Principal investigator: Grady Mathews
University: The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
Industry partners: Aero Aggregates of North America LLC
The production of solid waste is growing at a substantial rate in the United States. Due to a lack of existing recycling infrastructure, solid waste is disposed of in landfills at a rate of approximately 50 – 60%. Mixed-color container glass is particularly difficult to recycle due to the need to separate it from other materials (paper, metals, etc.) and to separate the glass into different colors to produce a non-contaminated useable material. The equipment needed to perform this separation is expensive, with recycling facilities either outsourcing the glass separation to private companies at an increased cost to local residents, or disposing of the mixed-color glass in a landfill. Aero Aggregates of North America, LLC has developed a process to create ultra-lightweight gravel-like aggregates from 100% post-consumer recycled glass. The foamed glass aggregate production process uses powder created from mixed-color curb side glass to create aggregates with a low density and significant insulation value. Precast concrete products often utilize traditional lightweight aggregates made from expanded shale or clay with high insulation values to decrease self-weight and to create energy-efficient materials. This project investigates the use of foamed glass aggregates produced by Aero Aggregates of North America, LLC in precast concrete. The focus of this project is on testing needed to qualify foamed glass aggregate for use in lightweight concrete, and cast Aero Aggregates’ foamed glass aggregate products into the precast concrete marketplace.