FURI | Fall 2020

Enhancing Mechanical Properties of Cement Beams with UV-Irradiated Polypropylene

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Steel is used to strengthen concrete used for infrastructure. Concrete is composed mostly of cement, water, and aggregates. While most of these ingredients are sourced naturally, cement must be manufactured; a process that contributes a substantial amount of carbon emissions. In an effort to reduce the amount of cement used in concrete this research focuses on adding UV treated plastics, which can chemically bond with the ingredients while preserving its mechanical performance. The overall goal is to demonstrate that concrete can perform the same with cement replaced by treated plastics, thus reducing carbon emissions and re-purposing plastic waste.

Student researcher

Marissa Jimenez

Materials science and engineering

Hometown: Tempe, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2020