India-UK finds sustainable construction industry solution
A joint research conducted by India and the UK has shown that waste plastic can be a viable partial replacement for sand in structural concrete, providing a possible solution for sustainable construction work in India.
The research, conducted by the University of Bath in partnership with Goa Engineering College, has shown how replacing 10 per cent of sand in concrete with waste plastic may help to reduce the vast amounts of plastic waste on Indian streets and deal with the country’s sand shortage.
“Typically, when you put an inert, man-made material like plastic into concrete, you lose a bit of strength because the plastic material doesn’t bond to the cement paste in the material in the same way that a sand particle would, explains Dr John Orr, the principal investigator and Cambridge University lecturer in Concrete Structures — who completed the research during his time at the University of Bath.
“The key challenge here was to have a limit between a small reduction in strengths, which we achieved, and using an appropriate amount of plastic to make it worthwhile. It is really a viable material for use in some areas of construction that might help us to tackle issues of not being able to recycle the plastic and meeting a demand for sand,” he said.