Mechanical Characterization of Gypsum Composites Containing Inert and Insulation Materials from Construction and Demolition Waste and Further Application as A Gypsum Block

Materials (Basel). 2020 Jan 2;13(1):193. doi: 10.3390/ma13010193.


This article analyzes the feasibility of using construction and demolition waste (expanded polystyrene, ceramic, and concrete waste) in a gypsum matrix to manufacture plaster for interior coatings or for prefabricated elements for interior partitions. To do this, several gypsum specimens were prepared (4 × 4 × 16 cm) incorporating different percentages of waste based on the weight of the gypsum (25%, 50%, and 75% of ceramic, concrete, and a mixture of both). Reference samples were also produced (without additions) to compare the results obtained. The compounds with the best performance were selected and lightened by preparing other samples in which 1/3 and 2/3 of the volume of ceramic, concrete, and mixed waste were replaced with expanded polystyrene (EPS). All samples were tested in the laboratory and the following physical and mechanical characteristics were determined: density, surface hardness, flexural strength, compressive strength, capillary water absorption, and thermal conductivity. Several applications were proposed for the selected compounds. A gypsum block with a sandwich configuration was obtained (40 × 20 × 10 cm) using the optimum compound. The block was further tested regarding its density and compression strength. A comparative analysis showed that it is possible to produce materials with a gypsum matrix by adding ceramic, concrete, and EPS waste, improving the behavior of the traditional gypsum and enabling them to be applied in various construction applications. These applications have a lower environmental impact than ordinary ones because they use less primary raw material, due to the reuse of waste.

Keywords: block; interior partition; plaster; recycled material; sustainable construction.