Researchers Create Concrete from Shredded PPE, Offering 22% More Strength

Aug, 2022 - By SMI

Researchers Create Concrete from Shredded PPE, Offering 22% More Strength

Researchers created a technique to make use of disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) to develop concrete that is stronger, and this provides a new way for reducing waste generated during pandemic

With increasing research and development activities, researchers continue to develop various types of concrete with more durability. Now a team of scientists at RMIT University in Melbourne have developed a new technique that uses shredded personal protective equipment (PPE) to create concrete with improved performance. With this technique, the researchers have provided a new way to reduce waste generated during the pandemic.

The same team of researchers have already demonstrated last year, how disposable face masks can be used for creating recycled concrete with increased strength for road layering. As per the team, nearly 54,000 tonnes of PPE is generated every day around the world and nearly 129 billion face mask that are disposable are discarded every month across the globe. In this new study, the researchers have developed a new method to reduce all this waste. In three studies, the researchers combined rubber gloves, face masks and shredded gowns into concrete with differing concentrations that ranged from 0.1 to 0.25%. The researchers found that, cement with rubber gloves exhibited increased concrete strength by 22% and the cement with face masks showed 17% improved concrete strength. Meanwhile, they also found that, cement with shredded gowns showed 15% increased strength and 12% improved elasticity along with 21% improved resistance to bending strength.

Now the team is investigating the performance advantages resulting from combining different types of PPE items. Moreover, the team is planning to collaborate with construction and health industries as it moves towards practical trials. As the study is still in its early stage, the promising findings of the study are considered a major step towards developing efficient recycling systems in order to reduce the waste generated from disposable PPE items.

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