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INFLUENCE OF ADDING RECYCLED RUBBER TO TYPE I PORTLAND

CONCRETE COMPOSITES: DESTRUCTIVE AND NON-DESTRUCTIVE


ESSAYS.

Albano C.
1,2,*
, Camacho N.
1
, Reyes J.
1
, Feliu J.L.
1
, Hernndez M.
3
, Vasquez L.
1
,
Briceo L.
1
, Oliveira A.
1

1
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Ingeniera, Escuela de Ingeniera
Qumica, IMME y Escuela Bsica, Caracas, Venezuela.
2
Centro de Qumica, Instituto
Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientficas (IVIC), Apartado 21827, Caracas 1020-A,
Venezuela.
3
Universidad Simn Bolvar, Departamento de Mecnica, Caracas,
Venezuela. E-mail: calbano@ivic.ve


ABSTRACT

The aim of the present work was the recycling of rubber from automobile tyre treads, as a partial
substitute of fine aggregates in concrete. Composites obtained were characterized by destructive and non
destructive testing, in order to find a liable application. According to results obtained, it was found that
when weight proportion increased and particle size of scrap rubber decreased (0.59 and 0.29 mm), flow
and density of composite in the fresh state decreased, as well as compressive strength in the dry state.
Previous treatment of rubber with NaOH and silane (A-174) did not produce significant changes on
compressive strength, when compared to the untreated rubber-concrete composite. On the other hand,
from the behavior showed by the ultrasonic pulse velocity with time, one can infer that the addition of
rubber decreased this variable, being the effect more notorious when rubber content increased. This was
due to the greater volume that rubber occupies, as well as water absorption. It can be concluded that the
ultrasonic pulse velocity was relatively independent of particle size and coupling agent employed.

INTRODUCTION

During the last years, several researchers have been studying the final disposal of elastomeric wastes, due
to the great volume generated worldwide, as well as the difficulty for establishing disposal sites which
become a serious environmental problem. In spite of this, recycling appears as the best solution for
disposing elastomeric residues, due to its economical and ecological advantages.
On the other hand, the conception of products for concrete is also increasing, due to the high growth of
construction in the past years. Even though concrete based on Portland cement is one of the most
extraordinary and versatile elements in construction, there is a need for modifying its properties, such as
tensile strength, hardness, ductility and durability. So, one way of modifying concrete properties and
recycling rubber simultaneously is to combine both materials.
Topcu [1], Chung & Hong [2], Segre & Joekes [3], Kozievith et al. [4] all studied composites based on
concrete-scrap rubber. In general, they found a reduction on mechanical properties when rubber content
increases.
Concerning the application of non destructive testing, Strafella et al. [5] studied the influence of factors
that affect concrete evaluation by ultrasonic method, such as water/cement ratio, age, aggregates and
moisture content.
The aim of the present work is to characterize by means of destructive (mechanical properties) and non
destructive (sonic wave measurements) techniques, composites of concrete-scrap rubber, varying particle
size of rubber. In addition, rubber is treated with NaOH and silane A-174 in order to analize the effect of
these treatments on the behavior of concrete-rubber composites.

EXPERIMENTAL

For the development of the present research, conventional concrete compounds were prepared with fine
and coarse aggregates. Fine aggregate was natural sand from Tuy River, Venezuela. Coarse aggregate
was crushed stone with an average size of 2.54 cm. Cement used was Portland Type I, Lafarge from
Cementos La Vega, Venezuela. Scrap rubber was obtained from tyre treads, Covencaucho, Venezuela.
Composites of conventional concrete and concrete-scrap rubber were prepared, where the water/cement
ratio was kept constant (0.53). Part of the sand (fine aggregate) was substituted by rubber. The weight
percentage of rubber used was 5% and 10%, with particle sizes of 0.29 mm and 0.59 mm. Scrap rubber
was used untreated and treated with a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and with a coupling agent
silane A-174, with the purpose of improving the interfacial adhesion between concrete and rubber.
After preparing the composites, measurements in the fresh state of slump and density (weight/volume)
were done and the segregation tendency observed. Cylinder specimens where prepared. During the first
24 hours, all specimens were kept in a control room and were covered in order to prevent retraction by
humidity loss. After 24 hours, specimens were removed from molds and stored in the curing tank filled
with clean water. After 28 days of curing, compressive strength and was determined.
On the other hand, after 24 hours, measurements of travel time of ultrasonic pulse wave in specimens
were done. Ten measurements were done to each specimen, using Vaseline as a coupling medium
between the faces of the transducers and the faces of the concrete specimen. Testing was followed during
28 days, the first seven consecutive days and the rest between intervals of 2 to 4 days, with the objective
of studying the aging of the composite material.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1 shows slump values for a traditional concrete mix (TCM) and for a concrete-scrap rubber mix
(CSRM). It can be observed that slump decreased from a value of 8 cm for the traditional composite to
values lower than 1 cm for the blends with 5 wt% rubber of 0.29 mm particle size; a decrease to values
between 0.5 and 2 was also found when particle size was 0.59 mm. When rubber content was increased
to 10 wt%, behavior obtained was similar. Same trend was also observed when rubber was treated.

Particle size (0.59mm) Particle size (0.29mm)
TCS
CSRM
WITHOUT
TREATMENT
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT
(NaOH)
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT
(Silane)
CSRM CSRM
WITHOUT
TREATMENT
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT
(NaOH)
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT
(Silane)

Rubber
(%)
0 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10
Slump
(cm)
8 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 2 0.5 1 0.5 1 0 1 0.5
Table 1: Slump obtained for the traditional concrete and concrete-scrap rubber mix, with and without
treatment.

Table 2 shows density values for concrete without rubber and with rubber of different particle size treated
and untreated. When comparing traditional concrete mix with concrete-scrap rubber mix, it can be seen
that density diminishes, being this effect more notorious when rubber percentage is 10 wt%. On the other
hand, surface treatments done to rubber do not affect significantly the relation weight/volume of the
composites. This behavior is due to the physical properties of rubber, since it has lower density than
sand, hence it occupies greater volume.


TCS
CSRM WITHOUT
TREATMENT
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (NaOH)
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (Silane)

Rubber
(%)
Particle
size
(mm)
0 5 10 5 10 5 10
0.59 2887 2300 2033 2248 1981 2218 2021 Density
(Kg/m
3
)
0.29 2887 2237 1784 2218 1780 2189 1971
Table 2: Density values obtained for the traditional concrete (TCS) and concrete-scrap rubber mix
(CSRM), with and without treatment.


TCS
CSRM WITHOUT
TREATMENT
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (NaOH)
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (Silane) Rubber (%)
Particle
size
(mm)
0 5 10 5 10 5 10
0.59 30.32 11.66 3.49 12.19 4.
00
11.56 4.94 Compresive
strength
((MPa)
0.29 30.32 8.80 0.78 9.19 1.70 8.83 0.78
Table 3: Compressive strength values obtained for the traditional concrete (TCS) and concrete-scrap
rubber mix (CSRM), with and without treatment.

Table 3 shows compressive strength values obtained for concrete composites wit h and without rubber of
different particle size, percentages and surface treatments. According to results, a drastic decrease on
compressive strength can be observed for concrete-scrap rubber composites compared to traditional
concrete mixtures. From these results it can be inferred that particle size exerts an important effect on
compressive strength, since small rubber particles originate greater interstitial voids, probably filled with
water, so a low aggregate-concrete interaction is achieved, with subsequent loss in compressive strength.
Figure 1 shows variations for ultrasonic pulse velocity during the curing process, for different weight
percentages and particles sizes of rubber. Curves show that initially the pulse velocities are low, with a
subsequent rapid growth for early ages of concrete (100-120 h of curing); then, there is a delayed growth
once 120-150 h have passed. Finally, after 400 h of curing, the velocity value has an asymptotic
tendency.
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
1200
1400
1600
1800
2000
2200
2400
2600
2800
3000
3200
3400
3600
3800
4000
4200
4400
4600
Parti cl e Si ze: 50 mm
P
u
l
s
e

V
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
m
/
s
)
Ti me (h)
5wt.% Rubber
10wt . % Rubber
Traditional Concrete

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
1800
2000
2200
2400
2600
2800
3000
3200
3400
3600
3800
4000
4200
4400
4600
Particle Size: 29 mm
P
u
l
s
e

V
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
m
/
s
)
Time (h)
5wt.% Rubber
10wt.% Rubber
Traditional Concrete

Figure 1: variations for ultrasonic pulse during the curing process, for the traditional concrete (TCS) and
concrete-scrap rubber mix (CSRM), without treatment. Different particle sizes.

The growth on ultrasonic pulse velocity respect to concrete age can be explained since water chemically
reacts with cement when time passes, increasing progressively materials density and strength, hence
elasticity, favouring the propagation of ultrasonic wave. This reaction occurs faster during the first stages
of curing.
From the behaviour of ultrasonic pulse velocity shown on figure 1, it can be inferred that the addition of
rubber reduces the mentioned variable, being the effect more pronounced for high rubber content. This is
due to a decrease on composit es density, since rubber occupies a greater volume and also, to the presence
of water and/or air in composite. This behavior is maintained when rubber is treated. At the same time, it
can be detected that particle size (Fig. 1) has a greater influence on ultrasonic velocity, observing that
when particle size is bigger, greater is the ultrasonic velocity, which means that the attenuation by
dispersion is not predominant.
Concerning the influence of surface treatments, results obtained do not show improvement in components
interactions, since variations of ultrasonic velocity between composites treated and untreated are not
significant. Once again, these results are in accordance with tensile properties results.
One important property measured on traditional concrete as well as on concrete-rubber composites is the
ultrasonic resistance, which permits to determine the attenuation coefficient of the material.
Table 4 only shows final values of ultrasonic resistance, at 28 days of curing. These values indicate that
ultrasonic resistance decreases with the addition of rubber and also with rubber percentage. However,
they are not affected significantly by rubber treatment.


TCS
CSRM WITHOUT
TREATMENT
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (NaOH)
CSRM WITH
TREATMENT (Silane)

Rubber (%)
Particl
e size
(mm)
0 5 10 5 10 5 10
0.59 1300 841 543 827 566 789 585 Ultrasonic
resistence
(N/sm
2
)
x10
3

0.29 1300 774 354 770 395 766 391
Table 4: Final values of ultrasonic resistance obtained for the traditional concrete (TCS) and concrete-
scrap rubber mix (CSRM), with and without treatment.

From the data obtained, it is possible to infer that the greater attenuation values are observed in
composites where rubber has the smaller particle size, since they show greater porosity so greater
presence of water and air, fact that influences directly the propagation of the ultrasonic wave, with a
greater attenuation and a lower ultrasonic velocity.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of the present research highlight that when tyre tread scrap is used as a substitute for fine
aggregates in concrete, properties in the fresh state and during curing are affected. When weight
proportion increased and particle size of scrap rubber decreased (0.59 and 0.29 mm), flow and density of
composite in the fresh state decreased, as well as compressive strength in the dry state. Previous treatment
of rubber with NaOH and silane did not produce significant changes on compressive strength of
composites, when compared to the untreated rubber-concrete composite. On the other hand, from the
behavior showed by the ultrasonic pulse velocity with time, one can infer that the addition of rubber
decreased this variable, being the effect more notorious when rubber content increased.

REFERENCES

[1] Topu I., The properties of Rubberized Concretes, Cement and Concret
Research, 25(2), 304-310, 1994.
[2] Chung K., Homg Y., Introductory behavior of Rubber Concrete, 72 (1), 35-
40, 1999.
[3] Segre N., Joekes I., Use for Tire Rubber particles as addition to Cement
paste, Cement and Concrete Research, 30(9), 1421-1425, 2000.
[4] Kosievith V., Pinto C., Hamassaki L., Rubber Powder and Postland Cement
Composites, Polythenic School, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2001.
[5] Strafella A., Thomas F., Rengel H., Influencia de algunos factores en la
evaluacin Ultrasonica del Concreto, Trabajo Especial de grado, Ingeniera
Civil, UCV, Caracas, Junio, 1991.