Researchers from RMIT have developed a new method to manufacture concrete made from recycled materials that is stronger and more durable than the traditional concrete.
The new technology, called Rubberized Concrete Processing Technology (RCP-Tech), uses rubber tyres and construction and demolition waste to create prefabricated concrete products that are up to 35% stronger than traditional concrete.
The method involves combining a mix of course and fine aggregates with rubber tyre waste, cement and water which is then compressed to its minimum volume using pressure in a customised mould.
Project leader Professor Yufei Wu from the School of Engineering said the technology offered an efficient and inexpensive solution to the problem that has always hindered the practical application of various sustainable alternatives to concrete in the construction industry – matching the strength and durability of traditional concrete.
“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.
“By enhancing the properties of the recycled waste without the use of any additional materials, we have developed a feasible and practical solution that addresses the performance issues affiliated with waste recycling in concrete.”
PhD researcher and RCP-Tech co-creator, Syed Kazmi, said the team was now looking to partner with precast concrete manufacturers to 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 concluded.