Recycled materials paper
Bajracharya, RM, Manalo, AC, Karunasena, W & Lau, KT 2014, 'Glass fibre and recycled mixed plastic wastes: recent developments and applications', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. I, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 288-292. ISBN: 9780994152008.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in seeking for potential civil engineering applications of recycled mixed plastic wastes to relieve the pressure on landfills. This paper presents the recent developments on new generation of composites made from mixed recycled plastics and glass fibre. Glass fibres are one of the most cost-effective reinforcements which can be compounded with recycled thermoplastics to obtain products with improved mechanical property. Some of the first uses for such composites are for the replacement for traditional wooden items like park benches and picnic tables. While these composites are appropriate for such small-scale products, using them in structural applications would consume much greater volume of waste plastics. With its inherent resistance to rot and insect attack, these composites can in fact be used as a replacement for chemically treated timber in various large scale outdoor applications such as railroad crossties and bridges. However, the behaviour of such composites under different environmental conditions such as elevated temperature and ultraviolet rays are crucial. This paper provides an overview of the on-going efforts to address the critical issues for the effective usage of recycled mixed plastics composites in civil engineering and construction.