Featured newsNews

Researchers have discovered how to make concrete from recycled glass – by turning it back into sand

18 June 2019

Australian researchers have discovered
that old ground glass can be used to make polymer concrete, which can be used
for roads and carparks. (Credit: SWNS)

Researchers have
discovered how to make concrete from recycled glass – by turning it back into

A team from Australia
were able to turn the waste into a replacement for industrial flooring – which
opens the door for new uses for old glass.

They discovered ground
glass can be used to make polymer concrete, a material used for roads and car

Lecturer Dr. Riyadh
Al-Ameri, from the Deakin School of Engineering, Victoria, said the invention
was “a potential substitute” for regular sand in concrete.

He said: “This
research provides the evidence the construction industry needs to see the
potential of glass as a substitute for sand when making polymer concrete and,
potentially, concrete.”

Polymer concrete is a
type of concrete that uses polymers, typically resins, to replace lime-type
cement as a binder.

Dr. Al-Ameri said:
“Worldwide, the construction industry represents six percent of global
GDP, according to the World Economic Forum.

“Concrete is a
major construction material and sand is one of its primary components, so
finding an alternative to sand makes good economic sense.

“Mined sand
requires washing and grading before it is added to aggregate, cement and water
to make concrete.

“We have found
that substituting sand with ground recycled glass makes the polymer concrete
stronger and is a sustainable use of one of the major types of recyclables in
the domestic waste stream.

“Any changes that
reduce the cost of production will lead to significant gains across the
industry, potentially on a global scale.”

Polymer produces a
high strength, water-resistant material suited to areas with heavy traffic such
as service stations and airports.

Engineering student
Dikshit Modgil worked with Melbourne-based Orca Civil Products as part of his
Master’s research.

Orca Civil Products
Director Alan Travers said the partnership produced results useful in taking
the concept further to commercialization.

He said: “The
specific type of waste glass used in this project was unsuitable for recycling
back into glass and the amount that is stockpiling is becoming a community

“The concept has
even more appeal to us because of predicted shortages of natural, mined sands
in the medium term.”

Dr. Al-Ameri added the next stage of their research would look at substitutes for the aggregate in polymer concrete, optimizing the substitution rate, assessing durability, and the commercialization of the new product.https://www.foxnews.com/science/researchers-concrete-from-recycled-glass-sand

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue