An experimental research that seeks to address the problem of waste rubber disposal earned recognition for a team of junior Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) Quezon City civil engineering students following a recent gathering of experts in Selangor, Malaysia.
The study explored the “effects of waste rubber as an additive substitute for coarse aggregates” in concrete mix. It was among the “Best Papers” submitted in the 2023 Advanced Materials and Sustainable Energy Technologies (AMSET) international conference hosted by Sunway University.
“Our conclusion is that rubber does not mix well with cement. This is because rubber has distinct properties and does not chemically react with cementitious components during the hydration process. As a result, the rubber-concrete mixture has low adhesion and bonding.”
Grant Onell Villojan presented their findings in-person on behalf of his classmates and co-authors namely John Aaron Abejo, Rainiel Engelhart Antipuesto, June Hernan Basiya, Nathaniel Delos Santos, Kim Lloyd Lura, Krishel Usi, and research adviser Engr. Juland Padilla.
Their investigation revealed that using rubber as a coarse aggregate in concrete reduces its “compressive strength,” or the capacity of the building material to withstand loads. “Our conclusion is that rubber does not mix well with cement,” Villojan said.
“This is because rubber has distinct properties and does not chemically react with cementitious components during the hydration process. As a result, the rubber-concrete mixture has low adhesion and bonding,” the team noted in their abstract.
Villojan said they appreciate the citation they received from AMSET, and took note of the advice of the panelists who evaluated their research, one of them is a concrete specialist himself. The team is now hoping to improve their study within the same framework.
“We are thinking of the ideal ratio for the rubber mixture, so the pavement will not break down easily once the materials are applied to increase its coefficient of friction,” Villojan said. This will enable their experiment to pass a skid resistance evaluation once it is tested for human activity.
Sunway University received a total of 146 paper submissions for the 2023 AMSET held last October 30-31, 2023 in its Kuala Lumpur campus. Of this figure, 84 was shortlisted for presentations, including 14 from T.I.P. Manila and Quezon City.
According to Dr. Therese May G. Alejandrino, Director of the Technopreneurship and Collaborative Applied Research (TechnoCoRe) thrust, T.I.P. is engaging in these international conferences to ramp up its overall research agenda in the area of sustainable development.
The School of Engineering and Research Center for Nanomaterials and Energy Technology (RCNMET) of Sunway University spearheaded the two-day conference with T.I.P. as one of its co-organizers.
The event was part of the ongoing partnership between the two higher education institutions following the 2021 signing of a memorandum of understanding for the International Research Networks grant scheme.
Collaborating with Sunway University and RCNMET for the 2023 AMSET international conference was a T.I.P. initiative through its International Relations Office in coordination with TechnoCoRe Catalyst.