January 11, 2011

Haiti Earthquake Rubble to be Recycled into Strong Concrete


The devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti last year was beyond description. Largely to blame was faulty construction methods, such as not reinforcing concrete and mixing concrete by "eye". As you can imagine, the amount of rubble left behind is enormous, but engineers in Georgia have devised a way to recycle this debris into safe, concrete for rebuilding. Environment News Service reports:
Nearly one year after a severe earthquake devastated Haiti, most of the damaged areas are still in ruins. But today, engineering and concrete experts at the Georgia Institute of Technology published a method of recycling Haiti's estimated 20 million cubic yards of broken concrete and other rubble into strong new construction material.
Testing Haiti concrete debris, researchers found it to have 2700 pounds per square inch less strength than typical concrete in the US. They have found a way to strengthen this inferior concrete with locally sourced aggregate and sand, as well as mixing batches by hand, to reach US standards of strength. 
 "Based upon these results, we now believe that Haitian concrete debris, even of inferior quality, can be effectively used as recycled coarse aggregate in new construction," said Kurtis. "It can work effectively, even if mixed by hand. The key is having a consistent mix of materials that can be easily measured. We are confident are results can be scaled up mix procedure where quantities can be measured using common, inexpensive construction equipment."

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at January 11, 2011 2:43 AM

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