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Recycling waste rubber tyres in construction materials and associated environmental considerations: A review
journal contributionposted on 27.04.2021, 03:44 authored by Abbas Mohajerani, Lucas Burnett, John V Smith, Stefan Markovski, Glen Rodwell, Md Tareq Rahman, Halenur Kurmus, Mehdi MirzababaeiMehdi Mirzababaei, Arul Arulrajah, Suksun Horpibulsuk, Farshid Maghool
Waste tyres and their accumulation is a global environmental concern; they are not biodegradable, and, globally, an estimated 1.5 billion are generated annually. Waste tyres in landfill and stockpiles are renowned for leaching toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment, acting as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and fuelling inextinguishable fires. The properties of waste tyre rubber and engineering applications have been previously reported in a range of publications with respect to the environmental, economic, and technical factors. This study compiles and reviews this research with a focus on geotechnical engineering applications, such as earthworks and infrastructure construction. The applications of waste rubber in construction materials includes cementitious concrete, asphalt concrete, and granular materials for earth structures. Crumb rubber, when used as a sand replacement in flowable concrete fill, improved ductility and strength-to-weight ratio. A 40 MPa concrete mix with 0.6% rubber crumb content exhibited optimal strength and air entrainment capabilities, displaying minimal damage after 56 freeze/thaw cycles. Rubber, as a partial replacement for aggregate in road base and sub-base layers, adversely affected the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) of the graded aggregate base course. Rubber-soil mixtures as the interface of foundation and structure yielded a 60–70 % reduction in vertical and horizontal ground accelerations when subjected to earthquake simulation modelling. There is concern regarding the toxicity of waste rubber incorporated products due to leachates of heavy metals and other chemicals common in tyres. Further comprehensive studies in this area are needed. Leachate studies should be conducted under different pH and liquid to solid ratios.