Natural fibers and waste enhance the durability of concrete
According to the researchers, natural fibers and waste materials can replace synthetic reinforcement materials to make a more durable type of concrete.
The Flinders University team in Australia, together with experts in the United States and Turkey, said that geopolymers reinforced with renewable natural fibers and made with industrial by-products and waste-based sands from lead smelting or glass manufacturing can match the strength and durability of those containing natural sand, which consumes more raw resources and generate more emissions.
Conventional concrete is the most widely used construction material, with 25 billion tonnes used each year. It consumes around 30% of non-renewable natural resources, emits around 8% of atmospheric greenhouse gases and accounts for up to 50% of landfills.
The “promising findings” have significant potential for the use of natural fibers in the development of structural-grade building materials, said lead researcher Dr Aliakbar Gholampour.
Geopolymers using waste glass sand have higher strength and lower water absorption than those containing natural river sand, according to tests. Geopolymers made from lead foundry slag have lower drying shrinkage than geopolymers prepared with natural river sand.
Natural fibers such as ramie, sisal, hemp, coir, jute and bamboo have been incorporated into experiments. Geopolymers containing 1% ramie, hemp and bamboo fibers and 2% ramie fibers exhibited higher compressive and tensile strength and lower drying shrinkage than unreinforced geopolymers, the researchers said. researchers. The 1% ramie fiber had the highest strength and the lowest drying shrinkage.
The study adds to global efforts to tackle the environmental impact of conventional building material production and landfill volumes, the team said.
“With concrete, we can not only recycle huge volumes of industrial by-products and waste materials, including concrete aggregates, to improve the mechanical and durability properties of concrete, but also use alternative natural fibers that are environmentally friendly. environment that would otherwise not be used constructively,” said Dr Gholampour.
“This research will also aim to design blends of recycled coarse aggregates and other types of cellulosic fibers, including water-based paper, for different building and construction applications. We also plan to investigate their application in construction 3D printing for the future.
The book was published in the Construction and building materials log.
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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.