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Use and assessment of “e-plastics” as recycled aggregates in cement mortar

Makri, Chrysanthi, Hahladakis, John N., Gidarakos, Evangelos
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.379 pp. 120776
cement, compression strength, electronic wastes, mechanical properties, modulus of elasticity, plastics, porosity, recycled plastic, water uptake
In this study we investigated the physical and mechanical properties of cement mortars, partially replaced with plastic (recycled plastic aggregate, RPA) recovered from WEEE (namely, “e-plastics”). The plastic housing of 14 LCD screens was sampled and, subsequently, compositionally and elementally analysed. Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), being the most commonly found polymer in WEEE, was used as aggregate in the cement mortar. The replacement percentages (RPs) used were 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, 10% and 12.5%, while the water to cement (w/c) ratio was maintained constant at 0.5 in all tests. The basic properties (e.g. compressive strength (CS), modulus of elasticity (MoE), density (ρ), porosity (Φ) and water absorption (WA)) of the created specimens were investigated. The obtained results, for all RPs, (especially those of 7.5% and 10%) exhibited an increase in the CS of the specimens by 15.4% and 7.8%, respectively, with the MoE decreased in both cases by 18.1% and 23.8%, respectively. The rest of the examined specimens’ physical properties measured (ρ, Φ, and WA) indicated, also, greater strength but lower ductility than the reference (standard) specimen. Concluding, the use of recovered plastics from WEEE as recycled aggregates (RAs) in cement could potentially be proved a useful downcycling alternative for waste plastics.