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Will e-scrap plastics help us build bridges?

A group of researchers and scientists in India has found a way to use plastic from discarded electronics as a replacement to create concrete.

Scientists at the Vellore Institute of Technology in India report it is possible to include ‘high impact polystyrene’ granules in the manufacturing process of self-compacting concrete. The e-scrap plastics can thus substitute sand – while maintaining the same end-product quality.   

Strong mix

The Indian specialists explain that high impact polystyrene may be used together with fly ash from power plants at levels up to 40% ‘with a minimal strength reduction’.

The Vellore Institute of Technology team conducted tests with round and smooth granules, measuring between 1.18 and 3 millimeters in size. Trials ran for a period of 7, 28, and 90 days. The shape and texture of the granules ‘improved the flowability of the concrete’, the crew notes.

Viable solution

Self-compacting lightweight concrete is generally used on long-span bridges, adds professor Jagadeesh Putta. He concludes that the incorporation of both fly ash and polystyrene granules in this type of concrete is a ‘viable eco-friendly technique, with the beneficial economic impact on the construction industry.’

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