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Recycling Covid-19 Personal Face Masks Used in Concrete

Authors: Dr. Anf H. Ziadat, Habtemichael Habtemariam, Abdulla Rashed, Abdulrahman Alaydaroos, Mohamed Alketbi, Saeed Alali

Journal:  Emirati Journal of Civil Engineering and Applications

Volume: Vol 2 Issue 1

Keywords: Building information modeling, construction information, construction industry, conflict detection, CAD


Abstract

Recently, Covid-19 and other pandemics have led to a surge in the production and utilization of personal face masks, resulting in high increases in waste generation. Improper disposal of such waste endangers living organisms and the environment as most of these masks contain derivatives of plastics. Moreover, conventional disposal methods, such as incineration and landfills are not sustainable for dealing with such plastic-sourced wastes. This research proposes a creative solution to address such issues by incorporating face masks into the concrete mix. In this research, face masks were cut into rectangular pieces of approximately 2cm by 4 cm and added to the concrete mix at different percentages: 2%, 2.5%, 5%, and 10% by volume. Samples of cubes and cylinders from each mix were casted and examined the effect of masks on the strength of concrete. The compression test results presented valuable insights into the impact of adding masks to concrete and suggested that adding 2% – 2.5% of face mask by volume to the concrete mix can be enhanced or at least did not negatively impact the concrete strength. Such results are beneficial in reducing the amount of generated waste masks to be used in concrete without any negative impact on concrete properties.

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