Research Attempting To Expand The Use Of Recycled Concrete

Pile of rubble and concrete

In the demolition industry, recycling concrete has been a goal on many projects for years. At Demolition Technologies, we have expansive capabilities for material recycling, including on-site concrete crushing. We make concrete recycling an integral part of projects as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship. There's more that can be done, however. Research currently being conducted by a team at Notre Dame University is examining how recycled concrete can be used in new structures and bridges as more than just aggregate.While is the most commonly used construction material worldwide, it's also the most significant environmental impact. Mining, transportation and processing operations required to produce concrete require a great deal of energy, and these operations negatively affect the surrounding environment, notably forested areas and riverbeds.Because of the significant environmental impact made by producing new concrete, any additional efforts to recycle and reuse more concrete is substantial. Add to the fact that concrete use is at an all-time high. Of all the concrete that has ever been produced on Earth, more than half was produced in the past 20 years.That high usage isn't likely to go away soon, either. Experts look at the current state of the country's infrastructure and see a looming demand as old buildings require concrete for repairs, renovations, and re-builds. Being able to prepare for this increase in demand will either require more environmentally harmful operations, or an increase in the re-use of concrete.Not only does more concrete need to be recycled, but the capabilities of recycled concrete need to be expanded. Currently, the use of recycled concrete in the US is largely as aggregate in non-structural applications. These would be sidewalks and roadways, even though the quality of the material is often higher than what is required in those projects.The primary concern over using recycled concrete in structural applications has been the variability of recycled materials, and how that might affect strength, stiffness and durability. These are major concerns for concrete structures, but this research aims to discover the actual influence recycled concrete has on these categories and whether concerns are warranted.This area of study has been largely ignored to this point, while most research in this field has instead concentrated on the partial replacement of concrete with industrial by-products such as fly ash, slag and silica fume. If the Notre Dame's research is successful, they'll be able to recommend actions that can conserve coarse aggregate.We at Demolition Technologies keep a close eye on developing technology and recycling processes in order to be as efficient and proficient in our efforts as possible. To learn more about us, we invite you to call 918-379-0966.