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Yin S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Shanks R.A.,RMIT University | Collister T.,FiberconQLD | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2015

Polypropylene (PP) fibers have been widely used to reinforce concrete footpaths as an alternative to steel mesh. The reinforcing effect of the PP fiber is directly proportional to its tensile strength and Young modulus. This research explored the feasibility of using an improved melt spinning and hot drawing process to produce virgin and recycled PP fibers of high mechanical properties in an industrial scale. Commercial grade granules of virgin PP, recycled PP and HPDE were mixed in different proportions in preparing five different types of fibers. All the fibers obtained high tensile strength and Young modulus. A relationship between the structural parameters and mechanical properties was then established. It was observed that the melt spinning and hot drawing process formed both α-form and β-form crystals in the PP fibers, and significantly improved crystallinity from about 50% to 80%. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Yina S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Sheehan M.,James Cook University | Combe M.,FiberconQLD | Collister T.,FiberconQLD
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

This study assesses the environmental impact of four alternatives for reinforcing 100 m2 of concrete footpath (Functional Unit, FU) by using cradle to gate life cycle assessment (LCA), based on the Australian context. Specifically, the four options considered are a) producing steel reinforcing mesh (SRM), b) producing virgin polypropylene (PP) fibre, c) recycling industrial PP waste and d) recycling domestic PP waste. The FU yields 364 kg of SRM (in a) and 40 kg of PP fibres (in b, c and d), necessary to achieve the same degree of reinforcing in concrete. All the activities required to produce these materials are considered in the study, namely manufacturing and transportation, and also recycling and reprocessing in the case of industrial and domestic recycled PP waste fibres. These processes are individually analysed and quantified in terms of material consumption, water use, and emissions into the environment. This allows for the impacts from producing recycled fibres to be compared with those from producing virgin PP fibre and SRM, which are traditionally used. The LCA results show that industrial recycled PP fibre offers important environmental benefits over virgin PP fibre. Specifically, the industrial recycled PP fibre can save 50% of CO2 equivalent, 65% of PO4 equivalent, 29% of water and 78% of oil equivalent, compared to the virgin PP fibre. When compared to the SRM, the industrial recycled PP fibre can save 93% of CO2 equivalent, 97% of PO4 equivalent, 99% of water and 91% of oil equivalent. The domestic recycled PP fibre also generates reduced environmental impacts compared to virgin PP fibre, except for higher consumption of water associated with the washing processes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Yin S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Riella J.,James Cook University | Chung D.,James Cook University | And 3 more authors.
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2016

Use of macro recycled plastic fibres in reinforcing concrete footpaths and precast panels offers significant economic and environmental benefits over traditionally used virgin plastic fibres or steel fibre and mesh. However, wide adoption of recycled plastic fibres by construction industries has not yet been seen due to limited data available on their durability, mechanical properties and performance in concrete. This paper reports findings from a laboratory study on the alkali resistance and performance of recycled polypropylene (PP) fibres in the 25 MPa and 40 MPa concretes, used for footpaths and precast panels, respectively. The recycled PP fibre was proven to have very good alkali resistance in the concrete and other alkaline environments. The recycled PP fibre showed excellent post-cracking performance in concrete, bringing in significant ductility. In the 40 MPa concrete the effectiveness of reinforcement of PP fibres depended on their Young's modulus and tensile strength in the crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD) test. Since the recycled PP fibre was found to have lower tensile strength but higher Young's modulus than those of virgin PP fibre, the recycled PP fibre produced similar or slightly lower reinforcement than that of virgin PP fibre. In the 25 MPa concrete, the Young's modulus of fibres was more effective on their reinforcement than the tensile strength, thus the recycled PP fibre produced better reinforcement than that of virgin PP fibre. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Yin S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Collister T.,FiberconQLD | Combe M.,FiberconQLD | And 2 more authors.
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2015

Macro recycled plastic fibre offers significant environmental benefits over virgin plastic fibre and steel reinforcement. However, as there is limited research on performance of recycled plastic fibre in concrete, it has not yet been widely adopted by the construction industries. In this research, post-cracking performance of different kinds of recycled polypropylene fibres from industrial waste was studied and compared with that of virgin polypropylene fibre in concrete. The diamond-indent recycled fibres showed a good balance of tensile strength, Young's modulus and concrete bonding, thus producing brilliant post-cracking performance. This research proved the feasibility of using recycled fibres as reinforcement in concrete footpaths. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Yin S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Shi F.,Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology | Combe M.,FiberconQLD | And 2 more authors.
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2015

Use of macro plastic fibres to reinforce concrete has attracted widespread attention from both scientists and construction industry due to the multiple sustainability benefits they offer, compared to steel fibres and steel reinforcing mesh. This paper critically reviews the current state of knowledge and technology of using macro plastic fibres to reinforce concrete. Detailed review on the various preparation techniques and the resulting properties of macro plastic fibres are presented and the effects of macro plastic fibres on the fresh and hardened concrete properties are discussed in this paper. The effect of macro plastic fibres on workability, plastic shrinkage, compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, flexural strength, post-crack performance and dry shrinkage is discussed in this paper. Pull-out behaviour and degradation behaviour of the fibre in the concrete are also reviewed. Finally, cost and environmental analysis and some applications of the plastic fibre reinforced concrete are discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Yin S.,James Cook University | Tuladhar R.,James Cook University | Shi F.,Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology | Shanks R.A.,RMIT University | And 2 more authors.
Polymer Engineering and Science | Year: 2015

Efficient technology and applications for recycled polymer waste has become increasingly important to decrease environmental contamination and to conserve nonrenewable fossil fuels. Mechanical recycling is the most widely practiced in Australia, since it is relatively easy and economic; and moreover, infrastructure for collection and reprocessing has been well established. In order to improve quality of end products of recycled plastics, various workable reprocessing techniques in the second stage of mechanical recycling have been developed and widely applied in the recycling industry. This article critically reviews the current reprocessing techniques of recycled polyolefins. Reprocessing recycled polyolefins is always accompanied with degradation, crystallization, and consequent processability problems, which result from molecular chain scission, branching, and crosslinking. The present state of knowledge and technology of various reprocessing techniques, including melt blending, filler reinforcement and mechanochemistry, is then described and evaluated systematically. Each reprocessing technique presents its own individual advantages and special applications. © 2015 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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