Brief

Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK plan to use recycled fine aggregate concrete from demolished concrete buildings for a cement mortar for 3D printing. The material will be used to create bespoke outdoor memorials and public garden furniture.

 

Insight

Waste concrete from demolished buildings is to be reinvented and made into new custom-made outdoor memorials and public garden furniture thanks to a new, innovative £6m project using 3D printing.Currently, around 65 million tonnes of demolition waste enters landfill across north west Europe (NWE) each year, whilst demand on natural resources for the production of new building materials remains high.

Concrete production currently requires the extraction of 54 million tonnes of marine sand annually in NWE alone, with the dredging of this sand being unsustainable and causing damage to fragile marine beds and life.

But, a new project from Manchester Metropolitan University, and partners across Europe, aims to change this, taking Recycled Fine Aggregates (RFA), which are produced when concrete from demolished buildings is crushed, and using it to create 3D-printed concrete designs.

Experts say the reuse of waste RFA could save threatened natural resources and divert tonnes of waste from landfill – but currently no market exists for the use of these materials.

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