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Self-consolidating concretes containing waste PET bottles as sand replacement

Faisal Sheikh Khalid, Nurul Bazilah Azmi, Puteri Natasya Mazenan, Shahiron Shahidan, Nor hazurina Othman,
and Nickholas Anting Anak Guntor

Citation: AIP Conference Proceedings 1930, 020034 (2018);

View online: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5022928
View Table of Contents: http://aip.scitation.org/toc/apc/1930/1
Published by the American Institute of Physics
Self-Consolidating Concretes Containing Waste PET Bottles
as Sand Replacement
Faisal Sheikh Khalida), Nurul Bazilah Azmib), Puteri Natasya Mazenanc), Shahiron
Shahidand), Nor hazurina Othmane) and Nickholas Anting Anak Guntorf)

Jamilus Research Center, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia,
86400 Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
Corresponding author: faisalsh@uthm.edu.my

Abstract. This study evaluates the effect of self-consolidating concrete (SCC) containing waste polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) granules on the fresh, mechanical and water absorption properties. Fine aggregates were replaced from 0% to 8%
by PET granules. The fresh properties of SCC containing PET granules were determined using slump flow and V-funnel
flow time tests. The compressive and splitting tensile strength were evaluated. The results indicated that utilization of waste
PET granules in production of SCC could be an effective way for recycling purpose. The maximum amount of PET
replacement should be limited to 5%. Exceeding 5% of PET content may result in an increase of V-funnel flow time to
overpass the limiting value, decrease in strength. The production of high performance SCC containing 5% PET granules
satisfies all the requirements for SCC with satisfactory outputs.

Self-consolidating concretes (SCCs) are known as a greatly coherent and flowable concretes that are capable to
consolidate under their own weight without compaction and vibration. SCCs were developed firstly in Japan in 1980s
to increase stability and durability of concrete structures [1-2]. SCC decreases the risk of poor workmanship during
casting and compaction of concrete. Moreover, economic efficiency, less human work, more freedom to designers
and lowering noise level on the construction site are other advantages of using SCC [3]. PET is a kind of polyesters
made of the ethylene glycol and terephtalic acid’s composition and its chemical name is “polyethylene terephthalate”.
PET is one of the mostly utilized plastics in the package industry because of high stability, high pressure tolerance,
non-reactivity with substances and great quality of gas trapping which can preserve the gas in the gaseous drinks.
The present application of recycled PET waste in the construction industry includes its use as resin for polymer
concrete [4-5] and as fiber for reinforced concrete [6-7]. The most economical way is using PET particles as a
substitute of aggregates. As a result, using PET waste as an aggregate in concrete has some benefits such as decreasing
the usage of natural resources, the wastes consumption, preventing the environmental pollution and economizing
energy [8]. In [9] evaluated the mechanical behavior of the PET waste particles in which, the volume substitution
ratios were 10% and 20% and the average PET particle size were about 0.26 cm and 1.14 cm. Result shows a reduction
in tensile strength, compressive strength and modulus of elasticity. Adding PET to the concrete mixture leads to
decrease in concrete rigidity, which is useful when flexibility of the material is needed. In [10] studied the effect of
sand replacement with PET aggregates, which were made of PET particles and stone powder on the properties of

International Conference on Engineering and Technology (IntCET 2017)

AIP Conf. Proc. 1930, 020034-1–020034-6; https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5022928
Published by AIP Publishing. 978-0-7354-1622-2/$30.00

concrete. It was concluded that as the substitution percentage increases, the flow value increases as well. In addition,
this replacement has reduced the compressive strength.
In [11] examined the effect of PET waste particles as aggregate on two groups of mortars. One of them was entirely
made of PET aggregates and the other one was made of both sand and PET aggregates. The result shows that the unit
weight, compressive strength and tensile–flexural strength of the mortars including PET aggregates are less than the
mortars containing combination of both sand and PET aggregates. Both mortars had much lower unit weight,
compressive strength and tensile–flexural strength compared with reference sample mortars.
In [12-13] studied the behavior of concretes reinforced with PET bottles waste fibers. It was concluded that adding
small quantity of PET bottle fibers have a noticeable effect on post-cracking behavior of concretes. Additionally, PET
fibers enhance the toughness and improve the concrete plasticity. In [14] utilized recycled PET bottle fibers in the
reinforced mortar. Different volumes of fibers were added with the variable quantity of 0%, 0.5%, 1% and 1.5% to
the dry mortars. It was reported that utilizing PET fibers makes an important development on strength of reinforced
mortar, besides a notable effect on the flexural strength and increase in the toughness.
Therefore, this research studies focus on the effect of SCC containing PET granules on the workability and
strength. Fine aggregate was replaced with different percentages (from 0% to 8%) of PET granules obtained by
crushing waste PET bottles. The effect of PET on the slump flow, V-funnel flow time, compressive and splitting
tensile strength of SCC was examined.

In this study, experimental program was conducted to evaluate the properties of SCC made with waste granular
PET. The cement used in all mixtures was commercially available OPC, which corresponds to MS 522: Part 1 [15]
was used in preparation of mixtures. Coarse aggregates utilized in concrete specimens is river gravel with a nominal
particle size of 16 mm to avoid the blocking effect of aggregates. The maximum size of sand was 5 mm which was
determined by 5 mm passing sieve pan with a specific gravity of 2.7 was dried naturally under the sun. The
superplasticizer (SP) used was Darex Super 20, which conforms to ASTM C-494 Types A and F [16]. The SP was
used to observe the effect of PET granules on the fresh and hardened properties of SCC. Fine aggregates were replaced
with different percentages (0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7% and 8%) of PET granules. Figure 1 shows the shape
of PET granules.

FIGURE 1. The after product from the plastic granulator machine

This study was conducted based on 0.35 water cement ratio. The mixtures were separated into two groups
according to the amount of SP. Group 1 (PET1, PET2, PET3, PET4 and PET5) contained 1.5% of SP, while Group 2
(PET6, PET7 and PET8) had 1.6% of SP.
Slump flow test was performed according to EN 12350-2 [17]. To measure slump flow, an ordinary cone according
to the EN 12350-2 is filled with SCC without any compaction and leveling. The cone is lifted and the average diameter
of the spreading concrete is measured as shown in Fig. 2. The time (T500 mm) were recorded for the concrete to reach
the 500 mm. The flow time is determined in this test. The funnel completely filled with fresh SCC without any
compacting or tamping and the flow time (t) is measured as the time between the opening of bottom outlet and
complete emptying of the funnel.

FIGURE 2. Measurement of slump flow diameter

The compressive strength of SCCs was prepared by cubical samples of 100 mm and tested after 28 days in
accordance with EN 12390 - 3:2000 [18]. Three samples were tested for each experiment and the average value was
considered for the study. Meanwhile, splitting tensile strength of SCC was measured by testing cylindrical samples
(200 x 100 mm diameter) after 28 days according to EN 12390 - 6:2000 [19].


Fresh Properties
The effect of PET amount on the slump flow diameter and slump flow time were shown in Fig. 3 and 4. Figure 3
indicates that increasing the amount of PET granules in resulted in significant reduction in slump flow diameter from
771 mm to 525 mm. Increasing the amount of SP from 1.5% to 1.6% resulted in enhancement in slump flow diameter
of the concrete containing 6% PET. The slump flow diameter was measured as 682 mm. However, for 7% and 8%
PET replacement levels the sharp reduction levels were observed, especially for PET8 concrete (525 mm).

Slump flow (mm)

Normal 1% PET 2% PET 3% PET 4% PET 5% PET 6% PET 7% PET 8% PET

FIGURE 3. The slump flow value of concrete mixture

Similarly, T500mm slump flow time was increased for the SCCs while increasing the PET content. Nevertheless,
the tendency of increment is not similar for SCCs with higher than 5% PET content. Figure 4 illustrates that while
there is a gradual increase in the T500mm time in SCCs up to PET5, significant increase was observed for PET6, PET7
and PET8. The range of T500mm slump flow times for SCCs containing up to 5% PET is 2.21-2.68 sec, while for the
others 3.30-8.83 sec was observed.

Time flow (s)

Slump Flow Time (s)
10 V-Funnel Flow Time (s)
Normal 1% PET 2% PET 3% PET 4% PET 5% PET 6% PET 7% PET 8% PET

FIGURE 4. The slump and V-funnel flow time

V-funnel flow times of the SCCs are shown in the Fig. 4. The flow times measured for SCCs up to 6% PET
remained below 25sec while the values for the other SCCs were above this limiting value. Therefore, it can be
concluded that the PET replacement level of more than 6% causes the concrete to be more viscous than it can be
allowed according to EFNARC [17] limitations. High viscosity may cause higher friction in the forms and difficulty
in consolidation of the concrete.
This behavior could be attributed to the friction characteristics and specific surface area of PET particles. PET
particle has more specific surface area in the comparison with the natural sand because of its shape. So that, more
friction among particles will lead to a decrement in the workability in mixtures. As the PET content increases, the
fresh concrete plasticity and consistency are decreased.

Hardened Properties
The variation of the compressive strength of the SCC with increasing the amount of PET granules is given in Fig.
5. This study shows that insignificant result occurred in the compressive strength of concrete when fibers were added.
Therefore, the addition of fibers into concrete does not improve the compressive strength of concrete which is
consistent reported by [20]. Furthermore, in this study, the increment in the compressive strength of FRC was not
influenced by the volume of the added fibers.

Compressive Strength




Normal 1% PET 2% PET 3% PET 4% PET 5% PET 6% PET 7% PET 8% PET

FIGURE 5. Compressive strength of mixture concrete

The test results indicating the splitting tensile strength of SCCs are illustrated in Fig. 6. In contrast to compressive
strength behavior increasing PET particles up to 5% resulted in slightly improvement of tensile capacity up to 5%.
These phenomenon as the increase of the probability of inter locking between the PET particles and fractured surface
due to the special shape of PET particles and flexibility.

Tensile Strength (MPa)
Normal 1% PET 2% PET 3% PET 4% PET 5% PET 6% PET 7% PET 8% PET

FIGURE 6. Splitting tensile strength of mixture concrete

In the study of [21] recycled polycarbonate and PET materials were used in concrete production. Scanning electron
microscopy analysis indicated a weakened cohesion among plastic aggregates and texture. It was also reported a lower
modulus of elasticity and decrease of compressive strength for mortars with the increase in PET particles amount.
This fact made the samples more flexible, so the concrete may withstand the loads for some time without collapse
after the failure. Besides, the study reported that replacing some percentage of sand with these plastic particles not
only develops the flexural strength and the toughness factor, but also causes these composite to absorb extra energy
[22]. This characteristic is so much interesting for lots of civil engineering utilizations such as structure subjected
usually to dynamic and impact loads.

In the current study, recycled PET granules obtained through crushing of PET bottles or containers were used as
a sand replacement material in the production of SCCs. A utilization of waste PET granules in production of SCC
could be an effective way for recycling purpose. However, in order not to get loss of workability the maximum amount
of PET replacement level should be limited to 5%. When exceeding 5% of PET content, significant increase in the
amount of chemical admixture is required. Moreover, the flow and viscosity behavior of SCC is affected significantly.
The results indicated that for PET replacement levels of 6% and higher, VF-funnel flow time overpassed 25 sec.
In this study, the increment in the compressive strength of FRC was not influenced by the volume of the added
fibers. However, the inclusion of PET particles up to 5% resulted in undistinguishable improvement in the splitting
tensile strength capacity. However, beyond this value slight decrease was also observed. Therefore, it can be concluded
that by adjusting concrete mix parameters, production of high performance SCC containing 5% PET granules is
possible with satisfactory outputs.

This work was financially supported by University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and Minister of Education
Malaysia (KPM) through Dana Pembudayaan Penyelidikan (RAGS) Vot. No. R-058.

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