A Sustainable Future for Rubber Waste in Sri Lanka
Kuruwita Arachchi, VL
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Innovative construction materials have a high demand in the construction industry with the development of the green building concept and sustainable construction. The use of waste materials is encouraged even with the green rating system, and waste rubber is identified as one of the main waste materials generated in any country. Sri Lanka produces 4.5 billion solid waste materials per year. The management of waste material and implementing them in a productive way is essential for a country to promote sustainability. For rubber waste, solutions such as rubberized concrete have been introduced in developed countries. However, in Sri Lanka, rubberized concrete is not popular in the construction industry. Further, it is not clear whether the quality or the quantity of rubber waste available in Sri Lanka is sufficient to promote such application of rubber waste. Therefore, this study reviews the feasibility of using rubber waste available in Sri Lanka for a commercial application such as rubberized concrete. The wastage of rubber from different sources was identified as 1283.6 tons per month in Sri Lanka. Out of the whole batch of rubber wastage, latex rubber and tire rubber wastage were identified as the main types. The quality of rubber wastage is critical when using rubber waste in application. Literature on rubberized concrete suggests recycled crumb rubber and tire chips of 5mm to 20mm in size as suitable for rubberized concrete. Rubber crumbs of this recommended size can be found in Sri Lanka in sufficient amounts, which implies that there is a future for rubberized concrete in Sri Lanka.
- Engineering