Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Permeable pavement made with recycled carbon fibre

Wsu pervious pavement using carbon fibre

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) have created a new, strong, permeable pavement to combat storm water run-off on roads using recycled carbon fibre.

The new hard standing surface allows water to drain freely through the pervious concrete to the ground underneath.

The team said the addition of recycled carbon fibre “greatly strengthened” the concrete while requiring only the minimal amount of energy and chemicals to transform it to a usable state.

Impermeable paving can be a cause of flooding, as water is held on surface and not allowed to seep through to the ground underneath.

The new material has already been used on some car parks and low traffic streets in several cities the team behind the innovation said. But it warned because of its porous nature it was not strong enough for major road use.

The carbon fibre added to the mix was scrap received from Boeing manufacturing facilities. Mechanical milling was then used to refine the composite pieces to the ideal sizes and shapes.

WSU assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Somayeh Nassiri said the added material greatly increased both the durability and strength of pervious concrete.

“In terms of bending strength, we got really good results — as high as traditional concrete, and it still drains really quickly,” said Nassiri.

Nassiri went on to say Carbon fibre composites had become increasingly popular in numerous industries because it was super light and strong. But while the market was growing by around 10% a year, the industries had not yet worked out how to easily recycle the waste which could be up to 30% of the material used in production.

WSU associate research professor Karl Englund added that inexpensive milling techniques had been used instead of heat or chemicals to create a reinforcing element from the waste carbon fibre composites. This he said made use of the original strength of the composites by keeping them in their cured composite form.

“You’re already taking waste — you can’t add a bunch of money to garbage and get a product,” said Englund. “The key is to minimize the energy and to keep costs down.”

Tags

Readers' comments (1)

  • Niall Harrison

    I’d be quite curious to find out it’s shearing properties, assuming there’s an inversely proportional relationship between void ratio and lateral structural bonding.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.