Concrete building blocks made with recycled demolition aggregate

Marios Soutsos, Kangkang Tang, S.G. Millard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Citations (Scopus)


    A study undertaken at the University of Liverpool has investigated the potential for using recycled demolition aggregate in the manufacture of precast concrete building blocks. Recycled aggregates derived from construction and demolition waste (C&DW) can be used to replace quarried limestone aggregate, usually used in coarse (6 mm) and fine (4 mm-to-dust) gradings. The manufacturing process used in factories, for large-scale production, involves a “vibro-compaction” casting procedure, using a relatively dry concrete mix with low cement content (˜100 kg/m3). Trials in the laboratory successfully replicated the manufacturing process using a specially modified electric hammer drill to compact the concrete mix into oversize steel moulds to produce blocks of the same physical and mechanical properties as the commercial blocks. This enabled investigations of the effect of partially replacing newly quarried with recycled demolition aggregate on the compressive strength of building blocks to be carried out in the laboratory. Levels of replacement of newly quarried with recycled demolition aggregate have been determined that will not have significant detrimental effect on the mechanical properties. Factory trials showed that there were no practical problems with the use of recycled demolition aggregate in the manufacture of building blocks. The factory strengths obtained confirmed that the replacement levels selected, based on the laboratory work, did not cause any significant strength reduction, i.e. there was no requirement to increase the cement content to maintain the required strength, and therefore there would be no additional cost to the manufacturers if they were to use recycled demolition aggregate for their routine concrete building block production.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)726-735
    Number of pages10
    JournalConstruction and Building Materials
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Recycling of materials
    • Sustainability
    • Construction and demolition waste
    • Concrete blocks
    • Aggregates
    • Environment
    • Landfill

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Building and Construction
    • Materials Science(all)


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