Engineering properties of municipal incinerator residue

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Civil and Architectural Engineering

First Committee Member

Wen F. Chang - Committee Chair


The objective of this research is to investigate various mechanical properties of Municipal Incinerator Residue. About 7 million tons of this residue is produced presently in the U.S.A. as a result of raw municipal refuse burning. Due to the problem of decreasing number of landfills and strict laws pertaining to the disposal of this residue in landfills, research has gone on for a while to find new and viable solution for residue use as a construction material.The first part of this research investigates the strength properties of fine incinerator ash mixes with different binders, as well as the strength properties of ash mixtures with fly ash, cement and phosphogypsum. Ash alone is generally less water resistant, but addition of small amounts of portland cement improves the water resistance. The addition of class-c fly ash, cement, and phosphogypsum increased the compressive as well as tensile strength of ash based mixtures to a great extent. The results show that fine incinerator ash can be stabilized using low cement content, and its strength properties can be improved.Second part of the study investigated the strength properties of bricks using ash, 4% to 10% cement, and 32% to 76% sand under various compaction pressures. The results confirmed that excellent compressive strength and modulus of rupture can be obtained for bricks made with incinerator fine ash. Also the bricks showed excellent rate of water absorption and resistance to abrasion.The third part of this research involved studying conventional concretes made of coarse aggregate obtained from incinerator residue. The results showed that incinerator aggregate possesses valuable compressive and tensile strength when used as coarse aggregate in concrete. Concrete specimens cured in sea water showed lower compressive and tensile strength than those cured in humidity room or plain water. The results confirmed that coarse incinerator aggregate possesses high strength properties and can be successfully used in precast concrete elements.The fourth and final part of study involved studying compressive and tensile strength properties of dynamically compacted concrete containing coarse incinerator aggregate. The results showed that impact compacted concrete possess higher compressive and tensile strength than externally vibrated concrete specimens cured under identical conditions.The research shows that incinerator residue has a great potential in construction industry. The fine portion can be used in making precast concrete elements as bricks, blocks, road base and in compaction concrete, where as coarse portion can be used as coarse aggregate in highway median barriers, sewage inlets, jetty, and in pavement design.


Engineering, Civil

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