Structural concrete with glass trial

A concrete mix that includes 25% recycled glass is being trialled for structural application in a major infrastructure project in Victoria and hailed as a world-first.

The trial, conducted by the University of Melbourne, which is working with the Metro Tunnel Project, is to be used in the structural concrete of the new State Library Station in the capital.

Researchers have been able to demonstrate that 25% of virgin sand used in the concrete mix can be replaced with recycled crushed glass, resulting in a mix of equal strength and quality.

They trialled the crushed glass concrete mix successfully in the construction of temporary suspended concrete slabs ahead of its use in the metro station.

“This is the first time a recycled glass concrete mix has been used in a structural application on a major infrastructure project anywhere in the world,” Victoria’s Big Build website stated.

It has only been used in footpaths and local roads previously. Being able to use waste glass in structure concrete will reduce the reliance on sand and divert glass from landfill.

The Victorian Government is now considering further trials with the University of Melbourne to work on increasing the replacement of virgin sand from 25% to 80% in the concrete mix.

Watch a 3-minute video on the glass trial with the Metro Tunnel Project.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.