In recent years, the overuse and exploitation of coal resources as fuel in industry has caused many environmental problems as well as changes in the ecosystem. One way to address this issue is to recycle these materials as an alternative to aggregates in concrete. Recently, non-destructive tests have also been considered by the researchers in this field. As there is limited work on the evaluation of the compressive strength of concrete containing coal waste using non-destructive tests, the current study aims to estimate the compressive strength of concrete containing untreated coal waste aggregates using the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) technique as a non-destructive testing approach. For this purpose, various concrete parameters such as the compressive strength and UPV were investigated at different ages of concrete with different volume replacements of coarse and fine aggregates with coal waste. The test results indicate that 5% volume replacement of natural aggregates with untreated coal waste improves the average compressive strength and UPV of the concrete mixes by 6 and 1.2%, respectively. However, these parameters are significantly reduced by increasing the coal waste replacement level up to 25%. Furthermore, a general exponential relationship was established between the compressive strength and the UPV associated with the entire tested concrete specimens with different volume replacement levels of coal waste at different ages. The proposed relationship demonstrates a good correlation with the experimental results.
Keywords: coarse recycled aggregates; compressive strength; concrete; fine recycled aggregates; recycling; ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV); untreated coal waste.