, the size and shape can be
achieved in range 14-20 mm but the aggregate have smooth surface which are considered to
severely affect their workability.
2) The compressive and flexural strength of concrete containing the plastics waste a decreasing when
the plastics waste increase. The concrete containing plastics waste aggregate of 60:40 % mixing
ratio gave the highest strength properties. The connection between plastics waste aggregate and
crushed stones will give the higher strength and better properties.
3) Additionally, the mechanical properties of the concrete did not display any notable differences
depending on color of the plastic waste aggregate. The color or pigment of plastics waste will give
the attraction to the decoration products.
4) This research also has more potential application to produce light weight concrete, cost saving on
raw materials from plastics waste and to minimize the polymer waste as a municipal solid waste
and suitable for decorative and landscaping product for attractive appearance.

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