Mechanical behaviour and durability performance of concrete containing recycled concrete aggregate

Chandra Paul, Suvash (2011-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A major challenge for our society is the protection of the environment. Some of the important issues are the reduction in the consumption of energy and natural raw materials, as well as the increase in consumption of waste materials. At present these topics are getting considerable attention as part of sustainable development programs. The use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) from construction and demolition waste (C&DW) in construction, as alternative to virgin (natural) aggregates, has strong potential. The use of RCA preserves natural resources and reduces the space required for the disposal of RCA in landfill. It is estimated that 16 thousand million (billion) tons of concrete (and 25 billion tons of aggregate) were used in 2010. Of the 2-3 billion tons of C&DW which are produced worldwide every year, South Africa contributes 5-8 million tons. This amount is increasing rapidly every year. Significant amounts of demolished concrete find their way to landfill sites. A solution for excess waste production would be the utilization of RCA together with an improvement in the final quality of RCA. It might be an important breakthrough for our society in our attempt towards sustainable development. Worldwide, infrastructure has developed a great deal since the beginning of the twentieth century. Much of the core infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water systems, and sewers, was put in place during the first half of that century. Aggregates used as construction materials, as for instance in road pavements, or as an ingredient of concrete, are important components of infrastructure. Urbanization involves reduction of natural aggregate (NA) resources, but environmental concern and the rising cost of NA is the reason that recycled materials from different sources (like roads, buildings) are being used more and more with NA in new construction work. Environmental awareness is increasing in every country for many reasons and sustainable development is demanded of all industries, including the building and construction industries. By nature, construction is not environmentally friendly, and sometimes it also changes the behavior of nature in many ways. Recycling is one of the most important ways to minimize the waste that comes from different sources, thereby avoiding repetition of, and additional environmentally hazardous practices. It may create new wealth by diminished transport and production costs and sparing of landfill site space and cost. It has the potential to extend the life of natural resources by adding a source of material, thereby reducing environmental interference and impacting on nearby construction sites, all of which improve sustainability of our natural resources. Much research on the uses of RCA has been performed during the last few decades. In fact, most of them showed that the strength class of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) is adequate for use as structural concrete although volume changes in and durability performance of RAC in comparison with natural aggregate concrete (NAC) are still being debated and researched. Some researchers found that the durability of concrete produced with RCA is inferior, but others have found it to be sufficient for use in structural concrete. The fact that an insufficient number of studies have been carried out on the durability aspects, has limited the use of RCA as material for road construction. The aim of this study is to determine the suitability of using the RCA in structural concrete based on its strength, stiffness, dimensional stability and durability. Three types of RCA designated RCA1, RCA2 and RCA3 in this study, were taken from three different sources. These materials were tested to establish their mechanical characteristics for use as aggregates in concrete. In the experimental program RCA was used at replacement percentages of 0%, 30% and 100% to (partially) replace NA in order to study its suitability as aggregate in concrete, and to what level of NA replacement its behavior is satisfactory for structural application. A single compressive strength class was studied, due to the limited time. By performing tests of compressive strength, Young’s modulus, creep, shrinkage, and durability performance, it has been found that selected types of RCA show a real possibility for use as aggregate in concrete. When concrete with a RCA replacement of 100% was compared with NAC100% there was a small decline in strength, but when concrete with a RCA replacement of 30% was compared with NAC100% the results showed almost equal strength. A slight reduction in durability performance was found for RAC30% compared with NAC100%, but similar dimensional stability performance in terms of specific creep and drying shrinkage was measured for RAC30% and NAC100%. Based on detailed experimental results obtained from this thesis project, a number of recommendations have therefore been made for RCA characteristics that will be used in concrete mixes also taking into account the quality of RCA. Some suggestions are proposed based on the mechanical properties and durability of the concrete. In the final conclusions, future studies on RCA properties are suggested, which would help us in increasing our knowledge in the application of RCA, and which may lead to the optimal production of structural concrete in a sustainable way. In general the use of RCA in concrete is feasible and good quality RCA at 30% replacement of NA may be suitable for any kind of structural concrete.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Groot uitdaging vir ons samelewing is die beskerming van die omgewing. Van die belangrike sake is die vermindering in die verbruik van energie en van natuurlike, onverwerkte materiale asook die groter verbruik van afvalmateriaal. Hierdie onderwerpe kry tans aanienlike aandag as deel van volhoubare ontwikkelingsprogramme. Die gebruik van betonaggregate, herwin vanaf konstruksie-en slopingsafval, en gebruik in konstruksie as alternatief vir ongebruikte natuurlike aggregate, het goeie potensiaal. Die gebruik van herwonne aggregaat beskerm natuurlike hulpbronne en verminder die oppervlakte en volume wat nodig is vir die weggooi daarvan op stortingsterreine. Dit is beraam dat 16 duisend miljoen (biljoen) ton beton (en ongeveer 25 biljoen ton aggregaat) gedurende 2010 gebruik is. Van die 2-3 biljoen ton konstruksie-en slopingsafval wat jaarliks wêreldwyd gegenereer word, dra Suid Afrika 5-8 miljoen ton by. Hierdie hoeveelheid word elke jaar vinnig meer. Beduidende hoeveelhede gesloopte beton beland elke jaar op stortingsterreine. ‘n Oplossing vir die probleem van te veel atval generering sou wees die gebruik daarvan as herwonne beton-aggregaat, sou saamval met ‘n verbetering in die uiteindelike kwaliteit van herwonne aggregaat beton. Dit kan dalk ‘n belangrike deurbraak wees vir ons samelewing in ons strewe na volhoubare ontwikkeling. Infrastruktuur het wêreldwyd baie ontwikkel sedert die begin van die twintigste eeu. Baie van die kerninfrastruktuur insluitende paaie, brue, waterstelsels en riole is gebou tydens die eerste helfte van daardie eeu. Aggregaat gebruik as konstruksiemateriaal, byvoorbeeld in padplaveisels of as’n bestanddeel van beton, is ‘n belangrike deel van infrastruktuur. Verstedeliking veroorsaak vermindering van natuurlike aggregaat hulpbronne maar besorgdheid oor die omgewing en die stygende koste van nataurlike aggregaat veroorsaak dat herwonne materiale vanaf verskillende bronne (soos paaie en geboue) meer en meer aanvullend tot natuurlike aggregaat in nuwe konstruksiewerke gebruik word. Omgewingsbewustheid is om baie redes aan die toeneem in elke land en volhoubare ontwikkeling word vereis van alle industrieë. Herwinning is een van die hoofmaniere om afval vanaf verskillende bronne tot ‘n minimum te beperk. Dit skep nuwe rykdom, verminder vervoeren vervaardigingskoste en benut afval wat anders op stortingsterreine verlore sou gegaan het. Dit het die potensiaal om die lewensduur van natuurlike hulpbronne te verleng deur ‘n materiaalbron by te voeg, deur inmenging in die omgewing te verminder, wat almal bevorderlik is om volhoubare benutting van ons hulpbronne te verbeter. Baie navorsing is gedurende die laaste paar dekades gedoen aangaande die gebruik van herwonne aggregaat. Die meeste van die navorsing het inderdaad getoon dat die sterkte van beton met herwonne aggregaat genoegsaam is vir gebruik as struktuurbeton alhoewel daar wel debatte gevoer word oor die volumeveranderings en duursaamheid prestasie van herwonne aggregaat beton vergeleke met dié van natuurlike aggregaat beton. Sommige navorsers het bevind dat die duursaamheid van beton wat met herwonne aggregaat gemaak is, minderwaardig is maar andere het bevind dat dit voldoen aan die vereistes van struktuurbeton. Slegs die feit dat daar onvoldoende toetse rakende duursaamheid gedoen is, het die gebruik van herwonne beton aggregaat beperk tot padboumateriaal. Die doel van hierdie navorsing is om te bepaal wat die geskiktheid van herwonne betonaggregaat is vir gebruik in struktuurbeton, gegrond op sterkte en duursaamheid. Drie soorte herwonne betonaggregaat wat in hierdie studie as RCA1, RCA2 and RCA3 aangedui word, is elk vanaf ‘n ander bron geneem. Hierdie materiale is getoets om hulle meganiese kenmerke vas te stel vir gebruik as aggregaat in beton. In die eksperimentele program is 0%, 30% en 100% herwonne betonaggregaat gebruik om natuurlike aggregaat gedeeltelik be vervang om sodoende die geskiktheid as betonaggregaat te bestudeer. Deur toetse uit te voer op ‘n beperkte sterkte-klas beton, soos toetse vir die bepaling van druksterkte, Young’s modulus, kruip, krimp en duursaamheid, is daar bevind dat sekere soorte herwonne betonaggregaat heel moontlik gebruik kan word in struktuurbeton. Toe beton met 100% herwonne betonaggregaat vergelyk is met beton met 100% natuurlike aggregaat, is bevind dat daar ‘n klein vermindering in sterkte was, maar waar beton met 30% herwonne betonaggregaat vergelyk is met beton met 100% natuurlike aggregaat, het die resultate byna dieselfde sterkte getoon. Dus op grond van gedetaileerde eksperimentele resultate is ‘n aantal aanbevelings gemaak vir kenmerke van herwonne betonaggregaat wat in betonmengsels gebruik sal word met inagneming van die gehalte van herwonne betonaggregaat. Die resultate vir beton met 30% en 100% herwonne betonaggregaat word vergelyk met beton wat slegs natuurlike aggregaat bevat. Sekere voorstelle gegrond op meganiese eienskappe en duursaamheid van die beton word gemaak, asook aanbevelings vir toekomstige studies van herwonne betonaggregaat wat ons sal help om ons kennis vir die toepassing van herwonne betonaggregaat uit te brei.

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