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Architects to be encouraged by concrete performance from recycled material

Support for recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) has come from a report which found that the materials performance and strength can be predicted with standard design formula. The report, called Engineering properties of concrete containing recycled aggregates, offers guidance on how to accommodate RCA in structural concrete. This could encourage designers to include more of it in designs as the report removes further barriers to the use of sustainable aggregates in construction. Funded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the project used design standard Eurocode 1992 to test RCA performance. Experiments included 28-day tests on hardened concrete, creep and drying shrinkage tests, pull-out tests, full-scale flexural and shear tests on beams and the variability of compressive strength and its effects when RCA is present in structural concrete. However, WRAP technical advisor for aggregates John Barritt explained that where shear is a critical issue designers would need to conduct further contract specific tests. He added: During the shear tests the failure load of RCA-concrete beams was similar to that of the non-RCA beam. There is a need to further study the shear behaviour of beams before RCA concrete can be used with confidence in situations where shear can be critical. This is contract specific and not something that [WRAP] would consider for further work. The main conclusion is positive and supports the use of recycled aggregates in structural concrete. For more information visit www.wrap.org.uk

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