A Mixture of Waste Materials as a Construction Fill in Transportation Infrastructure
Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering
The reuse of waste materials in engineering projects is a sustainable concept that is being increasingly adopted in civil projects including the transportation infrastructure sector. A mixture of coal wash (CW), a waste produced by the coal mining industry, and rubber crumbs (RC), produced by shredding waste rubber tyres, is a possible alternative to natural quarried rock aggregates that are traditionally used in sublayers of transportation corridors. These materials have different properties than traditional aggregates and their geotechnical behaviour must be investigated before they can be confidently used in transportation infrastructure projects. This study particularly addresses the compaction characteristics of four CWRC mixtures (i.e. 0, 5, 10 and 15% rubber content) with a focus on the energy absorbing nature of rubber. The compaction energy must be increased to compensate for the energy absorbed by rubber and produce a compact packing of particles whilst keeping the breakage levels to a minimum. The strength and deformation properties of the mixture are also addressed through static triaxial tests under three confining pressures to simulate field conditions (i.e. 25, 50 and 75 kPa). The preliminary results showed that the mixture has sufficient strength for transportation sublayers that are not the main load bearing layers such as the subbase layer in roads and the capping/subballast layer in railways. Despite the compressibility of rubber which induces higher settlements, for the loads applied in practice at the level of a subbase or a capping layer, the expected settlements are within the allowable limits.
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Australian Research Council