Utilization of Plastic Waste Material in Masonry Bricks Production Towards Strength, Durability and Environmental Sustainability


  • Aneke Frank Ikechukwu University of Kwazulu Natal
  • Abdolhossein Naghizadeh University of the Free State




masonry bricks, PET waste, foundry sand, strengths, stiffness


The level of generated plastic waste has awash over a billion metric tonnes of this waste into our environment. If an effective long-lasting solution to this impending disaster is not provided through recycling, reengineering, and conversion of this waste to resourceful materials. Then sustainability and conservation of natural non-replenishable materials will be severely threatened. The aims to avert the impending consequences of this disaster and conserve natural materials have given rise to a sustainable future in the production of low carbon embedded construction materials. Under these circumstances, this study, therefore, presents the strengths and durability of waste plastic bricks (WPB) produced from blending scrap PET plastics and foundry sand. The WPB masonry bricks were produced using ratios of 10:90, 20: 80, and 30: 70 to the combined dry mass of PET and sand. Series of compressive strength tests, modulus of rupture (MOR) tests, apparent porosity tests, water absorption tests, salt-resistance tests, ultrasonic pulse velocity, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) tests were conducted to investigate the strength and durability of the WPB in conformance with the South African National Standard (SANS 227) for individual load-bearing masonry face brick unit. Compared to the clay bricks with 18 MPa what of strength, the test result revealed that the WPB rendered an average compressive strength of 35.2 MPa. Furthermore, the test result showed that the WPB recorded significant strength resistance under tension compared to the clay brick due to the ductility properties of scrap plastic waste. Also, the acid effects were significantly resisted on the surface WPBs due to the hydrophobic property of the PET- waste. The stiffness of the clay bricks portrayed brittle response, whereas WPBs benefited with high ductility properties, therefore, revealed a great proportionality between the dynamic modulus and ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 90%.