Sustainable utilization of waste tire-chips reinforced copper tailings as structural fill

  • Gourav GillEmail author
  • Ravi Kant Mittal
  • Rahul Dandautiya
  • Nilesh Purohit


One of the major wastes from mining and automobile sectors is tailings and waste tires, respectively. Their voluminous nature calls for urgent action for safe disposal and to reduce the growing threat on the environment. Under the present study, laboratory model footing and toxicity characteristics leaching procedure (TCLP) tests were conducted on tire chip-reinforced copper tailings (TRCT) to explore the feasibility of its use as structural fill and its potential impact on surroundings. Parameters considered for the laboratory study were tire chip quantity, relative density of copper tailings and depth of reinforced zone. The test results indicate that there is a significant enhancement in bearing capacity of copper tailing at all the studied strains by the addition of waste tires. Bearing capacity increased by more than nine times compared to unreinforced tailings when reinforced with 30% tire chips by weight. The TCLP tests conducted on copper tailings established that concentrations of the leached elements were well below the regulatory standards. Furthermore, a neural network model was trained via the experimental results of the tests to quickly predict the bearing capacity of TRCT for quick use in field applications. Therefore, the proposed technique can help in the effective waste management and safe disposals of large quantities of copper tailings as well as waste tires and also promoting sustainability in construction.


Copper tailings Waste tire chips Model footing tests Bearing capacity ratio Mining waste utilization 



Authors are thankful to the Department of Civil Engineering, BITS Pilani, Rajasthan, India, for aiding the testing program. We are deeply grateful to the Editor and Anonymous reviewers for giving their valuable time and suggestions for improving the quality of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors reported no potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringPilani Campus, BITSPilaniIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPilani Campus, BITSPilaniIndia

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