Recycling of demolished masonry rubble
The recycling of demolished masonry rubble as the coarse aggregate in new concrete represents an interesting possibility at a time when the cost of dumping such material is on the increase. With growing concerns over the environmental impact of aggregate extraction and the continued rise in aggregate demand in the UK, it is clear that the market is now there for recycled and secondary aggregates. The present investigation consists of experimental and theoretical studies into the effects of using recycled aggregates to produce concrete instead of virgin aggregates. The aggregates used have been recycled from construction and demolition waste. The recycled aggregates were predominately made up of crushed bricks but the aggregates did contain impurities such as timber and mortar. New bricks were crushed to form an aggregate in order to investigate the properties of brick as a material without impurities. The physical properties of the various aggregates were firstly examined and compared with granite aggregate, an aggregate proven in the production of good quality concrete. Concrete was then produced with the aggregates and all the physical and mechanical properties of the concretes were examined in some detail. The results showed that recycled masonry aggregates can be used successfully to produce· concrete of an acceptable standard. New test methods were presented in this investigation to determine brick porosity and water absorption. This involved the testing of broken brick fragments under vacuum, rather than the testing of whole brick units by 5hrs boiling or 24hrs submersion in cold water. The new test methods proved to be easy to perform and provided accurate results. A new test method for estimating the strength of bricks was presented. This involved point-loading of masonry specimens to obtain strength index values. From the pointload results, equations were presented relating the strength index values of brick fragments to the compressive strength of whole brick units. This involved the development of shape factors for different masonry specimens. The point-load test is easy to perform, presents a cheaper alternative to heavy compression machines and can be used on site to determine the suitability of recycled bricks as the aggregate in new concrete.