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Title: Durability performance of coarse crushed concrete aggregate structural concrete
Author: Dodds, Wayne J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 1838
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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Crushed or recycled concrete aggregates (CCA/RCA) is an increasingly popular material as a replacement for natural aggregates in concrete due to industry demands for more recycled, lower carbon and responsibly sourced materials. In the UK, the majority of CCA is utilised in non-structural applications such as: a general fill material, road base/subbase or in low-grade concrete. Recycled aggregate producers however, are seeking new ways to incorporate CCA into higher value applications such as structural concrete to increase profits. Opportunities to incorporate CCA into structural concrete may also arise because of project demands for sustainability or in situations where natural aggregates are in short supply. Limited research has been published regarding the effect of coarse CCA on the durability of structural concrete, particularly in respect to water and chloride ion ingress and possibility of corrosion initiation. The aim of this EngD research programme was to investigate the effect of coarse CCA and supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) on the durability performance of structural concrete, with particular emphasis on the key liquid transport mechanisms within concrete, namely absorption by capillary action, diffusion and migration. This addressed an industry concern regarding the detrimental effect of coarse CCA which has resulted in a limit on replacement levels of coarse natural aggregates in structural concrete, as defined in Eurocodes and local national standards for concrete. In this study, structural concrete was produced with varying levels of coarse CCA replacement (up to 100%), from five different sources and/or structural elements across the UK, with various combinations of SCMs to replace in part the Portland cement. Petrographic analysis was used as an innovative technique to characterise the coarse CCA sources to determine suitability which yielded positive results. The durability performance of the resultant concrete was analysed by exposing the concrete to aggressive chloride environments. The results indicate that the inclusion of coarse CCA, even as low as 20%, had a detrimental effect on the durability performance of structural concrete, in relation to absorption by capillary action, diffusion and migration. This effect however, can be offset through the use of SCMs, which have been shown to outperform control Portland cement concrete with 100% natural aggregates in durability performance tests. The results also suggest that cementitious materials had a greater influence on durability performance than the type and source of coarse aggregates used. It is recommended that the replacement of natural aggregate with coarse CCA be limited to 30% in cases where compliance with the 28 day characteristic strength is of particular importance. If the criterion for compliance at 28 days can be relaxed and the compressive cube strength of concretes with SCMs tested at later ages for conformity (56 or 90 days), then higher quantities of coarse CCA may be incorporated up to 60% to produce a more sustainable structural concrete. It is recommended that Portland cement is partially replaced with 50% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) to produce a CEM III/A concrete. This is a significant step towards the potential wider implementation of coarse CCA in structural concrete, provided a suitable quantity of SCM is adopted along with a reliable and consistent source of coarse CCA.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Crushed concrete aggregates ; Recycled concrete aggregates ; Durability ; Chloride ion ingress ; Corrosion initiation