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Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Vimukthi Fernando

Investigation on the use of Recycled Glass in Concrete
31 MAR 2023
11.00 AM - 12.30 PM

Glass is a critical component in contemporary society due to its unique properties of transparency, pliability, durability, and abrasion resistance. Millions of tons of glass are produced every year, with a large portion of the world's solid waste being made up of glass. Glass production is energy-intensive and generates non-biodegradable waste, making glass recycling an important global issue. Traditional recycling methods involve melting, cleaning, and sorting waste glass to produce glass containers and plates, but this can result in increased costs due to the need for quality control measures and the additional energy needed for melting. The utilization of waste glass in concrete offers a way to recycle glass while avoiding the disadvantages of traditional methods. Glass particles can be used in concrete either as fine or coarse aggregates, but the properties of Recycled Glass Concrete (RGC) have shown inconsistent results which could be the main reason for RGC not being adopted widely in the industry. The major issue with RGC is the Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR), which causes cracking and weakens the concrete. 

Researchers have been working to overcome the ASR by reducing the size of the glass aggregate used in the concrete and replacing Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) with various Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) where they found that fly ash can significantly improve the affected properties of concrete due to ASR. However, none of the existing literature has comprehensively examined the structural performance of glass concrete that has been enhanced with fly ash. Therefore, the primary objective of this research is to investigate the structural integrity of reinforced glass concrete and elucidate the mechanisms underlying the impact of glass fine aggregates on the properties of concrete, in the presence of fly ash. This investigation will enhance confidence in the use of glass fine aggregates as a sustainable material in concrete applications.

Recycled glass can also be used as a pozzolanic material to substitute OPC, and research has demonstrated contradictory findings concerning various aspects of concrete properties, particularly in relation to compressive strength. Therefore, this investigation aims to assess the potential of using glass powder with particle sizes smaller than 75 microns as an SCM. A comprehensive array of tests will be conducted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms that influence the strength properties of concrete with glass powder as an SCM. The outcomes of this research will minimize the uncertainties associated with the use of glass powder as an SCM. Additionally, this investigation will explore strategies to improve the pozzolanic properties and the filler effect of glass powder particles.

For more information, please email the Graduate Research School or phone 0746 31 1088.