Mechanical and Durability Properties of Recycled Concrete Aggregate for Normal Strength Structural Concrete
The purpose of this study was to determine the suitability of using Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) in structural concrete based on a better understanding of its strength, stiffness and durability. RCA was collected from three different sources: a local landfill site, a local aggregate supplier and from the demolition of two old cooling towers in Cape Town, South Africa (RSA). All RCA was prepared by crushing the demolished concrete in a laboratory crusher at University of Stellenbosch. Their physical properties were determined for comparison of different sources of RCA. RCA replacement percentages of 0%, 30% and 100% to partially replace natural aggregate (NA) in concrete were tested at different ages. Cube strength classes 30-40 MPa concrete were made to investigate the mechanical properties of RCA. Creep, shrinkage and durability properties were also tested for concrete with 0% and 30% RCA replacement of NA. It was found that RCA replacement by 30% (RCA30%) of NA does not lead to any significant difference in strength and stiffness compared to concrete containing 100% NA in concrete. RCA100% replacement does show reduced strength and stiffness, but this is not significant and can be compensated for in standard ways. Durability index tests indicated similar durability performance of concrete with reasonable quality RCA30% compared with NA100%. Increased creep was however observed for RCA30% which must be considered in structural design. Little information is available about both the mechanical and durability properties of local RCA in RSA, where this research has been performed. The authors believe this report will assist to increase the confidence of engineers to consider using RCA in structural concrete in RSA as well as abroad.
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