Yesenia Franqui Bernard - University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
Co-Author(s): Anamarie Cotto1; Oscar Marcelo Suárez1; Saylisse Dávila1; Wandaliz Torres1. 1 University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
In a world of limited resources, where population is constantly increasing, there is a need of innovative alternatives for construction methods. In the production of concrete, a construction material used worldwide, the energy used, and the large amount of natural aggregates result in a large carbon footprint. By partially replacing cement with supplementary cementitious materials, this large footprint could be reduced. In this context, a local recycling company receives tremendous amounts of industrial plastic wastes monthly. Some of these materials can be repurposed and sold. However, not all of them can be repurposed and are disposed in the landfills. To explore new ways to reinvent cost-effective and ecologically-friendly concrete mixtures, this work proposes the use of recycled plastic as aggregates, and fly ash and nanostructured-silica as supplementary cementitious material. Because of the variability of the mixture components and the difficulty to control the entire concrete mixing process, the resulting material can exhibit widely variable mechanical properties. For this reason, a mixture design was proposed to draw conclusions about the components significance. In the present experiment, the mixture components were cementitious material (type I cement, type F fly ash, and silica nanoparticles), tap water, natural coarse aggregate, recycled plastic aggregate, fine aggregate, and superplasticizer. The experiment considered categorical factors including two types of plastic and two brands of silica nanoparticles. In the optimal analysis, the responses measured by a statistical software were compressive strength at 7, 14, and 28 aging days and mixture cost (USD). Thus, a prediction profile was generated having as target a compressive strength of 17 MPa and a minimum cost. Our results suggested that all the mixture components and few of their interactions were significant. Furthermore, the prediction profile showed the constrained experimental region to be studied in the next experimental mixture design based on concrete mixture specifications and the responses desirability. Further experimentation will help to better characterize the optimized concrete mixture including tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, permeability, among others.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Grant No. 1345156 (CREST program).
Faculty Advisor: Oscar Marcelo Su?rez, email@example.com
Role: As a researcher, literature review is essential for design, data analysis, and interpretation of results. In the lookout for new methods, technologies, ideas, and pre-existing information, I have relied on guided mechanical tests and standards such as those provided by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). Furthermore, I have 200+ hours of laboratory work in the development and testing of eco-friendly concrete specimens.