Towards Greener Concrete: A method developed by Materials Science and Engineering students for producing concrete out of recycled construction wastes received an award.
The "ReCement" team developed a method for recycled concrete that reduces virgin material consumption and material costs while consuming significantly less energy for concrete production.
The constant "urban transformation" activity in Istanbul generates significant amounts of waste concrete which becomes a source of worry. When cement is mixed with water to produce concrete, the materials in its composition undergo irreversible physical and chemical changes to create new hydrated phases, which makes the end-product so attractive as a construction material. Since this material cannot re-interact with water, there is currently no way to reuse the waste generated. The “ReCement” team consisting of Sorour Semsari Parapari (MAT-G), Hazal Batılı (MAT ’16), Noyan Özkan (MAT ’18) and Deniz Anıl (MAT ’16) developed a method for recycling waste concrete that won them first prize in the Concrete Ideas Project Contest held by AkcanSa on May 2, 2016.
The award-winning method involves applying heat to waste concrete to recompose the structural elements of the material under a specific temperature. Researchers determined that materials used in testing allowed for processing at temperatures above 500°C and below the temperature required for virgin materials, and then showed the similarity between the compositions of new concrete and recycled concrete made out of actual construction wastes to prove the feasibility of their plans. The team also pointed out that other wastes including furnace slag may be used for the process.