How are Concrete Recycled?

Earlier demolition of concrete produces a sizable volume of heavy, dense materials of concrete. Now, there are ways in which concrete can be recycled and reused.

The method used to recycle concrete waste depends on the size and shape of the concrete pieces that need to be recycled. The reuse of concrete helps to reduce the construction costs thus providing some benefits to the environment.

The article explains some important information on the recycling of concrete and the ways they can be reused.

How Concrete is Recycled?

The concrete waste is recycled by employing large industrial crushing equipment that has jaws and large impactors. Once the concrete is converted to smaller pieces, it is run through a secondary impactor.

It is then allowed to pass through a screen, where dirt, large and smaller particles of concretes are separated. To remove specific elements from the crushed concrete, additional processes, separators, magnets like water floatation can be used.

Fig.1. Sand and Gravel Separator during Concrete Recycling Process

Metals, clay, dirt, wood, plastic and organic materials can be removed from the recycled concrete by employing methods like water floatation, air separators, electromagnetic separators, and handpicking methods.

Fig.2. Screening Crushed Concrete

Other than crushing, the concrete can be pulverized. But the disadvantage of pulverization is that it makes the separation process harder, leaving the dirt to smaller sizes.

Fig.3.Recycling Process of Concrete

Equipment Used to Recycle Concrete

Fig.4. Concrete Crusher; Image Courtesy: RR Equipment Company

The process of concrete recycling must initially define the method of crushing concrete. In most cases, it is economical to use a crusher instead of moving to a different location for recycling.

Setting up a portable crusher at a centralized location is one of the favorable solution. This must have access to nearby demolished construction waste and providing no hindrance to traffic.

Some of the important tips while purchasing equipment for recycling concrete are:
  • Choose equipment that has a powerful magnet or water floatation facility or an air separator system to easily remove steel from concrete.
  • Arrangement of separate stands would allow faster setup.
  • The control system used for the whole process can be manual, automatic, or remote systems.
  • A recycling system that comprises of conveyors, jaws, and cones facilitate complete processing of the concrete. The system covers the first stage of collecting demolition waste to the final formation of usable construction material.

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