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Accepted Manuscript

Use of Different Forms of Waste Plastic in Concrete – A Review

Raju Sharma, Prem Pal Bansal

PII: S0959-6526(15)01132-4
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.042
Reference: JCLP 6009

To appear in: Journal of Cleaner Production

Received Date: 7 March 2015


Revised Date: 2 August 2015
Accepted Date: 12 August 2015

Please cite this article as: Sharma R, Bansal PP, Use of Different Forms of Waste Plastic in Concrete –
A Review, Journal of Cleaner Production (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.042.

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Use of Different Forms of Waste Plastic in Concrete – A Review


Raju Sharma a, Prem Pal Bansalb
a
Department of Civil Engineering, Chandigarh University, Gharuan, 160055 Mohali, India
b
Department of Civil Engineering, Thapar University, 147001 Patiala, India

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Abstract

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The consumption of various forms of plastics is a challenging environment protection issue. All
forms of consumed plastic become waste and require large areas of land for storage because

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several tons of waste plastics cannot be fully recycled at once. The low biodegradability of
plastic and the presence in large quantities of waste plastic negatively impact the environment.

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Previously, various studies were performed to identify safe and environmentally friendly
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methods for disposing of plastics. Recently, various forms of plastics have been incorporated in
concrete to prevent the direct contact of plastics with the environment because concrete has a
longer service life. However, this method is not a dominant method for disposing of waste
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plastic. This paper presents an overview of some published research regarding the use of waste
plastic in concrete. The effects of waste plastic addition on the fresh, mechanical and thermal
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properties of concrete are also presented in this paper.


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Keyword: Waste PET Bottles; Waste Polyethylene; Concrete; Shredded Plastic Fiber; Plastic
Fiber Reinforced Concrete, Solid Waste Plastic
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1. Introduction
Currently, various forms of plastics are used around the world. Large amounts of plastic are used
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in packing films, wrapping materials, shopping and garbage bags, fluid containers, toys,
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household industrial products and building material. However, the benefits of plastic use are
suppressed by its harmful impacts on the environment. (Subramanian, 2000) reported that
plastics are a small but significant component of waste streams. The plastic wastes accounts for
10.62 ± 5.12% of the total stored wastes in the old landfill, among which, 69.13% is plastic bags
(white PE plastic bags accounted for 11.34%; colored PE plastic bags 29.77%; other plastic bags
28.02%), and 30.87% is other plastics (incl. PP, PVC, PS, etc.) (Zhou et al., 2014). (Papong et
al., 2014; Badia et al., 2012; Raghatate, 2012; Nampothiri et al., 2010; Dullius et al., 2006)
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revealed that thousands of years are necessary for the biodegradation of plastics. This results in
the accumulation of plastic wastes and causes serious environmental problems due to littering
and illegal landfilling or incineration. (Saikia and Brito, 2012) reported that waste plastics reduce
the water permeability of soils and affect soil fertility, which often results in the blockage of

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wastewater drains. In developing countries, the growth rate of most cities exceeds 4% per
annum. The issue at stake is that the 20 to 40% of municipal revenues spent in most countries to
manage the waste is not enough to handle the rising trend of the waste generated (Othman et al.,

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2013). India generates approximately 56 hundred thousand tons of plastic waste annually, of
which Delhi alone contributes 689.5 tons each day. Approximately 60 percent of the total plastic

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waste in Delhi is collected and recycled every day, while 40 percent remains uncollected or is
discarded as litter. Plastic solid waste can primarily be treated by re-extrusion, mechanical,

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chemical and energy recovery schemes and technologies (Al-salem et al., 2009). (Zhanga et al.,
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2010) reported that the quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation has rapidly
increased in China due to growing urbanization, population growth and industrialization. The
total amount of MSW increased from 31.3 million tons in 1980 to 212 million tons in 2006, and
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the waste generation rate increased from 0.50 kg/capita/day in 1980 to 0.98 kg/capita/year in
2006. The increasing demand and decreasing landfill space are forcing to researchers for finding
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the alternative plastic solid waste disposal (PSW) options.


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The only material that is analogous to plastic that is currently used in India is concrete
(Bhogayata and Arora, 2011; Parveen and Kaushik, 2003, Sivaraja et al., 2007,). Currently,
approximately 370 million cubic meters of concrete are consumed in India every year, which is
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expected to reach approximately 580 million cubic meters by 2022. Although the use of these
materials is increasing daily in their respective fields, the service lives and properties of the
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products are different. Concrete structures are constructed to serve humanity for several years,
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while the service life of plastics is much shorter. Because the disposal of plastics after use
increases ecology strain, it is important to find different methods for safely disposing of used
plastics. Polyester concrete (PC) products can also be used for the long-term disposal of PET
waste (Rebeiz and Craft, 1995). Previously, various studies were performed to determine safe
and environmentally friendly methods for disposing of plastics. However, increasing the service
life of plastics by incorporating them into concrete is one possible environmentally friendly
approach for their safe disposal. (Araghi et al., 2015) reported that the concrete containing PET
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particles, as an alternative aggregate, has better resistance against sulfuric acid attack in
industrial structures and sewer pipes.
The expected benefits of inserting waste plastic in concrete are presented graphically in Fig 1.
The first column in Fig. 1 shows that the usable lifespan of concrete is much greater than its non-

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usable life span. In the second column, the lifespan of usable plastics is much lower than its
waste service life on earth. In subsequent columns, the uses of different waste products in
concrete are shown. From these columns, it can be concluded that the inclusion of waste

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products, such as fly ash and waste plastics, can be used to safely dispose of waste products.

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Concrete non- usable C+P waste lifespan C+F.A waste lifespan
lifespan

Lifespan Concrete

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of waste +Plastic + Fly Ash
plastic usable Lifespan usable
lifespan of waste lifespan
Concrete Fly Ash
usable
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lifespan
Non-Usable Life
(C+ F.A,C+P)
Non-Usable
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Lifespan
Nil until Usable Lifespan
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plastic
Plastic becomes
usable a waste
life
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Concrete Plastic Lifespan Concrete+ Fly Ash F.A + C


Lifespan Waste Plastic
C
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C + P = Concrete + Plastic, C + F.A = Concrete + Fly Ash

Fig - 1 Effects of using waste products in concrete

A large study was conducted to study the use of various forms of plastics in concrete, such as
waste plastic flakes (Rai et al., 2012), polyethylene terephthalate particles (PET) (Araghi et al.,
2015; Cordoba et al., 2013; Rehmani et al., 2013), high density polyethylene waste (HDPE)
(Naik et al., 1996), plastic coarse aggregate (PCA) (Saikia and Brito, 2013, 2014; Benosman et
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al., 2013; Mathew et al., 2013), PET waste (Fraternali et al. 2011), shredded fibers of polythene
bags (Bhogayata et al., 2013), PET bottle fibers (Foti, 2013; Ramadevi and Manju, 2012),
granulated plastic waste (Ismail and Al-Hashmi, 2010), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe (Kou
et al., 2009), as shown in Fig. 2. The various forms of plastics used in previous research studies

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to replace different constituents of concrete are shown in Table 1. (PETCORE, 2012) reported
using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) flakes in concrete. Based on the consumption
of RPET fibers and flakes, Ingrao et al., 2014 reported using RPET fiber for manufacturing

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panels, which resulted in the consumption of recycled PET fibers without compromising the
durability of the end product. Recently a cradle-to-grave study conducted by Dormar et al., 2013,

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on carbon footprints produced by recycled polyethylene terephthalate, It was found that the
cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of 1 kg of recycled polyethylene terephthalate trays containing

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85% recycled content was 1.538 kg CO2e.
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This paper focuses on the results obtained by various researchers after adding various forms of
plastic to concrete. Most research shows that the addition of plastic affects the workability,
compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, split tensile strength, thermal conductivity and
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slightly enhances the abrasion and flexural strength. In addition, it is recommended that the
surface of the plastic does not react with the matrix. The surface of the plastic must be treated
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with a reactive material, such as silica fume, metakaolin, slag, so that the pozzolanic reaction
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enhances the strength of the concrete by reacting with the surface coated material.

Table -1 Use of waste plastic in concrete


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Author Form of Waste Plastic Used Use in Concrete


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Araghi et al., Grinded PET particles with a maximum Replaced Natural aggregate with PET
2015 size of 7mm, estimated unit weight was 464 particles by 5%, 10%, and 15%.
kg/m3 and specific gravity of PET particles
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was 1.11 g/ cm3

3 distinct types of plastic particles used 5%, 10% and 15% replaced natural
Saikia and
Shredded fine flaky plastic particles (PF), aggregate with each type (PF, PF, PC)
Brito, 2014
Shredded coarse flaky plastic particles of plastic particles
(PC), heat treated pellet- shaped
spherical/cylindrical (PP)

Grinded PET particles with a maximum Replaced sand with PET particles by
Rehmani et
al., 2013 size of 7mm, estimated unit weight was 464 5%, 10% and 15%
kg/m3 and specific gravity of PET particles
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was 1.11 g/ cm3

Bhogayata et Used as plastic fibers in concrete.


Metalized polythene waste bags with an
al., 2013 Added 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 % of the
average size of 1 mm x 2 mm.
volume of concrete

Replaced the fine aggregates in the

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Ramadevi PET bottles used as fiber concrete with 1, 2, 4, and 6% of the
and Manju,
2013 PET bottle fibers

Addition of polyethylene fibers at

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Bhogayata et Non recyclable plastic waste used as a
al., 2012 different proportions (from 0.3%,
macro fiber of 60 mm x 3 mm and shredded 0.6%, and 0.9% to 1.2% of the
fiber (size considered as very fine random volume of concrete)
palettes)

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Malagavei, Added fiber from 0 to 6% in the
HDPE used as fiber concrete mix
2011

Addition of fiber with the 0.5%

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Prahallada Plastic fiber obtained from cutting waste volume fraction based on distinct
and parkash, plastic pots aspect ratios of 30, 50, 70, 90, and
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2013 110

Suganthy et Sand replaced with 25, 50, 75, or


Pulverized plastic used in the form of
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al., 2013 100% of plastic granules


granules of 1 mm size

Foti, 2013 Added at 1% of the weight of


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Used in three dissimilar forms: PET used in concrete in all three forms
circular fiber with a width of 5 mm, as
strips with two overlapping half bottles, and
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as a strip with four overlapping layers


Recycled PET aggregates
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Saikia and Replaced natural aggregates with the


Recycled PET aggregates plastic aggregate at 5, 10, and 15%
Brito, 2013

Replacement of 0, 5, 10, 15 percent


Rai et al., Plastic flakes as a fine aggregate
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sand
2012
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Cordoba et Three different sizes were used, 0.5,


Recycled PET flakes
al., 2013 1.5, and 3 mm. For each size, three
different concentrations of PET
particles were considered, 1.0, 2.5,
and 5.0 % by volume

Raghatate et Small pieces of plastic bags Addition of plastics from 0 to 1% in


al., 2012 the concrete matrix

Fraternali et Recycled PET and virgin polypropylene Addition of fiber by volume with 1%
al., 2011 for both types
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Ismail and Granulated plastic waste Replaced sand with 5% or 10%


Al-Hashmi, Granulated plastics and 0 to 50% iron
2010

Mahdi et al., Depolymerized through glycolysis to Four different groups with PET to
2010 produce the unsaturated polyester resin used glycol ratios of (1:1, 2:1). Each group
as a binding agent to produced polymer includes a distinct dibasic acid,

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mortar and polymer concrete initiator and promoter

Ochi et al., Plastic pallet as a fine aggregate (introduced Added fiber for hand mixing with a
2007 a distinct method by which monofilament volume content of fiber 0.76 %. The

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used a raw material for the PET fiber and concrete mixer-volumetric fiber
mixed at a fiber content as high as 3%) contents were 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 %

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(a) (b) (c)
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(d) (e) (f)


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(g)
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(h) (i)
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(j) (k) (l)

Figure-2 Different forms of waste plastic: (a) Polyethylene (Raghatate, 2012), (b) Sample of waste plastic (Rai et al.,
2012), (c) PET-aggregates PC (Saikia and Brito, 2013), (d) PET-aggregate PF (Saikia and Brito, 2013), (e) PET
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aggregate PP (Saikia and Brito, 2013), (f) Short laminar fiber (Foti, 2011), (g) Sample of ‘O’ fiber (Foti, 2011), (h)
Shredded fiber (Bhogayata et al., 2013), (i) Hand Cut fiber ((Bhogayata et al., 2012), (j) Granulated Plastic (Ismil
and Al-Hashmi, 2010), (k) polyethylene terephthalate (Fraternali et al., 2011), and (l) polyethylene terephthalate
(Fraternali et al., 2011)

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2. Fresh and Mechanical Properties of Plastic Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Various researchers have studied the use of various forms of waste plastic. The effects of

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replacing or adding plastic on the properties of concrete in the green state and the mechanical
properties of concrete as studied by various researchers are discussed in this section.

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2.1. Properties of Concrete in the Green State

2.1.1. Workability

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Workabilty is the property of freshly mixed concrete which determines the ease and
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homogeneity with which it can be mixed, placed, consolidated and finished. The controlled
concrete can be workable as per the set requirements, but the addition of other mineral admixture
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and waste material affects the workability of concrete. The addition of waste plastics affects the
amount of free water available in concrete and, consequently, the workability of the concrete.
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The effect of the addition/replacement of various forms of waste plastic on workability is


presented in subsequent subsections.
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2.1.1.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


(Rahmani et al., 2013) reported that the PET particles have more specific surface area as
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compared with the natural sand due to their mercenary shape. Hence, there would be more
friction between the particles leading to less workability in the mixtures. (Saikia and Brito, 2014)
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reported the effect of plastic particle shape on the workability of concrete. Three different shape
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plastic particles, shredded fractions with a fine range (PF), shredded fraction with coarse range
(PC) and heat treated pellet in spherical/cylindrical (PP), were used. The results indicate that the
slump of fresh concrete increases slightly with the incorporation of PP aggregate and with the
inclusion of PF and PC aggregate slump value decreases sharply and further decreases if the
content and size of this type of aggregate increases. (Batayneh et al., 2007) reported that the
matrix prepared by replacing 20% of fine aggregates with waste plastic reduced the workability
by up to 25%.
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2.1.1.2 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic fiber


(Bhogayata et al., 2012) reported that the workability of concrete decreases as the addition of

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waste plastics in concrete increases by up to 25%. (Nibudey et al., 2013) reported the effects of
plastic fibers with aspect ratios (l/d, length divided by diameter of fiber) of 35 and 50 on the
workability of concrete. The plastic fiber was added to the concrete at 0% to 3% of the weight of

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the cement. The workability decreased when using aspect ratios of 35 and 50. The maximum
slump of the controlled concrete occurred at 67 mm for the M30 grade of concrete. The slump

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value decreased to 32 mm for an aspect ratio of 35 and to 22 mm for an aspect ratio of 50.

(Prahallada and Parkash, 2013) studied the effects of adding fibers at different aspect ratios on

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the workability of concrete. Waste plastics with aspect ratios of 30, 50, 70, 90 and 110 were
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used. The workability of the concrete increased up to an aspect ratio of 50. Thereafter, further
increases in the aspect ratio resulted in decreases in the workability. The poor workability after
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including plastic fibers with larger aspect ratios potentially resulted from the hindrance imposed
by plastic fibers during the flow of green concrete. (Malagaveli, 2011) reported that the
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workability of the matrix improved when up to 2% of HDPE fiber was added and began to
decrease when more than 2% was added.
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2.1.1.3 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces


(Ismil and Al-Hashmi, 2010) reported the effects of using mixed iron and plastic granular wastes
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in concrete. In this case, plastic granular wastes were added into the sand mixture at 5% weight
The granular waste plastic used in the concrete had broad distribution, dimensions with lengths
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and widths that varied from 0.15 to 12 mm and 0.15 to 4 mm, respectively. The addition of 5%
plastic waste decreased the workability by 25%, whereas addition of 30% iron filling results in
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an increase of workability by 50%. (Rai et al., 2012) reported the effects of using waste plastic
flakes in concrete. In this study, 5% to 15% of the waste plastic flakes were replaced with sand
with a fineness modulus of 3.2. The results indicated that the workability decreased by up to 37%
as the amount of waste plastic flakes increased. The addition of waste plastic flakes to the
concrete mix at 5% to 15% without a superplasticizer resulted in a decrease in the slump value
from 55 mm to 35 mm. The same decrement rate was observed in the workability of the waste
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plastic mix concrete with a superplasticizer. The results described in the above literature
correspond with the evidence provided by (Soroushian et al., 2003), who indicated that the
addition of any discrete reinforcement results in a slump loss. (Choi et al., 2005, 2009)
concluded that the surface texture and shape of the fiber are prominent factors for improving

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workability. These factors require more attention to establish a deterministic design approach for
preparing reinforced concrete with plastic fiber.
The literature review shows that addition or replacement of waste plastic in concrete results in

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loss of workability of concrete. The flow of green concrete reduces due to the heterogeneous
mixing of plastic. Generally, the amount of waste plastic added in concrete, in any form

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adversely affects the workability of concrete, however, addition of very less amount of plastic in
concrete shows improved workability. Nevertheless, when plastic is added in large amount, the

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workability of concrete decreases due to the resistance offered by the fibers to the movement of
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aggregates. This behavior also followed by pellets, shredded form and flaks.

2.1.2. Fresh density/dry density


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The results shows that the density of concrete is reduces on direct inclusion of waste plastic in
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concrete mixes. The effect of addition of waste plastics in different forms, as reported by various
authors has been presented below.
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2.1.2.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


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(Araghi et al., 2015) studied the effect of sulfuric acid curing on concrete containing 0%, 5%,
10% and 15% PET particles as an alternative aggregates. It has been observed that the weight
loss values for samples containing 0%, 5%, 10%, and 15% of PET particles are 13.47%, 10.26%,
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8.98%, 6.57%, respectively. So samples with 15% of PET particles have lower weight losses and
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better resistance against sulfuric acid attack. (Rahmani et al., 2013) concluded that when an
amount of natural sand in concrete is replaced with PET particles which have different gradation,
more pores in concrete would be formed due to plate and narrow shape of PET particle.
Moreover, the surplus water in the concrete specimens, which does not participate in water and
cement reaction makes some tiny channels in concrete and results in more pores after drying.
Therefore, addition of PET particles in concrete and increase in water to cement ratio in concrete
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containing PET particles results in lower unit weights of concrete. (Saikia and Brito, 2014)
reported the reduction in the density of fresh concrete as the content of plastic aggregate
increases, because the particle density of plastic aggregate is very low compared with natural
aggregates.

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2.1.2.2 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic fiber
(Nibudey et al., 2013) revealed that the dry density decreased from 25.382 to 25.185 kg/m3 when

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plastic fibers were added at intervals of 0 to 3%. These authors concluded that the density of
concrete decreased when any form of waste plastic was added.

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2.1.2.3 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces

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(Rai et al., 2012) reported that increasing the waste plastic content decreases the fresh and dry
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densities of concrete. The fresh density decreased by 5%, 8.7% and 10.75 % when 5%, 10% and
15% of the sand was replaced with waste plastic flakes. This result, potentially occurred because
the density of the waste plastic was 70% lower than that of the sand, which reduced the fresh and
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dry density. The lowest dry density obtained during the experiments was 2210 kg/m3, and the
lowest fresh density was 2340 kg/m3, as shown in Table 2. (Ismil and Al-Hashmi, 2010)
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observed that including iron at 0 to 50% with 5% granular plastic waste moderately improve the
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fresh and dry densities of the concrete. Three concrete mixes were prepared, contained 30%,
40% and 50% iron filling waste with 5% plastic waste (M1, M2, M3). For waste modified-
concrete mixes M1, M2, and M3, the fresh density values were 0.04, 1.22, and 4.46% higher,
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respectively, than the fresh density value of the control mix. Whereby, the dry density for mixes
M1, M2, and M3 exceeds that of the plain mix by 3.39, 4.17, and 8.04%, respectively. It can be
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noticed that dry density values are slightly greater than fresh densities values for each mix This
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could be due to the pozzolanic effect of waste iron, which provided a surface around the waste
plastic that could react with the other constituents of the concrete and produce more dense
concrete following 28 days of curing.
(Chowdhury et al., 2013) concluded that reductions in bulk density are directly proportional to
plastic aggregate replacement and can be attributed to the low unit weight of plastic. (Hannawi et
al., 2010) observed a concrete dry density of 1643 kg/m3, which is lower than the minimum dry
density of 2000 kg/m3 required for structural lightweight concrete.
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Table - 2 Dry density and fresh density with respect to the mixture proportions (Rai et al., 2012)

Mix % Plastic Cement C.A F.A Waste w/c Mix Fresh Dry
(kg) (kg) (kg) Plastics Ratio Proportion Density (kg/m3) Density (kg/m3)

M30 0 423 1282 469.00 0.00 0.44 1:3.03.1.110:0.00 2600 2430

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M30 5 423 1282 445.20 08.76 0.44 1:3.03:1.052:0.021 2460 2320

M30 10 423 1282 421.73 17.50 0.44 1:3.03:0.997:0.042 2370 2260

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M30 15 423 1282 399.00 26.40 0.44 1:3.03:0.943:0.060 2340 2210

C. A - Coarse Aggregate, F. A - Fine Aggregate, W/C ratio - Water Cement Ratio

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Based on the literature review, it was also concluded that only the insertion of plastic fiber in the
concrete reduced the wet and dry density of the concrete as unit weight of waste plastic is less
than the concrete ingredients. Same behaviour for both wet and dry density was observed as

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density of plastic is not affected by water.However, the addition of minerals to the concrete
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reinforced with plastic fiber resulted in a greater dry density (Ismil and Al-Hashmi, 2010). The
mineral admixtures react with the matrix, and additional pozzolanic reactions improve the
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performance of concrete reinforced with plastic waste fiber.


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2.2 Mechanical Properties


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2.2.1 Compressive Strength

Compressive strength is the most important property on which the categorization of concrete
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depends. Before using concrete, it is important to know the compressive strength of the original
and treated concrete when any other material is used to replace the concrete ingredients. To
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understand the effect of addition of waste plastic in various forms, on compressive strength of
concrete, several studies carried out by researchers are summarized below and shown in Fig. 3.
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2.2.1.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


(Rahmani et al., 2013) observed that the 5% replacement of fine aggregates with PET particles
yields better results in compression. On 5% replacement compressive strength of concrete
increases by 8.86% and 11.97% for a water cement ratio 0.42 and 0.52 respectively. However,
with further increase in PET particles to 10% and 15% the compressive strength of concrete
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decreases due to weak cohesion between the texture and the PET particles. PET particles act as a
barrier and prevent the cement paste from adhering to natural aggregates. As a result, concrete
strength decreases gradually. (Saikia and Brito, 2014) studied the effect of the addition of three
different shape plastic particle such as shredded fine shaped (PF), shredded coarse shaped (PC)

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and heat treated pellet (PP) on the compressive strength of concrete. The study revealed the 28
days compressive strength of concrete with 5%, 10% and 15% PP aggregate is more than 75% of
the compressive strength of reference concrete. The 25% strength loss occurred due to the less

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interaction of PET- aggregate with cement paste and therefore weak interfacial transition zone
(ITZ). The strength achievement of PF and PC is less than the PP aggregate.

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2.2.1.2 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic fiber

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(Bhogayata et al., 2013) indicated that the targeted mean compressive strength of the controlled
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concrete was 42 MPa. The treated concrete was prepared using fiber prepared from metalized
polythene waste bags. The average size of the fibers was 1 mm x 2 mm, with proportions of 0%,
0.5%, 1%, and 1.5%. The compressive strength of the concrete, prepared with 1.5% metalized
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polythene fiber was reduced by 56.43%. This reduction in compressive strength likely resulted
from the presence of macro fibers in the concrete, which potentially interrupted the bonding and
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complete hydration of the cement paste and aggregates. (Bhogayata et al., 2012) investigated the
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effects of the addition of waste plastic in shredded form and manual hand cut fibers to concrete
on concrete strength. Overall, the strength of the concrete, prepared using hand cut manual fiber
decreased more than that of the concrete prepared using shredded fiber. Replacing more than
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0.6% of the concrete volume with fibers made from plastic bags with thicknesses of less than 20
microns reduced the strength by up to 30% relative to the control. When 1.2% of the concrete
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volume was replaced, the strength decreased by up to 50% relative to the control. These authors
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suggested that preparing concrete by adding polyethylene fibers with a thickness of less than 20
microns could be suitable for non structural works in which the strength of the concrete is not a
primary concern.
(Ramadevi and Manju, 2012) observed that the compressive strength increased when up to 2%
of the fine aggregates were replaced with PET bottle fibers and gradually decreased when 4%
and 6% of the fine aggregates were replaced. The strength of the concrete with 2% PET bottle
fiber increased by 19.23% relative to the control concrete mixture. Thus, the replacement of 2%
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of the fine aggregates is reasonable. (Malagaveli, 2011) showed that the compressive strength
increased at 7 and 28 days when 3.5% HDPE fiber was added. The compressive strength
increased by 7.69% after 28 days of curing when 3.5% HDPE fiber was added. When more than
3.5% was added, the strength of the concrete began to decrease. (Bhogayata et al., 2012)

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indicated that the control concrete had a compressive strength of 26.65 MPa following normal
curing. The maximum compressive strength of a sample cured in acid was 25.42 MPa, which
was similar to that of the control sample. Overall, the results showed that sulphate curing of the

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concrete for up to 60 days with 0.5% metalized polyethylene fiber resulted in the same strength
pattern as that of normal curing. The addition of fibers with combinations of fly ash showed

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relatively good chemical resistance without any significant losses in strength. (Prahallada and
parkash, 2013) observed an increasing trend of compressive strength up to an aspect ratio 50.

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The percentage of the compressive strength increase was 11%. Beyond an aspect ratio of 50, a
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decrease in the compressive strength was observed.

2.2.1.3 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces


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(Rai et al., 2012) reported the effects of adding superplasticizer on the mechanical properties of
waste plastic flakes in concrete. In this case, 15% of the fine aggregates were replaced with
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waste plastic flakes, and the compressive strength was reduced to 9.52%. The strength decreased
due to the lower adhesive property of the plastic surface relative to the cement paste. However,
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after replacing 15% of the sand with waste plastic flakes in the concrete mix, the compressive
strength increased by 5%. (Cordoba et al., 2013) reported that the optimal size of PET plastic
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flakes in concrete is 1.5 mm when 2.5% of the fine aggregates are replaced. The PET plastic
flake sizes used in this study were 0.5 mm, 1.5 mm, and 3 mm, and the percentages of
replacement were 1%, 2.5%, and 5% by volume. It was also reported that the compressive
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strength value of concrete made with PET depends on (a) the PET flakes, (b) the concentration
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of PET flakes, and (c) the curing time. Scanning electron microscopy results indicated that the
compressive strength of concrete improves when smaller PET particle sizes are used at lower
concentrations.
(Raghatate, 2012) concluded that the compressive strength of concrete is affected by the
addition of plastic pieces. For concrete, prepared with 0.20%, 0.40%, 0.60%, 0.80%, and 1.00%
plastic, the strength decreased as the percentage of plastic increased. The addition of 1% plastic
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in concrete resulted in a strength reduction of approximately 20% after 28 days of curing.


(Suganthy et al., 2013) concluded that a gradual decrease in strength occurred when
replacements of up to 25% were used, and that the strength rapidly decreased when replacements
of 25% to 50% were used. When more than 50% of sand was replaced with plastic materials, the

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variations in the concrete strength were small. The granular pulverized plastic used in this
experiment varied from 1-1.7 mm. (Mahdi et al., 2010) concluded that the compressive strength
of concrete with a PET to glycol ratio of 2:1 is more than that of concrete with a ratio of 1:1.

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Higher PET to glycol ratios were not investigated because they would cause the polymer
components to become brittle. This experiment was conducted between three distinct groups.

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The groups were divided based on the glycol ratio and the initiator used. The initiator promoter
combinations taken were Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP) and cobalt naphthanate (CoNp)

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in group I while Benzoil peroxide (BPO) and N, N-diethyl aniline (NNDA) in group II and III.
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The compressive strength of the polymer concrete in group I is greater than that in group II. In
addition, the compressive strength of the polymer concrete in group III is greater than that of
group IV. This result may be caused by the presence of phthalic anhydride in groups I and III,
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which provide better sites for the formation of cross chains.


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0%

45
5%
10%

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40
15%
Compressive Strength N/mm²

0.05%

0.3%
0.18%

35
0%

0%

2.5%

30
EP

1%

5%

25
20
15
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10
AC

5
0
Saikia and Brito,2014 Pelliser et al., 2012 Cordoba et al., 2013
(Plastic Particles ) (PET Fibre) (Plastic Flakes)

Figure-3 Effect of addition/repalcement of different forms of plastic on compressive strength of


concrete
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The majority of researchers observed that addition of waste plastic in various forms such as
flakes, shredded form, pellet, polyethylene fiber, granular pulverized plastic and PET plastic
flakes results in reduction in compressive strength of concrete, as shown in Fig. 3. (Frigione,
2010) reported that lower adhesive strength between the plastic surface and the cement paste is

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the reason of the reduction of compressive strength. However, few researchers (Malagaveli,
2011; Ramadevi and Manju, 2012; Pelliser et al., 2012; Rahmani et al., 2013; Prahallada and
parkash, 2013) observed that addition of PET and HDPE fiber in small amount results in an

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increase in compressive strength but addition of large amount of PET particles reduce the
strength (Saikia and Brito, 2014) as shown in Figure 2. The mechanical property of PET and

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HDPE are better as compared to polyethylene fibers which results in improvement in the strength
of concrete. The aspect ratio of fiber also plays the significant role in performance of concrete.

2.2.2 Split tensile strength


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The split tensile strength of concrete is generally calculated to understand the behavior of
concrete in tension The direct measurement of tensile strength of concrete is difficult. As, It is
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almost impossible to apply truly axial load in direct tension. So, behavior of concrete in tension
is studied by doing indirect testing of concrete in tension. The split tensile test is a good indirect
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method of finding out the tensile strength of concrete. The effect of the addition/replacement of
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various types of plastic with on the split tensile strength of concrete is discussed below.

2.2.2.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


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(Rahmani et al., 2013) reported the tensile strength decreases due to the negative effect of
smooth surface texture on the bond strength and increased surface area of PET particles as
compared to sand. (Sikia and Brito, 2014) revealed that the split tensile strength starts
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decreasing as the amount of PET particles increases. The maximum and minimum reduction
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were observed in PET flaky coarse aggregate (PC) and heat treated PET particles (PP). The
worst performance observed for PC is attributed to the high w/c ratios of these mixes. The
splitting tensile strength of concrete is strongly influenced by the characteristics of the interfacial
transition zone (ITZ). The smooth surface of the plastic particles and the free water at the surface
of plastic aggregate can cause a weaker bonding between these particles and the cement paste. In
case of concrete containing PP particles, after reaching the ultimate strength, most of the PP in
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the concrete matrix do not fail, but they are debonded from the cement paste, which is additional
evidence of the poorer bonding between the PP and the cement paste.

2.2.2.2 Effect of replacement/ addition of plastic fiber

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(Bhogayata et al., 2013) reported that the addition of fibers at up to 1.5% reduces the split tensile
strength by 43%. Overall, 93 specimens were cast, including controlled concrete and concrete
mixed with polyethylene fibers (1 mm x 2 mm), in proportions of 0% to 1.5% and at intervals of

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0.5%. Fly ash was also added in different proportions, varying from 0% to 30%. The maximum
tensile strength of the control concrete was 3.96 MPa, which was reduced to 2.26 MPa after

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addition of up to 1.5% plastic fibers (by volume). Reductions in the surface tensile strength were
negligible when plastic fibers were added at 0.5% to 1%. The surface tensile strength of the

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controlled concrete was 1.36 MPa. After adding plastic fibers at 1.5% by volume, the surface
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tensile strength was reduced to 0.65 MPa. The addition of plastic fibers reduced the surface
tensile strength of the control concrete by 56%. (Ramadevi and Manju, 2012) concluded that the
split tensile strength of cylinder increases upto 2% replacement of the fine aggregates with PET
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bottle fibers and then decreases slightly with further increase in replacement (4% and 6%) of fine
aggregates with PET bottle fibers. The replacement of 2% of fine aggregates is reasonable
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because it results in a high split tensile strength relative to other percentages. However, some
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studies have shown increment of split tensile strength, but most studies have indicated lower
tensile strength. (Malagaveli, 2011) conducted an experiment to evaluate the split tensile strength
of concrete at the ages of 7 and 28 days with HDPE fiber contents of 0 to 6%. Overall, the split
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tensile strength increased by 14% when the fiber content was 3.5% and began to decrease when
the HDPE fiber content was increased from 3.5 to 6%.
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A study performed by (prahallada and parkash, 2013) indicated that the split tensile strength
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increased up to an aspect ratio of 50 and that the tensile strength decreased beyond an aspect
ratio of 50. The tensile strength increased by 13%. (Nibudey et al., 2013) observed that the
tensile strength increased for aspect ratios of 35 and 50 when fibers were added at 1%. The
controlled specimen strength was 3.48 MPa, and strengths of 3.87 MPa and 4.13 MPa were
observed after the addition of fiber at aspect ratios of 35 and 50. The waste plastic used with a
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specified aspect ratio in the concrete performed better than the concrete that directly included
shredded plastic fiber waste.

2.2.2.3 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces


(Raghatate, 2012) elucidated the increments of split tensile strength across increments of

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different percentages of plastic pieces. The addition of 0 to 1% of plastic pieces was conducted
successively using 0.2% intervals. The test results were evaluated at 7, 14 and 28 days. The split

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tensile strength results following 28 days indicated that the strength increased by 26% when
plastic pieces were added at 0.8% and then decreased when greater amounts of plastic pieces

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were added. (Albano et al., 2009) reported the split tensile strength starts decreasing as the
different sizes of PET aggregates are added in the concrete mix.

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It can be concluded from the literature that the tensile strength of concrete with encapsulated
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plastic only increases slightly when small amounts of plastic are used and then decreases as more
plastic fiber is used due to the less effective utilization of plastic for plastic fiber bridging action.
Moreover, the strength of the concrete, largely depends on the amount of plastic added to the
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concrete, the size of the plastic, the physical and mechanical properties of the plastic, the
treatment of the plastic by any chemical before inclusion into the concrete and the uniform
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mixing of the plastic in the concrete. These parameters require more attention to develop precise
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methods for creating effective plastic fiber reinforced concrete.

2.2.3 Flexural Strength


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The ability of structural member to resist failure in bending is termed as flexural strength. The
flexural strength of concrete is evaluated by three point loading or four point loading test. The
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affect of addition/replacement of different forms of plastics on flexural strength of concrete is


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discussed below.

2.2.3.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


(Saikia and Brito, 2014) concluded that the flexural strength of concrete decreases as the amount
of PET particles increases. In the study fine aggregates were replaced with 5% 10% and 15%
PET particles were replaced with PET aggregates. It is concluded that as the amount of any type
of PET-aggregate in concrete increases the flexural strength decreases. However, the heat treated
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PET particles (PP) performed well as compared to PET flaky fine aggregate (PF) and Pet flaky
coarse aggregate (PC). The post cracking strength improves on replacement by PC and PF
aggregates due to their shape and sizes. It was also observed during the testing the PC and PF
particles bridged the crack and prevented brittle failure of the specimen during the test.

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2.2.3.2 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic fiber
(Rai et al., 2012) reported that the flexural strength of concrete decreases with the addition of

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plastic fiber. When fiber is added from 5% to 15%, flexural strength decreases from 4 MPa to 3
MPa. In addition, it was reported that superplasticizers do not significantly affect flexural

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strength and that the surfaces of plastic waste fibers decrease the adhesive strength between the
matrix surfaces. (Malagaveli, 2011) concluded that the maximum flexural strength was obtained
following the addition of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) fiber at 3.5% (by volume). In this

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case, the addition of HDPE improved the flexural strength of the concrete by 17.47% relative to
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the control. The author concluded that a maximum of 2% fiber could be used for strength
purposes. (Ramadevi and Manju,2012) concluded that replacing up to 2% of PET fiber with fine
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aggregates increased the flexural strength of the concrete, which gradually increased up to 4%
and remained constant after 6%. The maximum flexural (45.77%) was greater relative to the
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control when 4% PET fiber was used. (Irwan et al., 2013) showed that the flexural strength
increased relative to the control when up to 1% of plastic fiber was added.
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(Prahallada and parkash, 2013) reported results from waste plastic fibers prepared with aspect
ratios of 30, 50, 70, 90, and 110. These authors observed that the flexural strength generally
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increased up to an aspect ratio of 50 and decreased as the aspect ratio increased beyond 50. The
percentage increased in flexural strength was 10%.
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2.2.3.3 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces


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(Ismail and Al-Hashmi, 2010) reported the addition of 5 and 10% plastic granular waste and 0 to
50% iron improved the flexural strength of the waste modified-concrete specimen. By changing
the iron content, the adhesive property improved because additional pozzolanic reactions
occurred. (Batayneh et al., 2007; Saikia and Brito, 2013) revealed that the flexural strength
decreased as the plastic waste aggregate content in the concrete increased.
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0%
0%

0.3%
5%

0.18%
0.05%
5

10%

5%
15%

0%

10%
4

PT 15%
3

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2

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1

0
(Plastic Particle) (PET Fibre) Plastic Pallets

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Saikia and Brito et al., 2014 Pelliser et al., 2012 (Rai et al., 2012)
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Figure-4 Effect of addition/replacement of different forms of plastic on flexural strength of
concrete
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According to the literature, the flexural strength of concrete, largely depends on the elastic
properties of the fiber and the concrete bending energy absorption. The maximum bending stress
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of concrete occurs at its outer fibers. From Fig. 4 it can be observed that with
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addition/replacement of plastic particles/pelletes the flexural strength of concrete decreases and it


further decreases with increase in percentage replacement as larger percentage hinder the matrix
reaction and cause of reduction in strength (Saikia and Brito, 2014; Rai et al., 2013). However,
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when PET fibers are added in concrete the flexural strength of concrete slightly increases.

2.2.4 Modulus of Elasticity


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Previously, few studies have assessed the modulus of elasticity of plastic fiber reinforced
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concrete relative to plastic fiber mortar. The effect of the addition of various forms of plastic on
the modulus of elasticity of concrete is illustrated below

2.2.4.1 Effect of replacement/addition of PET particles


(Rahmani et al., 2013) concluded the reduction in modulus of elasticity of concrete can be due to
small modulus of elasticity of PET particles and this reduction has an approximate linear
relationship with the increase of PET particle content. (Saikia and Brito, 2014) reported that the
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PET flaky coarse particles (PC) and PET flaky fine particles (PF) contained concrete have lower
modulus of concrete due to the porous concrete. The reason reported for porous concrete is the
higher W/C ratio and lower modulus of elasticity of PET particles as compared with natural
aggregate.

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2.2.4.2 Effect of replacement/addition of plastic flakes/pellets/small pieces
(Cordoba et al., 2013) determined the modulus of elasticity when using plastic particle sizes of

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0.5 mm, 1.5 mm, and 3.0 mm with distinct volume percentages of 1, 2.5 and 5%. The highest
modulus of elasticity was obtained with 1.5 mm PET particles at a concentration of 2.5% by

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volume following 28 days of curing. The minimum modulus of elasticity was obtained for a PET
particle size of 3.0 mm and at a concentration of 5% by volume following 28 days of curing.

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(Mathew et al., 2013) observed the modulus of elasticity of the plastic coarse aggregate
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decreased by 22.12% relative to the natural coarse aggregates containing concrete. (Hannawi et
al., 2010; Choi, 2009) reported that the modulus of elasticity decreased as the plastic content
changed. (Irwan et al., 2013) reported that the modulus of elasticity improved from 24 GPa to 26
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GPa when 0.5% PET (by volume) was added and decreased when additional amounts of PET
were added.
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The aggregate in concrete play a substantial roll for quantify the mechanical properties of
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concrete. Majority of research shows any form of plastic decrease the modulus of elasticity of
concrete. This property of concrete is degraded due to less modulus of elasticity of plastic.
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2.2.5 Thermal Conductivity

(Fraternali et al., 2011) measured the effective thermal conductivities of UNRC (Unreinforced
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Concrete), RPETFRC/a (Recycled PET Fiber Reinforced Concrete) and PPFRC (Polypropylene
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Fiber Reinforced Concrete) by using the experimental apparatus described by (Frattolillo et al.,
2003). A prismatic specimen with a size of 19.5 cm x 19.5 cm x 3 cm was inserted into the
measurement chamber and subjected to heat transfer using electrical resistance at the top of the
chamber and a water cooling system at the bottom of the chamber. The effective thermal
conductivity was measured using the one-dimensional steady state comparative method. The
thermal conductivity of RPETFRC and PPFRC decreased by 20% relative to UNRC, as shown in
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Table 3. (Dweik et al., 2008) reported that the thermal insulation properties of cement mortar
blocks improved when sand was replaced with melamine formaldehyde solid waste.

Table-3 Thermal conductivities of the specimens (Fraternali et al., 2011)

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Mixture k¯ (W/mK) 95% CI (W/mK) FRR %
UNRC 0.967 0.284 0.0
RPETFRC/a 0.793 0.251 -18.0

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PPFRC 0.756 0.139 -21.8

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2.2.6 Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Test (UPVT)

The Ultrasonic pulse velocity test is carried out to investigate homogeneity and structure of

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concrete. Currently, few studies are available for assessing the UPV (ultrasonic pulse velocity) of
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concrete containing plastic. The previous studies show that plastic contained concrete has lower
UPV due to development of pores.
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(Rahamani et al., 2013) observed the reduction in UPV with an addition and increase in PET
particle content in the concrete. The addition of PET particles makes concrete porous. Therefore,
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lower ultrasonic pulse velocity were recorded for concrete containing PET contents. The water-
cement ratio also affects the UPV. The higher water cement ratio leaves surplus water in the
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pores of concrete, which results in formation of empty holes during the dehydration leading to a
reduction in the UPV. (Albano et al., 2009) also reported the reduction in the propagation rate of
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ultrasonic pulse. (Araghi et al., 2015) assessed the effect of sulfuric acid curing on the ultrasonic
pulse velocity of concrete with addition of 0%, 5%, 10% and 15% PET particle in concrete, and
based on the results, it was concluded that ultrasonic wave velocity decreased by 32.56%,
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22.56%, 32.75% and 20.7% respectively. It has been also concluded that the 15% PET particle
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induced concrete has better integrity and higher density.

Most studies have considered the permeability, carbonation depth, drying shrinkage and water
sorptivity to assess the properties of mortars mixed with plastic fiber. Previously, little data was
provided regarding the above property including frost resistant for assessing the various
properties of plastic fiber reinforced concrete. The durability of plastic fiber reinforced concrete
requires more attention and substantial research.
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3. Various field applications of plastic fiber reinforced concrete

Although countable practical structures and structural parts have been constructed of plastic
containing concrete, the worldwide use of plastic fiber in construction without compromising
strength requires deeper and deterministic research regarding the utilization of waste material in

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concrete. Concrete containing plastics have been used in various projects and countries. (Sasaki,
2006) reported that PET fiber reinforced concrete was successfully used in the Hishikari mine

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(Gold Mine) located in Kagoshima, Japan. Evaluation of surfaces sprayed with PET fibers
showed that the surfaces were relatively smooth with no cracking, uplifting or deviation. A

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volumetric content of 0.3% and PET fibers of 30 mm were adopted in this application. The
benefits of using fiber were observed during the addition of PET fibers to the matrix.

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Furthermore, no pipe clogging or fiber ball formation was observed during the application.
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(Ochi et al., 2007) reported that PET fiber reinforced concrete was applied to a bush road
between Hayatogawa and Kanazawa in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. In this case, 0.75% of
the volumetric fiber content was used. The PET fiber was mixed by an agitator truck and then
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applied on the road with a thickness of 13 cm. To assess the matrix, a survey was conducted after
6 months and after flaws was no longer observed in the pavement. The PET fiber reinforced
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concrete was also used in March 2004 ‘Ehime’ to form the slope where steel fiber replaces the
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sea front. In August 2004 and 2005, plastic fibers were used in two distinct tunnels, the Fukuoka
and Tottori tunnels. The length of fiber was 40 mm in both applications. In September 2005,
plastic fibers were used to construct a bridge pier in Kanagawa and the crack extension
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substantially decreased. (Chowdhury et al., 2013) reported the use of shredded PET fiber as an
aggregate for producing concrete building blocks and observed that blocks with PET fibers have
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greater weather resistance, less foundation stress due to their lighter weight, good sound
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insulation properties, better shock absorption, and require less labor to make the blocks because
the mixture is lighter. The successful application of PET bottles was demonstrated in a PET
bottle house that was prepared by William F. Peak in 1902 in Tonopha, Nevada. Vargas et al.,
reported the full scale 1 m x 3 m size slab prepared by recyclable PET bottles, aluminum cans
and Tetra Pak cartons, used as an in fill material. The flexure strength of specimen was 36 kN
whereas the refrence specimen attained 31 kN. Prototypes with reusable packaging showed a
20% reduction in density also. Several valuable examples are available for evaluating the
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benefits of using plastic fibers in construction work. Various environmental issues can be
resolved by using plastic in concrete.

4. Conclusion

1. From the literature review, it can be concluded that the direct inclusion of plastic in

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concrete does not effectively improve the strength of concrete. However, it is useful to
treat plastic surfaces with reactive materials, such as iron slag, silica fume, and

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metakaolin. In this case, the treated surface will react with the matrix and produce
additional pozzolanic reactions.

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2. Workability of concrete containing waste plastic begins to decrease as the amount of
waste plastic increases (Batayneh et al., 2006, Rai et al., 2012, Pelisser, 2012; Rahamani

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et al., 2013).
3. Addition of plastics in concrete, compressive strength of the concrete decreases.
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However, by using suitable mineral admixtures (Ismail and Al-Hashmi, 2008; Choi et al.,
2005, 2009 ) and chemically treated plastic such as alkaline bleach treatment (bleach +
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NaOH) (Naik et al., 1996) the performance of plastic fiber reinforced concrete can
improved
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4. Addition of limited percentages of plastic in concrete has resulted in small improvements


in the tensile strength of concrete (Batayneh et al., 2006). The increments of tensile
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strength improvement result from the bridging actions of the fibers in the concrete.
5. The flexural strength of concrete improves with the addition of plastic fibers in concrete.
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The plastic in concrete works like a crack arrester during the propagation of the crack
(Pelisser, 2012). Hence, improvements in ductility are also observed in concrete that is
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reinforced with plastic fiber relative to conventional concrete.


6. The modulus of elasticity of plastic fiber reinforced concrete decreases as the plastic
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content increases in any form (Cordoba et al., 2013; Rahamani et al., 2013 Hannawi et
al., 2010, Irwan et al., 2013, Pelisser, 2012).
7. Durability of plastic fiber reinforced concrete is a major concern. Thus, extensive
research of durability parameters is required because little literature is available regarding
these parameters.
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8. Mixing fibers in concrete is one major problem in the production of fiber reinforced
concrete. The properties of concrete vary as the plastic fiber content in concrete varies.
Thus, future research should focused on establishing a method for mixing plastic fiber in
concrete, the shape of plastic fibers, the specified aspect ratios of plastic fibers, and the

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surface properties of plastic fibers so that the fibers adhered to the concrete mix.
9. Plastic fiber reinforced concrete can be used for structures that are not subjected to heavy
loads, such as park benches and stone curb. This can lead to reduce the amount of waste

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plastic.
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