Recycling of Plastic Waste Materials: Mechanical Properties and Implications for Road Construction

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Ashesi University
The main purpose of the project is to convert polyethylenetetraphylate (PET), a known plastic waste material in Ghana, to wealth. Composite samples were produced by heating aggregates together with shredded PET plastic waste material, while bitumen was added to the plastic-coated aggregates.The composites produced were of 4.5 wt%, 9.0 wt%, 13.6 wt%and 18.0 wt% concentrations of PET. Mechanical and optical characterisation of the fabricated composite samples were studied for optimization. Moreover, corrosive studies via mass loss and thermal degradation studies were performed on the test samples. From the statistical analysis conducted, it was demonstrated that shredded PET plastic waste material acts as a strong binding agent for bitumen making the asphalt last longer. From the results, 13.6 wt% concentration of PET was shown to have the maximum compressive strength. In addition, water resistance was shown to increase with increasing PET concentration of 4.5 wt%, 9.0 wt%, 13.6 wt% and 18.0 wt. The optical characterisation results revealed that the samples with 13.6 wt% PET plastic concentration had lesser voids, lesser discontinuities and maximum bonding strength.From the data analysed, 13.6 wt% PET plastic gives the optimum plastic concentration that enhances the rheological properties of bitumen.The implications of the result are therefore discussed for the used of 13.6 wt% PET in road construction.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, April 2019
polyethylenetetraphylate (PET), waste material