Utilization of shredded waste plastic bags to improve impact and abrasion resistance of concrete

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Plastic bags (PB) have become a requisite part of human beings in the present time. Hundreds of varieties of plastic bags are used for packing and protecting general things. The disposal of PB is a prime environmental problem which significantly threatens the environment, as its disposal affects fertility of land due to its non-biodegradable nature; it lowers useful land area and generates toxic gases on incineration. Hence, there is a requirement of useful applications for these increased quantities of wastes. The usage of waste plastic bags (WPB) in concrete not only solve dumping crisis of WPB but also yields cost-effective concrete, which is worthy to both plastic recycling and construction industry. In this study, the influence of shredded WPB as fine aggregate on the properties of concrete was evaluated. The replacement of WPB was maintained at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20% by weight of fine aggregate. The finding of the tested samples showed that the workability, density, compressive strength, flexural strength, static and dynamic modulus of elasticity of concrete samples decreased with increase in the WPB content, while penetrability to water increased. Microstructural analysis of the plastic waste concrete (PWC) specimens was carried out using scanning electron microscope. The microstructural studies indicated the presence of voids and openings between mortar matrix and WPB which was the main reason for the inferior properties of PWC. However, there has been a significant improvement in abrasion resistance, impact resistance and energy absorption capacity of PWC.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, for financial support of this study (No. DST/SSTP/Rajasthan/331).

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Correspondence to Trilok Gupta.

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Jain, A., Siddique, S., Gupta, T. et al. Utilization of shredded waste plastic bags to improve impact and abrasion resistance of concrete. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 337–362 (2020).

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  • Plastic bags
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Impact resistance
  • Energy absorption capacity
  • Microstructural analysis