HomeTIP Research Journal Manilavol. 5 no. 1 (2000)

The Effect of Cut Polyethylene Strips on the Strength of Normal Concrete

Alexander D. Co | Nahum L. Bravo

Discipline: Engineering, Materials Engineering, Civil Engineering



The performance of concrete structure throughout its service life is of great importance to every civil engineer. Concrete is widely used in many applications of engineering works such as highways and streets, bridges, dams, large buildings, airport runways, irrigation structures, piers, homes, and even barges and ships.

However, the tensile strength of concrete is much lower (about 15-20%) compared to its compression strength. No amount of its compressive strength could compensate for its tensile weakness.

In this study, the goal was to promote the utilization of scrap polyethylene bottles that were cut into strips or fibers and served as fiber strip reinforcement for the concrete mixtures. Polyethylene is a widely used plastic. Polyethylene has a high tensile strength (about 4,000 pounds per square inches) which may contribute to the over all increase in strength of the concrete. It may also reduce shrinkage and cracking. Also, polyethylene is resistant to water, acids, alkali, and most solvents.

In addition, the utilization of scrap bottles of polyethylene as a material in construction may also provide a solution to our country’s escalating solid waste problems. Polyethylene bottles are non- biodegradable and may pose serious waste problems. Recycling these plastic bottles as construction material may provide benefits to people and provide a solution to our waste problems.

In this research, four concrete mixes were designed. These were: (1)Control mix (no polyethylene strip); (2)Concrete mix with 0.25 %polyethylene strip; (3) Concrete mix with 0.50 %polyethylene strip; and (4)Concrete mix with 0.75 %polyethylene strip.

A total of 12 concrete cylinder specimens and 12 beam specimens were prepared for ASTM compression and flexure tests.