Researchers from RMIT say they have developed a new method for casting prefabricated concrete products incorporating recycled waste that results in material up to 35 per cent stronger than traditional concrete.
Professor Yufei Wu from the School of Engineering led the development of the Rubberised Concrete Processing Technology (RCP-Tech) and said it offered an efficient and inexpensive solution.
“This technology can be used to significantly improve the strength, hardness and durability of any type of concrete material, such as rubber concrete, recycled aggregate concrete, and even ordinary concrete,” he said.
The products in the RMIT study incorporated rubber tyres and construction and demolition waste.
Their method involved combining a mix of course and fine aggregates with the rubber tyre waste, cement and water which was then compressed to its minimum volume using pressure in a customised mould.
PhD researcher and RCP-Tech co-creator, Syed Kazmi said the team was now looking to partner with the precast concrete industry to manufacture and test prototypes of products like blocks and roadside barriers, wall panels, beams and slabs.
“The technology can be easily applied in the precast concrete industry and requires very little change to existing manufacturing processes with the addition of just one extra step in the final stage of production,” he said.
Their findings, Application of waste tire rubber and recycled aggregates in concrete products: A new compression casting approach are published in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling (DOI:10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105353).