Background Image

CAMP December Newsletter: Page 3

In this Section

CAMP Professor Neithalath Studies the Use of Non-Standard Waste and Recycled Materials in Concrete


Figure 1: Glass Powder

Professor Narayanan Neithalath, of Clarkson’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is investigating the use of waste and byproduct materials in concrete construction.  Concrete is the most important infrastructural material that is used for roads, bridges, and buildings. Currently 12 billion metric tons of concrete are used each year. This places an enormous strain on the natural resources since all the concrete ingredients are mined from nature. In addition, the production of Portland cement is responsible for a share of the global carbon dioxide emissions.  Hence the best possible way to reduce the impact of concrete production on the environment is to incorporate large amounts of waste and recycled materials in concrete. Sustainable technologies like the use of industrial wastes such as fly ash and blast furnace slag, and recycling old concrete as aggregates in new concrete are being practiced extensively. The research at Clarkson University about sustainable concrete materials focuses on the use of non-standard secondary cementing materials for concrete like fine glass powder and high carbon fly ash or filler materials like limestone powder that have the potential to replace a portion of cement in concrete. See Figure 1.  This results in a concrete that is more “green”, and economical. With funding from the Environmental Services Unit of the Empire State Development, NYSERDA, and NYSTAR, research at Clarkson has focused on development, characterization, and optimization of concretes including these secondary cementing and filler materials. The project on the utilization of fine glass powder has resulted in the development of concrete mixture proportions to be used by local concrete and block manufacturers. This work was selected by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association to be featured in the fall 2008 issue of their Concrete InFocus magazine. A recent project awarded to Clarkson from the Metropolitan Development Authority (MDA) will explore the utilization of high carbon fly ash in concrete blocks manufactured by Taylor Concrete Products, Inc., a leading masonry producer in Northern New York.

Next Page

CAMP Professor Jha to Develop Housings for Automotive Applications

Professor Ratneshwar Jha of CAMP has been awarded $115,000 from the NY State Grants for Growth Program and Magna Powertrain of Syracuse for the development of hybrid polymer/metallic housings for automotive applications. This project aims to improve fuel efficiency (through reduced weight) of automobiles which is of critical importance for energy conservation and environmental preservation.

Clarkson University graduate student Omkar Dole and Professor Jha will collaborate with Magna Powertrain engineers/designers led by Dr. Sankar Mohan. Traditional designs have utilized cast iron, aluminum or magnesium housings, sometimes incorporating stamped steel covers. Substituting composite structures for conventional metallic structures has many advantages because of higher specific stiffness and higher specific strength of composite materials. The research will include advanced FEA, empirical laboratory testing of parts and materials and design/fabrication of test parts. There are two main objectives of this project: 1) Development of best practices for analysis of load bearing composite parts including more sophisticated and accurate computer modeling/design optimization abilities, and 2) An in-depth understanding of chemical and/or mechanical material bonding at composite interfaces, changes in microscopic and macroscopic performance as a function of temperature and time, and stability of materials under prolonged exposure to environmental conditions.