To continue to advance packaging and paper recycling and reuse in BC, we have partnered with the University of Victoria to research the feasibility of using other flexible plastic packaging collected in our program to create fibre reinforced concrete. The research will evaluate whether this reused packaging can suitably be used as fibre reinforcement while reducing cracking, providing increased tensile strength and durability in concrete.
Working directly with the University of Victoria’s Facility for Innovative Materials and Infrastructure Monitoring (FIMIM), we will explore the opportunity of a higher end use of other flexible plastic packaging.
Concrete is the world’s most used construction material; however concrete is brittle and prone to cracking. Because of this, concrete is typically reinforced with steel rebars or fibres. Various types of fibres can be used including steel, glass, synthetic (including plastic), cellulose, or carbon.
Researcher, Dr. Rishi Gupta will use his patented coating which improves the bonding between the fibres and surrounding matrix to help test the other flexible plastic packaging as a fibre reinforcement in concrete.
Testing the feasibility of using other flexible plastic packaging as a fibre reinforcement in concrete can have a number of benefits:
- Create a higher end use for other flexible plastic packaging.
- Create a process for using other flexible plastic packaging as a fibre reinforcement in concrete.
- Create potential additional market opportunity for other flexible plastic packaging.
- Reduce GHG emissions associated with managing other flexible plastic packaging.
- Reduce the potential for concrete to crack as it cures, thereby improving strength and durability of the concrete and ultimately the service life of the concrete.
- Replace/complement steel rebar or virgin plastic fibres as a reinforcement material for concrete.
The project with the University of Victoria is currently underway and the initial phase is expected to take approximately one year.
This project will be in addition to current research and development work we are doing with Merlin Plastics to determine how we can best recycle other flexible plastic packaging at scale.
Currently, other flexible plastic packaging not being used in either research project is being recovered and produced into engineered fuel, an engineered energy product that is a direct replacement for traditional non-renewable resources, such as coal, in industrial settings.