An Investigation on the Use of Expanded Polystyrene as a Partial Replacement of Fine Aggregate in Concrete
The construction sector in Nigeria is looking for alternative materials due to the consistent increase in the cost of building materials. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) material derived from the distillation process of crude oil. It is 100% recyclable, bacteria and age resistant, lightweight with low moisture absorption and possess an excellent cushioning property. This paper focuses on the use of EPS as partial replacement of quarry dust in concrete to carry light loads. Five replacement increments were compared at 0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 0.75% and 1.0% for EPS with mix ratio of 1:2:4 and water-cement ratio of 0.55. Slump, compaction factor and, compressive strength tests were conducted using slump and compaction factor test apparatus on fresh and cured concretes to determine how the incorporation of EPS as a replacement of fine aggregate would affect the development of strength in the mixes. The workability result of the slump and compaction factor test value decreased as the percentage replacement of EPS increased from 0 to 1 % leading to a less workable concrete since the increment in percentage replacement led to a reduction in the bonding property of the concrete. The optimum blend was at 0.25 % replacement of fine aggregate with EPS. The replacement of EPS showed a positive application as an alternative material in building non-structural members. It was concluded that the expanded polystyrene concrete (EPC) can best be used in non-structural applications like solid ground floors and lightweight concrete in ambient temperature.
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