5 tips for using recycled concrete | Converge.io

May 12, 2023

Recycled concrete is an eco-friendly building material that is gaining popularity due to its many advantages. It is made by crushing and screening old concrete, and using it as a substitute for new aggregates in construction projects. Recycled concrete can be used for a variety of applications, such as in the production of new concrete, as a base for roads and pavements, and as backfill for retaining walls.

Read more: Technology that makes concrete more sustainable and sustainable concrete mixes.

5 tips for using recycled concrete

Like any construction material, recycled concrete needs to be used safely and responsibly to ensure its structural integrity and longevity. Here are some strategies for safely using recycled concrete.

1. Source your recycled concrete from reputable suppliers 

When using recycled concrete, it is important to source it from a reliable supplier who can provide quality material that meets your project's specifications. Look for suppliers who have experience in producing and supplying recycled concrete, and who can provide you with the necessary documentation and testing reports.

2. Test the recycled concrete before use 

Before using recycled concrete, it is important to test it to ensure its quality and suitability for your project. Testing can include measuring the gradation, compressive strength, and durability of the recycled concrete aggregate. This will help you determine the appropriate application and usage of the recycled concrete.

3. Consider the application and usage of the recycled concrete 

Recycled concrete can be used for a variety of applications, including as a base for roads and pavements, as backfill for retaining walls, and in the production of new concrete. It is important to consider the intended application and usage of the recycled concrete when selecting the appropriate grade and quality.

4. Use the correct mix design 

When using recycled concrete in the production of new concrete, it is important to use the correct mix design to ensure the desired strength and durability. The mix design should take into account the properties of the recycled concrete aggregate, such as its size, shape, and gradation, as well as any additional admixtures or additives that may be required.

5. Ensure proper compaction and curing 

Proper compaction and curing are essential for the strength and durability of recycled concrete. Ensure that the recycled concrete is compacted to the appropriate density and that it is allowed to cure properly before any load-bearing applications.

Read more: We discuss the environmental impacts of concreting as well as present methods to miminise the carbon footprint of concreting

Construction site with piles of crushed concrete

Common uses of recycled concrete

Recycled concrete can be used in a variety of forms, including as recycled concrete blocks and recycled concrete slabs. Here are some common uses of recycled concrete:

Road and pavement construction

Recycled concrete can be used as a base material for roads and pavements. Its high compressive strength and durability make it an ideal alternative to traditional aggregate materials.

Retaining walls and erosion control

Recycled concrete can be used as backfill for retaining walls and as erosion control for slopes and embankments. Its ability to compact tightly and resist water makes it a durable and effective solution for these applications.

Landscaping and decorative uses

Recycled concrete can also be used in landscaping and decorative applications, such as retaining walls, garden beds, and walkways. Its rustic appearance and eco-friendliness make it an attractive option for these types of projects.

Read more: How to make concrete more sustainable, what is “green concrete”, and read our summary of the PAS 2080

Things to keep in mind

Recycled concrete is a versatile and eco-friendly building material that can be used in a variety of applications. By following the strategies outlined above, you can safely and responsibly use recycled concrete in your construction projects. Whether you are using recycled concrete blocks, recycled concrete slabs, or recycled aggregate concrete, it is important to source quality material, test it before use, consider its intended application, use the correct mix design, and ensure proper compaction and curing.

Frequently asked questions

Can recycled concrete be used as aggregate?

Recycled concrete can be used to create recycled aggregate. Concrete that is made with recycled aggregates will not have the full strength of new aggregates. However, it is still durable enough to be used in many cases. 

Is recycled concrete weaker?

Concrete may lose its strength over time, which means that if it is recycled and used again it probably is not as strong as it once was. However, there are techniques that can help the recycled concrete regain some of its strength. 

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