WIT Press

Structural Properties Of A New Material Made Of Waste Paper


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WIT Press


J. Santamaria, B. Fuller & A. Fafitis


Papercrete is the name of a new construction material made basically of waste paper, cement and water. Contractors have started using papercrete to build low cost houses relying on empirical knowledge of its structural properties. The purpose of this study is to obtain some mechanical and physical parameters of papercrete by doing several laboratory tests. The samples tested were made following the most common procedures that papercrete makers are currently using. The experimental setup used to test the samples is briefly described and some test results are presented. Some conclusions and recommendations for the use of papercrete for building houses are also presented. Keywords: waste paper, recycling, sustainability, low-cost housing, greenconstruction. 1 Introduction The necessity of low-cost housing has pushed people to look for alternative construction materials. \“Papercrete” is a relatively new material basically made of waste paper, cement, and water. Papercrete is a slightly misleading name. It seems to imply a mix of paper and concrete, hence papercrete. But more accurately, only the Portland cement part of concrete is used in the mix – along with other admixtures. Although some sand and other additives to improve its behavior under compressive load may be used, the basic components are still the same. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States recycles about 45% of discarded paper annually, U.S. EPA, 2000 [10]. This


waste paper, recycling, sustainability, low-cost housing, greenconstruction.