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European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering

ISSN: 1964-8189 (Print) 2116-7214 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tece20

Environmentally friendly interlocking concrete


paving block containing new cementing material
and recycled concrete aggregate

Akkadath Abdulmatin, Weerachart Tangchirapat & Chai Jaturapitakkul

To cite this article: Akkadath Abdulmatin, Weerachart Tangchirapat & Chai Jaturapitakkul (2017):
Environmentally friendly interlocking concrete paving block containing new cementing material
and recycled concrete aggregate, European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, DOI:
10.1080/19648189.2017.1355265

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2017.1355265

Published online: 21 Jul 2017.

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Download by: [University of Florida] Date: 21 July 2017, At: 22:12


European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2017.1355265

Environmentally friendly interlocking concrete paving block


containing new cementing material and recycled concrete
aggregate
Akkadath Abdulmatin, Weerachart Tangchirapat and Chai Jaturapitakkul
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT),
Bangkok 10140, Thailand

ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY


This paper investigates the properties of concrete block made from Received 7 February 2017
industrial waste materials. Two by-products, calcium carbide residue (CR) Accepted 10 July 2017
and bagasse ash (BA), were combined and used as a substitute binder for
KEYWORD
Portland cement, and 100% recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) was used to Bagasse ash; calcium carbide
replace natural aggregate in making interlocking concrete paving block. The residue; concrete paving
results showed that the densities of the concrete blocks with unmodified block; green production;
CR and BA as a binder were decreased, moreover, their water absorptions recycled concrete aggregate
were higher than those of concrete blocks with high fineness of binder. The
compressive strength of some concrete block can be sufficiently high to
meet the requirement for interlocking concrete paving block in accordance
with Thai Industrial Standard (TIS 827), which is higher than 40.0  MPa at
the testing age of not less than 7 days. The abrasion resistance of concrete
block is likely to be decreased compared to normal concrete due to the
RCA in the mixture; however, the abrasion resistance can be improved by
increasing the fineness of binder. These remarkable results indicate that CR,
BA and RCA in suitably mixed proportions can be used as a good choice
for an alternative material to make environmentally friendly interlocking
concrete paving block.

1. Introduction
Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is a classic construction material widely used as a cementing material
for concrete and concrete block. Current estimates of world cement manufacture are of the order of
1.7 × 109 t/year, enough to produce well over 6 km3 of concrete per year or at least 1 m3 per person
(Gartner, 2004). It is well-known that the processes of OPC manufacture release large amounts of CO2,
approximately 1 ton per ton of produced clinker, which leads to the greenhouse effect (Habert, Billard,
Rossi, Chen, & Roussel, 2010). Natural sand and limestone have been used as aggregates and their
consumption increases with increasing manufacture of concrete product. Additionally, material from
construction activities such as old building concrete, defective precast concrete, and spun concrete
piles increase the waste related to concrete construction. Therefore, the use of substitute materials to
replace OPC and natural aggregates is extremely important in reducing the environmental problems.
Bagasse ash (BA) is a waste material from burning sugar cane residue as a fuel for generating elec-
tricity in the distillation process of the sugar industry. In 2015, the total amount of sugarcane grown
in Thailand was approximately 106 million tons (Office of Cane & Sugar Board, 2014). After the sugar

CONTACT  Weerachart Tangchirapat  weerachart.tan@kmutt.ac.th


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
2    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

production process, approximately 27.6 million tons of sugarcane bagasse (26% by weight of sugarcane)
was produced, leading to approximately 657,200 tons of BA or about 0.62% by weight of sugarcane
(Cordeiro, Toledo Filho, Fairbairn, Tavares, & Oliveira, 2004). Most BA has been disposed of in landfill
around the industry, which leads to environmental problems.
Unmodified BA has large particles and high porosity compared to OPC because the burning tem-
perature of bagasse is approximately of 600–800°C, which is lower than its melting point (Chusilp,
Jaturapitakkul, & Kiattikomol, 2009b). In general, the large particles and high porosity of unmodified BA
led to a reduction of the rate of reaction and more water absorption in the concrete mixture, resulting
in the decrease in the workability and compressive strength of concrete. Montakarntiwong, Chusilp,
Tangchirapat, and Jaturapitakkul (2013) reported that the concrete with replacement of OPC by unmod-
ified BA at 20% by weight of binder had lower compressive strength than control concrete (100% of
OPC as a binder) of 17% at 28 days. However, the use of ground BA could develop compressive strength
of concrete, especially the use of ground BA with low loss on ignition (LOI) to replace OPC at a rate
of 20% by weight of binder produced a compressive strength greater than control concrete of 9% at
28 days. In addition, Ganesan, Rajagopal, and Thangavel (2007) found that the median particle size of
5.4 micron of ground BA could be used as a pozzolan to replace OPC in concrete with 20% by weight
with no detrimental effect on the properties of the concrete.
Calcium carbide residue (CR) is obtained from a by-product of acetylene gas production. Most CR
was disposed of in landfill. CR is a highly alkaline material; thus, it impacts the soils and environment
surrounding its disposal areas. Many researchers have proposed utilising CR in mixtures for concrete pro-
duction. Jaturapitakkul and Roongreung (2003) reported that CR consists mainly of calcium hydroxide
(Ca(OH)2) and it can react with siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials by a pozzolanic reaction,
resulting in a cementing product similar to hydration products of OPC. The utilisation of CR and BA
for use as a cementing material to substitute for OPC was investigated by Rattanashotinunt, Thairit,
Tangchirapat, and Jaturapitakkul (2013) who showed that ground CR could be mixed with ground BA
at a ratio of 50:50 by weight without OPC to produce a compressive strength of 22.9 MPa at 28 days
which was slightly lower than control concrete approximately of 8.0 MPa. In addition, adding OPC to
the binder mixture at a rate of 20% by weight can obtain a compressive strength similar to the control
concrete, even though the amount of OPC in the concrete mixture was reduced 80% by weight.
Currently, most structural members are made from concrete. Demolition activity on old and low-qual-
ity concrete results in an increase in concrete waste. The general solution is to dispose of it in landfills,
which is not a sustainable solution. In addition, the increasing usage of natural aggregates reduces
natural resources. Therefore, the utilisation of recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) to replace natural
aggregate has been widely studied to reduce environment impacts and save natural resources. In
practice, however, few concrete blocks have been made from RCA with waste materials as a binder.
In general, the main characteristics of fine or coarse RCA are high water absorption and low stiff-
ness; these lead to lower workability in the concrete mixture and lower compressive strength of the
concrete compared to natural aggregate concrete (Evangelista & de Brito, 2014; Seara-Paz, Corinaldesi,
González-Fonteboa, & Martínez-Abella, 2016; Silva, de Brito, & Dhir, 2015). However, RCA has been
used in this study in order to obtain data for producing recycled aggregate concrete paving blocks.
Fernández-Ledesma, Jiménez, Ayuso, Corinaldesi, and Iglesias-Godino (2016) found that the workability
of masonry mortar mixture decreased with increasing the added fine RCA, whereas the replacement of
up to 50% by weight of fine RCA did not significantly affect its compressive strength. Additionally, the
use of fine RCA in mortar had less effect on its flexural strength compared to its compressive strength.
Vegas, Azkarate, Juarrero, and Frías (2009) suggested that the fine RCA could not replace more than
25% by weight of river sand so that no effect of workability and mechanical strength of masonry mortar
would occur. However, Pereira, Evangelista, and de Brito (2012) found that the mechanical properties of
concrete with fine RCA could be improved with the use of superplasticiser in the mixture. In addition,
the choice of the aggregate-to-binder ratio in a mixture is more important factor for the properties of
concrete block. Poon and Lam (2008) reported that the compressive strength of concrete block was
increased with a decrease in aggregate-to-binder ratio. Moreover, the use of 100% fine RCA in a concrete
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   3

block mixture could not meet the requirements of water absorption unless the aggregate-to-binder
ratio was reduced to 3:1 by weight.
From the available literatures, three waste materials (BA, CR and fine RCA) were proposed to use to
produce concrete paving block product that is an environmentally friendly or low-CO2 concrete block.
Some technical methods were used to produce high-quality concrete paving block such as high pres-
sure compacting and reduction of the w/b ratio in the concrete block mixture using superplasticiser.

2.  Materials and methods


2.1. Materials
2.1.1.  Bagasse ash and calcium carbide residue
BA was obtained from a disposal area, as shown in Figure 1. The BA was sieved through No. 16 sieve to
reduce foreign materials and remove incompletely combusted BA, to improve reactivity (Tangchirapat,
Saeting, Jaturapitakkul, Kiattikomol, & Siripanichgorn, 2007). Approximately of 75% by weight of BA
was passed through No. 16 sieve. The filtered BA was assigned as BA-L for use in a part of large-particle
size binder.
Calcium carbide residue (CR) was collected from a disposal area in a slurry form as shown in Figure 2.
Before use, CR was oven-dried at 110 ± 5°C for 24 h to reduce the high moisture content. The CR was
then milled into a powder until the particles retained on No. 325 sieve were approximately of 50 ± 5%
by weight; the CR was assigned CR-L and was used together with BA-L for use as a large particle binder
(CB-L) in producing concrete blocks.
In addition, both of CR-L and BA-L were mixed together in a ratio of 50:50 by weight as suggested
by Rattanashotinunt et al. (2013); then, the mixture was ground together by ball mill until the particles

Figure 1. Disposal area of bagasse ash (BA).


4    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

Figure 2. Disposal area of calcium carbide residue (CR).

retained on No. 325 sieve were less than 1% by weight (assigned as CB-F) for use as a small particle
binder in making concrete blocks.

2.1.2. Aggregate
In this study, fine RCA (FRCA) was used to replace 100% of sand and crushed limestone dust. The FRCA
was collected from demolished concrete spun piles (Figure 3), which were crushed by a hammer and a
concrete crusher. Before crushing, the demolished concrete spun piles were investigated for their com-
pressive strengths, which were found to vary from approximately 40 to 50 MPa. The crushed concrete
passing through No. 4 sieve was used as a FRCA for casting concrete paving block.

2.2.  Physical properties of materials


CR-L, BA-L and CB-F particle shapes were investigated with scanning electron microscope (SEM) as
shown in Figure 4. The particles of CR-L (Figure 4(a)) had high porosities, irregular and angular shapes
with rough surfaces that were the same as those of BA-L particles (Figure 4(b)). After CR-L and BA-L were
ground together (CB-F), their particle sizes and porosities were reduced but still had irregular shapes
and rough surfaces as shown in Figure 4(c).
The specific gravities, weights retained on No. 325 sieve, and median particle sizes (d50) of CB-F, CR-L
and BA-L are tabulated in Table 1. The densities of CR-L and BA-L were 2.32 and 2.00 g/cm3, respectively.
The grinding process increased the densities of CB-F to 2.39 g/cm3 which are higher than the values
of CR-L and BA-L. This was attributed to the reduction of high porosity of BA-L and CR-L due to the
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   5

Figure 3. Demolished concrete from ready-made concrete industry in Thailand.

Table 1. Physical properties of materials.

Properties CR-L BA-L CB-L CB-F


Density (g/cm3) 2.32 2.00 2.16 2.39
Retained on sieve No. 325 (%) 54.0 52.0 53.0 0.3
Median particle size, d50 (micron) N/A N/A N/A 3.5

Table 2. Physical properties of fine recycled concrete aggregate (FRCA) and river sand.

Properties River sand FRCA


Fineness modulus 3.07 2.58
Bulk relative density (g/cm3) 2.62 2.36
Absorption (%) 0.91 8.00

grinding process (Chusilp et al., 2009b). CB-F, CR-L and BA-L had the material weights retained on No.
325 sieve of 0.3, 54.0 and 52.0%, respectively, and the median particle size (d50) of CB-F was 3.50 μm.
The physical properties of FRCA and river sand are shown in Table 2. FRCA had a fineness modulus
of 2.58, which was less than that of the river sand (3.07). The particles of FRCA were smaller than those
of river sand, which can be observed in Figure 5. This is because most FRCA fractions consist of mortar
dust from old concrete. The bulk relative density of FRCA was 2.36 g/cm3 and was less than that of river
sand (2.62 g/cm3). FRCA had the residues of old mortar adhered to its natural aggregate particle; thus,
the higher water absorption of 8.00% resulted, while the water absorption of river sand was 0.91%.
Similar results were found by Evangelista and de Brito (2007).
6    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

Figure 4. Image of particles in CR-L, BA-L and CB-F. (a) Image of large particles of calcium carbide residue (CR-L); (b) Image of large
particles of bagasse ash (BA-L); (c) Image of ground-together CR-L and BA-L (CB-F).
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   7

Figure 5. Particle size distributions of fine recycled concrete aggregate (FRCA) and river sand.

Table 3. Chemical analysis of CR-L, BA-L, CB-F and CB-L.

Chemical analysis (%) CR-L BA-L CB-F or CB-L


Silicon dioxide (SiO2) 4.3 55.0 31.0
Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) 0.4 5.1 5.0
Ferric oxide (Fe2O3) 0.9 4.0 2.9
Calcium oxide (CaO) 56.5 11 34.3
Magnesium oxide (MgO) 1.7 0.9 1.2
Sodium oxide (Na2O) 0.0 0.2 0.1
Potassium oxide (K2O) 0.0 1.2 0.7
Sulphur trioxide (SO3) 0.1 2.2 0.3
Loss on ignition (LOI) 36.1 19.6 23.7

2.3.  Chemical properties of materials


Table 3 lists the chemical compositions of CR-L, BA-L and CB-F. The major chemical component of
CR-L was 56.5% of CaO. Moreover, CR-L had high LOI of 36.1%. It can be explained by the studying of
Jaturapitakkul and Roongreung (2003), who reported that the Ca(OH)2 in CR-L decomposed to CaO
and H2O (gas) during the LOI testing process, which used a high temperature (750 ± 50°C); thus, a high
LOI of CR-L was expected.
BA-L consists mainly of 55.0% SiO2; the total amounts of SiO2 + Al2O3 + Fe2O3 are 64.1%, which is
less than the minimum requirement of 70% as defined by ASTM C618 (2015) for natural pozzolan class
N. The LOI of BA-L was 19.6%, which was higher than 10% specified by ASTM C618 (2015). However,
Chusilp, Jaturapitakkul, and Kiattikomol (2009a) reported that the higher LOI up to 20% of ground BA-L
slightly affects the compressive strength of mortar.
CB-F was a mixture of CR-L and BA-L ground together; thus, it consisted mainly of 31.0% SiO2 and
34.3% CaO. The LOI of CB-F was 23.7%, which was the combination of LOI values from CR-L and BA-L.

2.4.  Mix proportions and casting method of concrete paving blocks


The mix proportions of concrete blocks are presented in Table 4. All concrete mixtures were mixed
in a ratio of binder to FRCA of 1:3 by weight. It should be noted that the concrete block mixtures did
not contain any OPC. After mixing, the fresh concrete was poured into a 10 × 20 × 10 cm3 steel mould.
The concrete block was pressed through a steel plate with a pressure of 8.0 MPa using a compression
machine and the pressure was held constant for 1 min. To determine the optimum water to binder
(w/b) ratio, the w/b ratios of the CB-F mixtures were varied between 0.25 and 0.30, while those of CB-L
8    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

Table 4. Mix proportions for concrete paving blocks.

Mix proportion (by weight) Superplasticiser w/b ratio


(Percentage by weight
Concrete block CB-L CB-F FRCA of binder) Mixing Effective
30CB-F – 1 3 4.0 0.54 0.30
27CB-F – 1 3 4.5 0.51 0.27
25CB-F – 1 3 5.0 0.49 0.25
55CB-L 1 - 3 3.0 0.79 0.55
45CB-L 1 - 3 4.0 0.69 0.45
40CB-L 1 – 3 4.5 0.64 0.40

mixtures were varied between 0.40 and 0.55. The amount of superplasticiser type F was adjusted until
a suitable mixture was obtained (by observing the fresh concrete block to be fully compacted). After
casting, the specimens were removed immediately from the moulds and covered with wetted burlap
for 24 h at room temperature. All concrete blocks were cured in tap water at ambient temperature
approximately of 25–30°C until the age of testing.

2.5.  Testing of concrete paving block specimens


2.5.1.  Dry density and water absorption
The dry density and water absorption of the concrete blocks were determined at 28 days according to
ASTM C140 (2015). Firstly, each specimen was immersed in water for 24 h. It was then weighed when
suspended and fully submerged in water (Wi), and then the visible surface water was wiped with a
damp cloth and its weight in a saturated condition (Ws) was recorded. After saturation, the specimen
was oven-dried at 110 ± 5°C for not less than 24 h, and its dry weight was recorded (Wd). The dry den-
sity, percentage of water absorption, and water absorption per volume were calculated by Equations
(1)–(3), respectively.
Dry density (kg/m3 ) = [Wd ∕(Ws − Wi )] × 1000 (1)

Water absorption (%) = [(Ws − Wd )∕Wd ] × 100 (2)

Water absorption (kg/m3 ) = [(Ws − Wd )∕(Ws − Wi )] × 1000 (3)


where Wd, Ws and Wi are the oven-dried weight (kg), saturated weight (kg) and immersed weight of the
specimen (kg), respectively. For each mix proportion at a specified age, the average values of the dry
density and water absorption were determined from three specimens.

2.5.2.  Compressive strength


After the concrete block specimens were cured for a specified age, their compressive strengths were
determined at 7, 28 and 60  days in accordance with ASTM C140 (2015). The average compressive
strength at each age was obtained from three specimens. Furthermore, the compressive strengths of
the concrete blocks were compared to the compressive strength requirements of the TIS 827 standard
(1988).

2.5.3.  Flexural strength


To investigate the flexural strength of the concrete blocks, the highest compressive strength concrete
blocks of CB-L and CB-F groups were selected, and they were tested to determine their flexural strength
at the ages of 7, 28 and 60 days. The centre-point loading method was used to determine the flexural
strength of the concrete blocks. The span length between the supported was defined at 150 mm and
the load was applied at the centre of concrete block. The flexural strength was calculated following
Equation (4):
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   9

fr = (3PL)∕(2bd 2 ) (4)
where, fr is the modulus of rupture (MPa), P is the maximum applied load indicated by the testing
machine (N), and L, b, and d are the span length (mm), average width of the specimen (mm) and average
depth of specimen (mm), respectively. For each mix proportion, three concrete block specimens were
tested and the average value of the flexural strength was determined.

2.5.4.  Abrasion resistance


To determine the weight losses due to abrasion, the specimens with the highest compressive strengths
in the CB-L and CB-F concrete block groups were selected. The test followed ASTM C944 (2012) and the
specimens were tested to determine abrasion resistance at 28, 60 and 90 days. The specimens were
abraded on their top surfaces and the weight losses due to abrasion were measured every 2 min until
completion of testing in 12 min. The average weight loss of three specimens was used for each mix
proportion at a specified age.

3.  Results and discussion


3.1.  Dry density and water absorption
The dry density and water absorption of concrete blocks at 28 days are shown in Table 5. CB-F concrete
blocks had dry densities of 1950, 2020 and 2075 kg/m3, corresponding to the w/b ratios of 0.30, 0.27 and
0.25, respectively; the dry densities of CB-L blocks were 1800, 1790 and 1770 kg/m3, corresponding to
the w/b ratios of 0.55, 0.45 and 0.40, respectively. The results indicate that the finer CB-F binder leads
to higher dry density of the concrete blocks than that from larger CB-L binder. This is due to the density
of CB-F binder, 2.39 g/cm3, being higher than that of CB-L which was 2.16 g/cm3. In addition, the finer
CB-F binder could fill the void and pores in the paste matrix of the concrete block through the packing
effect (Chindaprasirt, Jaturapitakkul, & Sinsiri, 2005) and increase the pozzolanic product better than
the larger CB-L binder, leading to increased dry density. In fact, the total porosity in the concrete block
decreased with the decreased w/b ratio (Lo, Tang, & Cui, 2007; Ngala & Page, 1997; Živica, 2009); thus
the lower w/b ratio of CB-F concrete blocks resulted in lowering concrete block porosity than CB-L
concrete blocks, resulting in increasing its dry density.
It was also found that the decrease in the w/b ratio of CB-F concrete blocks resulted in a slight increase
in its dry density. As mentioned above, the low w/b ratio produced the higher density of the concrete
block. In case of CB-L concrete block, however, the decrease in the w/b ratio resulted in a slight decrease
in dry density. This is due to the fact that the low w/b ratio of the CB-L mixture had less free water than
the mixture with a higher w/b ratio and the free water was absorbed by the high porosity of BA-L and
CR-L particles. This caused a reduction of the efficiency of the pozzolanic reaction and inefficiency of
compaction, resulting in increasing the void volume in the paste matrix.
The water absorptions of CB-F concrete blocks ranged from 6.3 to 9.6% by weight or 131 to 187 kg/m3,
while those of CB-L concrete blocks ranged from 13.6 to 16.0% by weight or 245 to 284 kg/m3. CB-L
concrete block absorbed more water than CB-F concrete block because the high porosity of CB-L binder

Table 5. Oven-dry density and water absorption of concrete paving blocks at 28 days.

Oven-dry W./Volume Water absorption Absorption/Volume


Concrete block (kg/m3) (%) (kg/m3)
30CB-F 1950 9.6 187
27CB-F 2020 7.0 142
25CB-F 2075 6.3 131
55CB-L 1800 13.6 245
45CB-L 1790 14.8 266
40CB-L 1770 16.0 284
10    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

increased absorption more than the high fineness of CB-F binder. The higher fineness (small particles)
of CB-F binder easily fills the voids between the aggregates and aggregates-to-paste matrix; hence it
increases the density and reduces the water absorption of concrete block (Isaia, Gastaldini, & Moraes,
2003; Poon & Lam, 2008).
Furthermore, the water absorptions of all concrete blocks in this study were higher than that spec-
ified by ASTM C936 (2016), which should not be higher than 5% by weight. In addition, the CB-F and
CB-L concrete blocks had higher water absorption than the concrete block made from OPC and natural
aggregates, which was studied by Poon and Lam (2008). The water absorption of the concrete block
made from OPC and natural aggregates with the w/b ratio of 0.27 was 2.9% at 28 days, while 27CB-F
had the water absorption of 7.0% at 28 days. This was due to CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks were
produced from BA and CR, which had high porosity. Additionally, all the concrete blocks in this study
were also produced from 100% of FRCA. González-Taboada, González-Fonteboa, Martínez-Abella, and
Carro-López (2016) and Evangelista and de Brito (2014) reported that the attached mortar of FRCA
had high pores, therefore, FRCA absorbed more water than natural aggregate. de Juan and Gutiérrez
(2009) also reported that the water absorption of FRCA was directly affected by the attached mortar
content of FRCA. For these reasons, the water absorption of CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks was higher
than that specified by ASTM C936 (2016) and also higher than the concrete block made from OPC and
natural aggregates.

3.2.  Compressive strength


The principal compressive strength of CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks were due to the pozzolanic reac-
tion, which was similar to the pozzolanic reaction of pozzolan concrete or mortar (Garg & Pundir, 2015).
The calcium hydroxide from calcium carbide residue reacted with siliceous or siliceous and aluminous
materials from BA to produce calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) and calcium aluminate hydrate (CAH)
products. Table 6 shows the compressive strength and percentage of compressive strength of the CB-F
and CB-L concrete blocks as compared to the compressive strength requirement specified by the TIS
827 standard (1988). It is noted that the standard specifies the compressive strength of concrete block
is not lower than 40 MPa at the testing age of not less than 7 days.
The compressive strengths of CB-F concrete blocks ranged from 23.6 to 27.2 MPa at 7 days and
increased to 32.5 to 40.6 MPa and 36.7 to 47.3 MPa at 28 and 60 days, respectively. CB-L concrete blocks
had compressive strengths ranging from 6.9 to 11.2 MPa at 7 days and increased to 12.2 to 16.9 MPa
and 14.6 to 19.7 MPa at 28 and 60 days, respectively. These results suggest that the binder fineness is
a very important parameter in increasing the compressive strength of concrete block. There are three
possible explanations.
Firstly, the fine particles of CB-F binder could improve the pozzolanic reaction through their high
surface area. The CB-F binder was faster transformed to hardened paste by pozzolanic reaction, while
in CB-L concrete block remains some incomplete residues from the reaction due to its larger particle.

Table 6. Compressive strength of concrete paving blocks.

Compressive strength (MPa) (Percentage of compressive strength)


Concrete block 7 days 28 days 60 days
TIS-827 (1988) 40.0 (100) 40.0 (100) 40.0 (100)
30CB-F 23.6 (59) 32.5 (81) 36.7 (92)
27CB-F 25.5 (64) 36.4 (91) 41.9 (105)
25CB-F 27.2 (68) 40.6 (101) 47.3 (118)
55CB-L 11.2 (28) 16.9 (42) 19.7 (49) 
45CB-L 8.4 (21) 14.5 (36) 17.1 (43) 
40CB-L 6.9 (17) 12.2 (31) 14.6 (37)
Note: TIS 827(1988) specifies the compressive strength of concrete paving block at least 40.0 MPa at the testing age of not less than
7 days.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   11

Figure 6. Relationship between compressive strength and oven-dry density of concrete paving blocks.

This result supports that of Chusilp et al. (2009b), who reported that the high fineness of ground BA
could accelerate the pozzolanic reaction and improve the compressive strength of concrete.
Secondly, the density of concrete block has increased through the filling effect, resulting in an
increase in its compressive strength, especially in the early ages (Isaia et al., 2003; Tangpagasit, Cheerarot,
Jaturapitakkul, & Kiattikomol, 2005). It can be observed in Figure 6 that the increase in density resulted
in increasing the compressive strength of concrete block; the relationship between the compressive
strength and the dry density of the CB-F concrete block is similar to that of CB-L concrete block. CB-F con-
crete blocks had compressive strengths of 32.5, 36.4 and 40.6 MPa with dry densities of 1950, 2020 and
2075 kg/m3, respectively. CB-L concrete blocks had compressive strengths of 12.2, 14.5 and 16.9 MPa,
corresponding to dry densities of 1770, 1790 and 1800 kg/m3, respectively. This could result because
the higher density of CB-F concrete blocks is due to the smaller porosity of CB-F binder compared to
CB-L binder; thus, it can explain the greater compressive strength of CB-F concrete blocks (Martinez,
Eliche, Cruz, & Corpas, 2012). These results also agree with those of Ling (2012), who reported that the
compressive strength of rubberised concrete paving block has increased with the increase in its density.
Poon and Chan (2007) also reported that the compressive strength of paving blocks prepared with RCA
increased with the increased density.
Thirdly, the large particles of CB-L binder required high water content in concrete block mixture, due
to its high porosities and rough surfaces. Thus, the compressive strength of CB-L concrete block was
lower than CB-F concrete block due to its higher w/b ratio and smaller surface area of binder particles.
The effects of different w/b ratios on the compressive strengths of CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks
are observed in Figures 7 and 8, respectively. The results show that the compressive strength of CB-F

Figure 7. Relationship between compressive strength and w/b ratio of CB-F concrete paving blocks.
12    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

Figure 8. Relationship between compressive strength and w/b ratio of CB-L concrete paving blocks.

concrete block has increased with the decrease in w/b ratio. These results indicated that the fineness of
CB-F binder could reduce the w/b ratio in a concrete block mixture, leading to the higher compressive
strength and this behaviour could also be observed in normal concrete (Behnood & Ziari, 2008; Nguyen,
Chang, Chen, Yang, & Nguyen, 2015; Poon, Lam, & Wong, 2000). On the other hand, the compressive
strength of CB-L concrete block has increased with increasing w/b ratio. Moreover, some amount of
superplasticiser was absorbed together with the mixing water into the CB-L binder, resulting in less
water content of CB-L concrete blocks at the lower w/b ratio; thus, the mixing water is not sufficient to
complete the pozzolanic reaction as well as the compaction. This finding suggests that sufficient water
content is an important parameter in the pozzolanic reaction process and compaction, especially in
the case of pozzolanic material with high porosity.
ASTM C936 (2016) defines the compressive strength of interlocking concrete paving block at least of
55 MPa at the time to work site, however, the compressive strength results of the concrete blocks in this
study do not meet the specification of this standard. In addition, when compared the concrete blocks in
this study to the concrete blocks made from OPC and natural aggregates with the binder to aggregate
ratio of 1:3 by weight and w/b ratio of 0.27 (Poon & Lam, 2008), it was found that the concrete blocks
made from OPC and natural aggregates had the compressive strength of 85.8 MPa at 28 days, which
was higher than the compressive strength of 27CB-F concrete block. It should be noted that all the
concrete blocks in this study had no OPC in the mixture, moreover, FRCA was also used to replace the
fine natural aggregate. The lower compressive strength of CB concrete block could be explained by
the study of Rattanashotinunt et al. (2013), who reported that the concrete made from calcium carbide
residue mixed with BA as a binder decreased the compressive strength of concrete by approximately
18 to 26% as compared to concrete made from OPC as a binder. In addition, Khatib (2005) found that
the compressive strength of concrete with 100% replacement of fine natural aggregate by fine RCA was
reduced between 26 and 36% as compared to the reference concrete (100% of fine natural aggregate).
However, comparing the obtained results with the TIS 827 standard (1988), 27CB-F concrete block had
the compressive strengths of 36.4 and 41.9 MPa at 28 and 60 days, respectively, and 25CB-F concrete
block had the compressive strengths of 40.6 and 47.3 MPa at 28 and 60 days, respectively, which have
exceeded the minimum requirement of 40.0 MPa at the testing age of not less than 7 days for inter-
locking concrete paving block as specified by TIS 827 standard (1988).

3.3.  Flexural strength


In this study, the CB-F and CB-L concrete block mixtures that gave the highest compressive strengths
were selected to determine the flexural strength groups; they were the 25CB-F and 55CB-L concrete
blocks. The flexural strength and the ratio of flexural strength to compressive strength of 25CB-F and
55CB-L concrete blocks are shown in Table 7.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   13

Table 7. Flexural strength and percentage of flexural strength as compared to the compressive strength of 25CB-F and 55CB-L
concrete paving blocks.

Flexural strength (MPa) (Percentage of its compressive strength)


Concrete block 7 days 28 days 60 days
25CB-F 2.4 (8.7) 3.5 (8.6) 4.4 (9.2)
55CB-L 1.7 (15.5) 2.2 (13) 2.5 (12.7)

The flexural strengths of 25CB-F concrete blocks at 7, 28 and 60 days were 2.4, 3.5 and 4.4 MPa,
while those of 55CB-L concrete blocks were 1.7, 2.2 and 2.5 MPa, respectively. The flexural strength
of 25CB-F concrete block was higher than 55CB-L concrete block because the 25CB-F concrete block
had higher compressive strength. A similar result was also found by Wongkeo, Thongsanitgarn,
Pimraksa, and Chaipanich (2012) who reported that flexural strength had direct relationship with
its compressive strength, i.e. the flexural strength increased with the increase in compressive
strength. In addition, it was attributed that Ca(OH)2 within FRCA could react with pozzolanic mate-
rial, resulting in the new paste at interface of FRCA (Kou & Poon, 2009). This characteristic might
occur with 25CB-F concrete block, which had high fineness of BA in the mixture. The flexural
strengths of CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks ranged from 8.5 to 9.5% and from 12.5 to 15.5% of their
compressive strengths, respectively. It should be noted that the flexural strength was less than
10% of the compressive strength for the high compressive strength of the concrete block (25CB-F
concrete block). On the other hand, for the low compressive strength 55CB-L concrete block, the
flexural strength was higher than 10% of its compressive strength. This result suggested that the
ratio of flexural strength to compressive strength (as a percentage) decreases with increasing of
compressive strength, which is similar to that of normal concrete (Arιoglu, Girgin, & Arιoglu, 2006).
This finding indicates that CB-F and CB-L concrete blocks have the same characteristics as normal
concrete, even though the materials used to make the blocks are industrial waste materials and
no OPC was included in mixture.

3.4.  Abrasion resistance


Figure 9 shows the values of weight loss due to abrasion and the compressive strength of 55CB-L and
25CB-F concrete blocks compared to normal concrete made with OPC and natural aggregate in the
mixture, which had the compressive strengths between 10 and 30 MPa (Langan, Joshi, & Ward, 1990).
As expected, the abrasion loss was increased for reduced compressive strength block. The abrasion
losses due to of 25CB-F concrete block were 7.97, 5.33 and 2.63 g corresponding to the compressive

Figure 9. Relationship between weight loss due to abrasion and compressive strength of paving concrete blocks.
14    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

strengths of 27.2, 40.6 and 47.3 MPa, respectively. The 55CB-L blocks had abrasion losses of 14.7, 13.7 and
12.1 g corresponding to the compressive strengths of 11.2, 16.9 and 19.7 MPa, respectively. The 25CB-F
concrete block had lower abrasion losses than the 55CB-L concrete block at all testing ages because
the compressive strength of the block was the important factor controlling the abrasion resistance
(Naik, Singh, & Hossain, 1995; Siddique, 2004). This result agrees with other researches showing that
the abrasion resistance of concrete follows its compressive strength (Atiş, 2002, 2003; Gjorv, Baerland, &
Ronning, 1990; Naik et al., 1995). In addition, the hardened paste in the 55CB-L concrete block mixture
may have some incomplete residues from the pozzolanic reaction due to the large particles of the
binder. The binder residues are softer materials than that of paste from pozzolanic product, resulting
in a decrease in abrasion resistance.
Considering the weight loss due to abrasion of CB concrete block compared to normal concrete
(Langan et al., 1990) (Figure 9), the abrasion losses of CB blocks tend to be higher than those of normal
concrete. In general, the abrasion resistance of concrete is related to the strengths of the mortar phase
and coarse aggregate phase (Shamsai, Rahmani, Peroti, & Rahemi, 2012). In this case, the abrasion
resistance of CB concrete block was controlled by the mortar phase while that of normal concrete was
controlled by both the mortar and coarse aggregate phases. CB concrete block was produced from
FRCA which was weaker than normal aggregate. Moreover, RA consists of old mortar attached on the
aggregate surface, resulting in its low hardness. Therefore, CB concrete blocks had higher weight losses
than those of normal concrete. Pereira et al. (2012) found that the mixture of concrete with 100% FRCA
had increased depth of wear due to abrasion by approximately 20% compared to the normal concrete.
A similar result was confirmed by Bravo, de Brito, Pontes, and Evangelista (2015), who reported that fully
replacement of the fine natural aggregate by FRCA resulted in increasing abrasion losses between 18
and 53% depending on sources of FRCA.
Summarising, the use of CR and BA as a binder in concrete block did not significantly affect abrasion
resistance, because the abrasion resistance depends on compressive strength more than the type of
binder. The abrasion resistance of concrete block made with CR and BA as a binder can be improved
by increasing its fineness, reducing the unreacted residue in the concrete block and increasing its
compressive strength. However, the use of FRCA to produce concrete block results in the decrease in
abrasion resistance as compared to normal concrete.

3.5.  Benefits from the utilisation of waste materials


Cement production and waste materials in landfills have generated environmental impacts. In addi-
tion, the costs due to the allocation of waste to landfills normally increase every year. The results of
this study have shown that the three waste materials i.e. calcium carbide residue, BA and RCA can
be used to produce a new environmentally friendly concrete paving block without OPC and without
natural aggregate. Utilisation of these waste materials to produce concrete paving block benefits the
environment and users, as shown in Figure 10. It reduces not only the quantity of landfill waste but
also the OPC and natural aggregate usage, resulting in the reduction of CO2 emissions which is good
for the environment. In addition, the use of natural resources will be reduced due to the utilisation
of these waste materials. There are two main processes that generate CO2 gas: the transportation
and grinding processes of the waste materials. In addition, calcium carbide residue, BA and RCA are
by-products or wastes from other industries, so, their prices are very low; the major cost for CR and
BA is the grinding process to reduce their particles for obtaining high compressive strength. These
study results give a good knowledge for the utilising and can guide management of waste materials
for increase their value.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING   15

Figure 10. Output from the utilisation of three waste materials; CR, BA and FRCA.

4. Conclusions
This study used three types of wastes to produce interlocking concrete paving block: calcium carbide
residue (CR), bagasse ash (BA) and recycle concrete aggregate (FRCA). The conclusions are as follow:

(1) The compressive strength of interlocking concrete paving block made from a binder of CR and
BA with FRCA as an aggregate could increase by increasing the fineness of binder and reducing
the w/b ratio of the mixture.
(2) The use of unmodified CR, BA and FRCA caused interlocking concrete paving block to have
higher water absorption and lower dry density due to the physical characteristics of materials.
However, the water absorption of the interlocking concrete paving block could be decreased
by increased fineness of the binder.
(3) The types of materials had no effect on the flexural strength of interlocking paving block;
flexural strength closely correlated with its compressive strength. However, the use of FRCA
resulted in decreased abrasion resistance of the interlocking concrete paving block.
16    A. ABDULMATIN ET AL.

(4) Interlocking concrete paving block made from three types of waste materials, CR, BA and FRCA,
could have compressive strength of at least 40 MPa, meeting the requirement of the TIS 827
standard (1988).

Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Funding
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Office of the Higher Education Commission, Thailand,
for supporting this work under the Strategic Scholarships Fellowships Frontier Research Networks (specific for Thailand’s
southern region) for the Thai Doctoral degree Ph.D. program. Thanks also extent to King Mongkut’s University of Technology
Thonburi under the National Research University (NRU) project and the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) under TRF [grant
number TGR 5780073] for New Researcher Scholar.

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