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Recycling of Polyethylene into Strong and Tough Earth-Based Composite Building Materials

Author(s): Azeko, Salifu T; Mustapha, Kabiru; Annan, Ebenezer; Odusanya, Olushola S; Soboyejo, Winston O

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Abstract: Polyethylene (PE) waste often piles up in the environment for up to 30 to 50 years, without complete degradation. This paper describes how PE waste can be used as a reinforcement in laterite bricks for sustainable building materials. The bricks are produced with different volume percentages (0–30 vol. %) of PE. The flexural/compressive strengths and fracture toughness values of the composite blocks are compared with those of mortar (produced from river sand and cement). The composite containing 20 vol. % of PE is shown to have the best combination of flexural/compressive strength and fracture toughness. The flexural/compressive strengths and fracture toughness values increase with increasing volume percentage of PE up to 20 vol. %, before decreasing to minimum values for composites with 30 vol. % of PE. The trends in the measured strengths and fracture toughness values are explained using composite and crack bridging models.
Publication Date: Feb-2016
Citation: Azeko, Salifu T., Kabiru Mustapha, Ebenezer Annan, Olushola S. Odusanya, and Winston O. Soboyejo. "Recycling of polyethylene into strong and tough earth-based composite building materials." Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 28, no. 2 (2016): 04015104. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0001385
DOI: doi:10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0001385
ISSN: 0899-1561
EISSN: 1943-5533
Pages: 04015104
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Version: Author's manuscript

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