Environmental suitability of recycled concrete aggregate in highways.
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Environmental suitability of recycled concrete aggregate in highways.

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    • Abstract:
      The use of recycled concrete aggregate materials in highway constructions as compared to the use of virgin

      materials reduces virgin natural resource demands on the environment. In order to evaluate their potential use of

      recycle materials in highway construction, two different recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) materials and two

      conventional graded aggregate base (GAB) materials and the mixtures of RCA-GAB materials were tested in the

      laboratory for their strength (California Bearing Ratio), resilient modulus, permanent deformation, and durability. In

      addition, laboratory water leach tests (WLTs), and pH-dependent leaching tests were conducted to determine the

      environmental suitability of RCA materials. The leaching behavior of Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, and Zn from RCAs and the

      effects of pH, curing time, freeze/thaw cycles, liquid-to-solid ratio, and particle size on leaching of these metals were

      investigated. The summary resilient moduli (SMR) of RCAs were 2.6 and 2 times higher than that of the natural

      GAB material and their stiffness increased when subjected to freezing and thawing cycles. Consistent trend could

      not be observed with CBR and SMR values and percent RCA addition. Overall, GAB yielded lower permanent

      deformations compared to the RCA materials. In pH-dependent leaching tests, Ca showed cationic leaching patterns,

      while Cr, Cu, Zn, and Fe showed amphoteric leaching patterns. Leaching tests results indicated that leached Zn

      concentrations were below the detection limits at pH>5. Increasing curing time caused rehydration of cement

      particles and generally yielded a decrease in pH and leached concentrations of metals. Freezing and thawing of

      RCA also led to self-cementing and decreased pH, Ca concentrations while no consistent trends were found between

      the leaching of Cr, Cu, and Fe concentration and freeze-thaw cycles. Increasing the liquid-to-solid ratio decreased

      leaching of elements significantly due to the dilution of leached elements in the aqueous solutions.

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