The Impact of Low Density Polyethylene (water sachets) on the Mechanical Property of Cement Mortar

Kingsford, Flomo Mosses (2014-12-12)


Many building collapsed cases have been reported throughout the West African regions. It is recorded that during some of these subsidences, many lives are lost and the vast majority end up in hospitals and clinics with huge loss in investments also. This poses a major challenge to the health and wellbeing of the human race. Overwhelming facts of poor workmanship, engineering fault and poor maintenance have been highlighted as major factors. On the other hand, most research has shown that a huge accumulation of these problems is due to the fact that there is a bias in the mechanical properties of the type of concrete material used. Some focus on high strength, not toughness; others on high toughness not strength. In other instances, people produce low quality to minimize cost and maximize profit which result in these catastrophes. This current research explores incorporating low density polyethylene (LDPE) waste into cement mortar to improve its fracture toughness with balanced compressive strength. Furthermore, this will minimize some common environmental problems in the contemporary world associated with the disposal of these LDPE waste and alleviate issues posted due to its non-biodegradable nature. Different volume fractions (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40%) of the powdered LDPE were used to mix with the cement while the density, compressive strength, flexural strength, and the fracture toughness were observed under different testing conditions. All specimens were tested after curing of 7, 14, and 28 days. The results show that there is 6.12% increase in the fracture toughness at 5%, 6.88% increase at 10%, and 24% increase at 20%. Also, it was observed that the weight and compressive strength decreased with increasing volume fraction of the LDPE waste.