Recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) for structural purposes
The possibility of using demolished concrete waste as aggregate in fresh concrete in the production of prestressed concrete beams is checked in this research. As opposed to the use for road foundations or as fill-in material the use of the Recycled Aggregate (RA) for concrete structures requires more tests and processing of results. In fact to be able to use a material for construction it is essential to assess more than just its compressive strength. After the physical and chemical characteristics of the RA and the properties of both the wet and hardened Recycled Aggregate Concrete (RAC) have been determined, it is important to check if the mathematical models and numerical correlation normally used for design of ordinary concrete (such as mix-design procedure, design codes, non-linear analysis) are suitable for RAC. For this reason the main task of this investigations has been to ensure that RAC has satisfactory mechanical performance for structural use and later to guarantee a consistency of the results using methods checked for RAC. A mix-design procedure suitable for RAC to attain the desired workability and the target strength was the first step. Tests on durability of RA and RAC have been performed and the results reported. Finally three 15.0 metres span prestressd beams cast with different percentages of RA (one with 100% of RA, one with 100% of Natural Aggregate NA, and one with 50% of RA and 50% of NA) have been tested. The results show that it is practicable to make prestressed concrete elements using concrete made with Recycled Aggregate and that these elements can have satisfactory and predictable mechanical performance.