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Journal of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
2021; 6(1): 9-12
ISSN: 2637-3882 (Print); ISSN: 2637-3890 (Online)
Suitability and Utilization Study on Waste Plastic Brick as
Alternative Construction Material
Tarekegn Belay Wendimu1, Beneyam Neguse Furgasa2, *, Bonsa Mohammed Hajji2
1Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Engineering and Technology, Mizan Tepi University, Tepi, Ethiopia
2Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Engineering and Technology, Mettu University, Mettu, Ethiopia
To cite this article:
Tarekegn Belay Wendimu, Beneyam Neguse Furgasa, Bonsa Mohammed Hajji. Suitability and Utilization Study on Waste Plastic Brick as
Alternative Construction Material. Journal of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2021, pp. 9-12.
Received: December 29, 2020; Accepted: January 18, 2021; Published: January 25, 2021
Abstract: Construction industry is gradually increasing through the whole of the world and it is consuming natural resource
raw materials for construction materials. Traditional way of producing clay brick without giving care for natural resource
brought deficiency of natural resource. Now the days, plastics waste is the big challenge of the world on Environmental
impacts and Alternative using High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic waste Brick for construction material is preventing
environmental impact of plastic and in other hand saving natural resources clay soil. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
plastic waste was collected from different sites it was thrown and before producing waste plastic Brick High-Density
Polyethylene (HDPE) is cleaned, and the size is minimized as it was suitable for plastic waste Brick. After that Plastic waste
Bricks were produced for different Tests. five sample of plastic waste Bricks were produced for compressive strength test.
Mean Compressive strength of Plastic waste Brick was 24MPa which is satisfied as per Ethiopian and ASTM standard Class A
and SW grade respectively and for dimensional tolerance test, ten waste plastic Brick were taken to check dimensional change.
Waste plastic Brick checked for dimensional tolerance were the same with the standard dimension as per ASTM standard.
Plastic Waste Brick is not recommended for kitchen, chimney and like walling Purpose due to it has low fire resistant and
melted at low temperature.
Keywords: Compressive Strength, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Plastic Waste Brick
Brick is one of the most known and beautiful building wall
material as the world for long for long period of time up to
now . In nature plastic is a very hazardous materials
which is not easily decomposed whether in the soil or water,
due to this it is a huge problem in the world [5, 7]. In this
moment, all very important economic sectors started from
agriculture to packaging, electrical, building construction,
automobile, electronics and communication sectors .
Recycling is the way of using waste materials in to new
products to prevent wastes of potentially useful materials.
Building industry increasingly used eco-friendly, low cost
and lightweight construction material brought the idea of
investigating plastic waste used to environment as well as
maintaining the materials as their standard . Development
of urbanization growth construction industry which
consumes high amount of Building materials may it is natural
resources or waste of different production . Currently
plastic waste is applicable in different ways from industrial to
family consumption and it is universal range of problem
solving materials . According to Gu and Ozbakkaloglu ,
plastic waste is used as landfill or recycled for municipal
solid waste. According to Jonathan and Muhammed ,
Plastic is source of carbon and there are seven types of
plastics include: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET),
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride
(PVC), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene
(PP), Polystyrene or Styrofoam (PS) .
There are different masonry building materials, from those
Brick is one of the most common masonry units. In the
10 Tarekegn Belay Wendimu et al.: Suitability and Utilization Study on Waste Plastic Brick as
Alternative Construction Material
previous time Brick is produced from clay natural soil and
there is imbalance between conventional buildings material
and the need of the users. In other case plastic waste is
largely exist as wastage and it is the biggest challenge to the
In general, Plastic have many characteristics which include
versatility, light-ness, hardness, and resistant to chemicals,
water and impact .
2. Material and Methodology
There are different types of plastic waste in Ethiopia.
According to the availability of plastic waste around research
area, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is used for this
2.2. Data Collection
The samples of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) was
collected from shake Zone, Tepi Town southern Ethiopia
which is located 611 km from southern of Addis Ababa
(Capital city of Ethiopia). The High-Density Polyethylene
(HDPE) was collected from cafeterias and garbage in Tepi
Town and it was passed through process before made plastic
2.3. Preparation of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) for
In this research, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
plastic waste was collected from different areas of Tepi Town
and in order to make suitable for plastic waste Brick
production, first unwanted material was removed from High-
Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic waste manually and
properly washed to clean different chemicals previously
packed in it and other things which affect while it was melt.
After it was dried manually crashed or reduced the size of
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic waste as in
Figure 1. Reduced Size of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
2.4. Moulding of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
A wooden mould was made according to Ethiopian
standard (ES) with the 24cm X 12cm X 6 cm with internal
dimension. The mould was open at the top to produce the
plastic waste bricks as easily. The High-Density Polyethylene
(HDPE) plastic waste was melted at the temperature of
130°C for 20 minutes to one hour , after that the melted
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic waste was filled
in the mould and compacted by hummer to avoid porous
which is affect the strength of waste plastic brick as Figure 1.
Five samples of plastic Bricks were as per Ethiopian and
ASTM standard for checking compressive strength plastic
Bricks [12, 13].
Ethiopian Standard Specification
Bricks are classified according to the laboratory test results
means and individuals of compressive strength, water
absorption and saturation coefficient, according to Ethiopian
standard ES 86 given in the Table 1.
Table 1. Minimum Compressive Strength of Solid Clay-Bricks .
Class Minimum compressive strength
Average of five Bricks (N/mm
) Individuals of five bricks N/mm
A 20 17.5
B 15 12.5
C 10 7.5
D 7.5 5
The American Society for Testing and Materials; Standard
Specification for Building Bricks
According to ASTM , standard specification for
building bricks, clay bricks are classified based on their
compressive strength, water absorption and saturation
coefficient as shown in the Table 2.
Table 2. Classification of Clay Bricks based on their Physical requirements .
Designation Minimum compressive strength, gross area (MPa)
Average of Five bricks Individual of five Bricks
Grade SW 20.7 17.2
Grade MW 17.2 15.2
Grade NW 10.3 8.6
Journal of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering 2021; 6(1): 9-12 11
According to ASTM standard , there are three grade
brick, Grade SW (Sever weathering) - bricks intended for use
where high and uniform resistance to damage caused by
cyclic freezing desired and where the brick may be frozen
when saturated with water. Grade MW (Moderate weathering)
- bricks intended for use where moderate resistance to cyclic
freezing damage is permissible or where the brick may be
damp but not saturated with water when freezing occurs.
Grade NW (Negligible weathering).
Figure 2. Compaction of Melted HDPE Plastic Waste in Mould.
It is the process of cooling two days in order to remove
gases form casted plastic bricks before taken to compressive
strength tests Figure 3.
Figure 3. Produced HDPE Plastic Brick.
2.6. Experimental Tests for Cooled Plastic Bricks
2.6.1. Compressive Strength
The aim of this test was to determine the compressive
strength of plastic waste bricks and Compressive strength
was the only mechanical property used in normal brick
specification; it is the failure stress measured normal to the
bed face. Before taking the produced sample of Plastic bricks,
the face bed is capped to reduce the effects of roughness of
the plastic bricks and each types of plastic bricks were
inserted between the upper and lower plates by kept the
center line of the compression machine plates and on the
machine as indicated in Figure 4 and five plastic bricks were
taken for compressive strength test and the results were taken
average and individual according to the Eq. 1.
Figure 4. Compressive Strength Test for Plastic Brick.
2.6.2. Dimensional Tolerance
The dimension tolerance test for this study conducted as
per the procedures of ASTM. For this study all the plastic
waste bricks are considered as FBS (brick for general use in
masonry) by taking ten plastic waste bricks and measuring
the length, width and height of each plastic waste brick and
the dimension was checked if it‘s within the ASTM C216
standard limit .
Table 3. ASTM standards on dimension tolerance of bricks .
Specified dimension or
average brick size (mm)
Maximum permissible variation in (mm) plus or minus from
Column A (for specified) Column B (for average bricks size in job lot sample)
Type FBX Type FBS Type FBX Type FBS (smooth) Type FBS (rough)
76 and under 1.2 2.4 1.6 1.6 2.4
76 to102 2.4 3.2 1.6 2.6 3.2
102 to 152 3.2 4.8 2.4 2.4 4.8
152 to 203 4.0 6.4 2.4 3.2 6.4
203 to 305 5.6 7.9 3.2 4.8 7.9
305 to 406 7.1 9.5 4.8 6.4 9.5
3. Result and Discussion
3.1. Compressive Strength
According to compressive strength result taken from
compression test machine, individual and Mean result of
plastic waste Bricks were all most have relatively the same.
Individual and mean sample were compared with Ethiopian
and ASTM standard of Brick and all sample of waste plastic
Brick produced satisfy Class A and SW grade which is used
for walling materials purpose as per Table 3. Due to the
12 Tarekegn Belay Wendimu et al.: Suitability and Utilization Study on Waste Plastic Brick as
Alternative Construction Material
capacity of fire resistant and melting temperature of plastic is
low, Plastic Waste Brick is not recommended for kitchen,
chimney and like walling Purpose.
Table 4. Individual and Mean compressive strength of plastic Bricks compared with ES and ASTM and their classification.
Plastic Brick Ethiopian Standard Brick 
Description Individual Compressive Strength in (MPa) Mean compressive strength in (MPa)
Class of Brick Class of Brick
Plastic Brick 1
Plastic Brick 2
25 A SW
Plastic Brick 3
24.5 A SW
Plastic Brick 4
24 A SW
Plastic Brick 5
23 A SW
3.2. Dimensional Tolerance
This test is to determine the effect of dimension change
after it was dried/cooled dimension with the standard original
dimension. The relationship of bricks dimension before and
after cooled not varied and it satisfy the standard for
Waste plastic is one of world environmental challenge due
to it is not decomposed whether in soil and water.
Alternatively, using High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
plastic waste Brick for construction material is preventing
environmental impact of plastic and in other hand saving
natural resources clay soil.
Compressive strength of Plastic waste Brick was satisfied
as per Ethiopian and ASTM standard which was fall under
the Class A and SW grade and Plastic Waste Brick is not
recommended for kitchen, chimney and like walling Purpose
due to it has low fire resistant and melted at low temperature.
We would like thanks to Mizan Tepi University, College of
Engineering and Technology, Department of Construction
Technology and Management help us during production of
plastic waste Brick and laboratory tests.
We would also like to thanks Mizan Tepi University,
Department of Construction Technology and Management
students who collect HDPE plastic waste for us.
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