Stronger concrete made from recycled tires developed by UBC Engineers: could help reduce carbon footprint of 3 billion tires-a-year

Engineers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new process for reinforcing concrete. After running a series of lab tests examining the structural integrity of concrete made from a variety of materials. One of the researchers involved in the development of the new process is Obinna Onuaguluchi, a postdoctoral fellow in civil engineering.

 

With over 3 billion tires produced each year, recycling tires is a big issue for the environment. New tech from UBC promises to reduce the carbon footprint of tire recycling, while creating a concrete that is more resistant to wear and cracks.

 

“Lab tests showed that fibre-reinforced concrete reduces crack formation by more than 90 percent compared to regular concrete,” according to Onuaguluchi.

Quick Facts

  • Recycled tires make pavement more durable
  • 3 billion tires produced annually
  • Carbon foot print of tire industry: 7 per cent of green house emissions
  • Each tire when it is recycled produces 1 kg of fibre
  • New process uses the recycled fibre in concrete

 

 

Professor Nemy Banthia, UBC civil engineering explains: Using tires this way does two things: “Not only are you using up the fiber, which goes to the concrete industry , with 6 billion litre cubes needed every year, but it also improves the properties of concrete.”

Professor Nemy Banthia, UBC Engineering explains the concept:

 

The team of researchers experimented with various proportions of recycled tire fibres along with sand, cement, and water. A mixture containing 0.35 percent tire fibres yielded the best results. Onuaguluchi explained that the polymer fibres bridge cracks that naturally form over time, which protects the structure and helps it to last longer.

 

Recycled tire fibre before it is mixed into the concrete.

 

Nemkumar Banthia, civil engineering professor overseeing the work and scientific director of the Canada-India Research Center of Excellence, emphasized the environmental impact as well as the industrial benefits of the research. Approximately three billion tires are produced annually. Recycling the tires for use in this process drastically reduces the number of tires ending up in landfills, while also creating stronger, more resilient concrete. Banthia stated that “adding the fibre to concrete could shrink the tire industry’s carbon footprint and reduce the construction industry’s emissions, since cement is a major source of greenhouse gases.”

 

Mixing the recycled tire fiber into concrete in the correct ratio results in roads with higher resistance to wear and cracks.

 

Tests indicate less cracking and damage in roads made from recycled tire fibre

Roads utilizing recycled rubber is not entirely new. After all, asphalt roads that use shredded pieces of rubber exist in various countries around the world, including the United States, Germany, Spain, Brazil, and China. However, the fibres have the added benefit of improving resilience and longevity. Concrete containing these fibres was used to resurface steps in front of University of British Columbia’s McMillian building in May. While tracking performing using sensors embedded within the concrete, the research team discovered that everyday strain resulted in significantly less cracking and damage.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Overheated bearings, gearboxes among causes of wind turbine fires
  • GTA food and beverage manufacturers launch Cluster to spur growth
  • De Beers new diamond mine in far north among world's largest
  • Ontario Energy Board to ban door-to-door selling of energy
  • 3 billion bottles, cans and containers diverted out of landfill as deposit programs and recycling management hit new milestone in Ontario
  • Swimming Robot to Examine Damage from Japan’s Nuclear Reactor
  • Bombardier delays delivery of CSeries jets
  • Airbus Tests Self-Flying Taxi
  • Most important auto tech of all: safety. 2017's safest cars according to IIHS and a quick look back at 1959
  • 7 Award winners honoured for championing ontario's environment's zero-waste, low-carbon initiatives
  • Largest biomass power plant in NA set to open in Atikokan
  • Time running out for dealing with global greenhouse emissions: report
  • Richard Browning invents super human 450 km per hour “Iron Man” flight suit (video)
  • PPG Industries expands NA presence with $1 billion coatings takeover
  • SNC-Lavalin wins large Paris metro contract
  • Manufacturing sales up in November, government scraps duties on imported food ingredients
  • California to test grid-scale power-to-gas energy storage
  • GM/Honda latest partners in search for affordable fuel cell car
  • Blue Origin rocket engines to be built in Alabama, employing up to 350
  • Bill Gates betting we can invent our way to a clean energy world
Scroll to Top