Story of the Month
Better Foundations


The news hit the Internet this month, that researchers from Melbourne’s RMIT University had achieved what many thought was impossible, in developing a sustainable concrete alternative that replaces 100% of the typical aggregate – gravel, stones etc. – with only rubber from used, shredded car tyres.
They claim that their new lighter concrete material reaches building standards for strength, which up until now was not possible with others’ attempts to replace the aggregate with rubber. The news gives hope for this circular economical approach, and the environment, as it is using waste material and reducing transport and costs for manufacturing.

 

‘We have demonstrated with our precise casting method that this decades-old perceived limitation on using large amounts of coarse rubber particles in concrete can now be overcome. The technique involves using newly designed casting moulds to compress the coarse rubber aggregate in fresh concrete that enhances the building material’s performance.’

Lead author and PhD researcher, Mohammad Momeen Ul Islam.

If the process is rolled out globally, it could significantly reduce our consumption of natural resources, and solve the ongoing problem of used car tyre waste. The researchers also add that it can be introduced cost-effectively into existing industrial concrete production facilities, which means the future possibility of integration is very real!
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