WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Researchers have found a way to make non-recyclable glass an ingredient in making polymer concrete.
- The innovation can help not just the world’s environment but it could also be good news for its economy.
- The concept gives a new use for waste glass instead of simply going to a landfill.
A company has found a way to replace sand used in the making of concrete with crushed non-recyclable glass. This could mean a lot both for the world’s environment and for its economy.
Researchers from Australia found that ground-up glass can be used to make polymer concrete. In turn, polymer concrete can replace lime-type cement. Polymer cement is water-resistant and high-strength, making it ideal for heavy traffic areas like airports and service stations.
Also, this means that glass that couldn’t be recycled into newer glass now has another use.
Dr. Riyadh Al-Ameri from the Deakin School of Engineering in Victoria said, “We have found that substituting sand with ground recycled glass makes the polymer concrete stronger and is a sustainable use of one of the major types of recyclables in the domestic waste stream.”
Alan Travers, products director for Melbourne-based company Orca Civil Products which helped with the research, says the stockpiling of waste glass is “becoming a community problem.” The glass-turned-concrete material has been successfully used for industrial flooring. Travers also says that the concept really appeals to them as natural, mined sands are predicted to have shortages “in the medium term.”
According to the World Economic Forum, construction counts for about 6% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Al-Ameri also said, “Any changes that reduce the cost of production will lead to significant gains across the industry, potentially on a global scale.”
Next on the list is the research of possible substitutes for the aggregate used in making polymer concrete. This includes finding out the optimal substitution rate, durability, and making the new product commercially available.
Source: Good News Network