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GREEN OPTION FOR CONSTRUCTION

By TA News Bureau:

One of the major challenges facing construction engineers is to build structures on weak or clayey soil because of its instability. They always look into various ways to improve the load-bearing capacity by examining many ground improvement techniques. It is here that researchers Aiswarya Pradeep and Raneesh KY discovered the usefulness of using shredded rubber from waste tyres and waste paper sludge ash. The practical use of these ‘wastes’ in strengthening soil for construction of building or embankments is an emerging green option in the construction sector

At a time when officials are getting worried about the mounting end-of-life tyres and sludge from paper mills, two researchers have come up with a novel solution that would help construction engineers build structures even on unstable soil by strengthening it with these waste products.
Aiswarya Pradeep and Raneesh KY have found that recycling of non-hazardous solid wastes such as shredded tyres and waste paper sludge ash (WPSA) opens the way to strengthen soil in which construction could be undertaken.
The process technology that they have developed would allow the use of hundreds of thousands tonnes of these environmentally polluting waste tyres and paper sludge. What they have done was to leverage the strength behaviour of soil that is reinforced with randomly included shredded rubber tyre and waste paper sludge ash.
They carried out their investigation in two phases. In the first phase the physical properties of the soil such as specific gravity, Atterberg limits, free swell index, particle size distribution, maximum dry density, and optimum moisture content study were determined.
In the second phase a modified compaction test was carried out for various percentages of tyre and WPSA.
These two readily available industrial waste were reused that would also address the disposal issues in an environmentally-friendly way and improve the ground for construction engineering purposes.

“Rubber waste is chemically inert with all types of soils and it is also a cheap alternative to expensive chemical stabilizers,” says Dr Raneesh. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering of Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology in Coimbatore, southern India.
“The use of WPSA and scrap rubber tyres has increased the unconfined compressive strength and CBR of the soil,” he told Tyre Asia.
CBR – the California bearing ratio (CBR) – is the most widely used method by structural engineers to study soil, reveals the mechanical strength of natural ground.
“We have found that unconfined compressive strength has increased 1.7 times and CBR value increased 1.9 times,” he says. “From the combined observation of unconfined compression test, compaction test and CBR ratio test it can be noted that replacement of 6% WPSA and 8% scrap tyre provide a mix having sufficient light weight and strength.”
He says this mix can be used for the construction of lighter embankments. The increased CBR value reduces the pavement thickness. Hence the total cost can be reduced.
“From these observations it can be concluded that WPSA and scrap tyre rubber can be used as the stabilizers for the improvement of the strength properties of the soil,” Dr Raneesh says.
He points out that their research highlights the possibility of environmentally friendly use of end of life tyres and holds out a solution to the problem facing disposal of waste tyres.
“Usually the waste tyres are either dumped or burned which creates serious issues on the environment,” he asserts. “Compared to other stabilizing materials, it is cheap and easily available. So by using the waste tyre materials or stabilization we can not only improve soil properties but also reduce pollution,” he points out.

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