e-ISSN 2231-8526
ISSN 0128-7680

Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 32 (2) Mar. 2024 / JST-4480-2023


Mechanical Properties of Virgin and Recycled Polymer for Construction Pile Application

Hoo Tien Nicholas Kuan, Yee Yong Lee, Sim Nee Ting, Chee Khoon Ng and Mohd Khairul Afiq

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 32, Issue 2, March 2024


Keywords: Compression, mechanical properties, polymer, construction pile, tensile

Published on: 26 March 2024

Annual polymer waste generated in Malaysia has increased significantly to more than 1 million tonnes. The prolonged degradation periods required by diverse industrial polymer waste streams are a matter of significant concern, with some taking up to 1000 years to fully degrade. Pursuing a similar environmental concern, the use of bakau piles as supports for lightweight structures in Sarawak, including drainage systems, roads, sewerage, and other water-related structures, has become a matter of concern due to the deforestation of mangrove forests. Both bakau deforestation and polymer waste issues are significant environmental and global concerns. The idea of mitigating mangrove degradation and the non-biodegradable nature of polymer waste has led to the conceptualization of an alternative solution whereby recyclable thermoplastic polymer piles are utilized to supplant bakau piles in providing support for lightweight structures during civil engineering construction projects. Therefore, the study of polymer piles is conducted to examine their mechanical properties in the form of virgin (V) and recycled (R) thermoplastic polymers. In this study, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are considered, and the possibility of being utilized in pile application has been discussed. Based on the results, all virgin types of thermoplastic polymers (HDPE, PP, and PVC), 50%V:50%R for PP, PP(R), and PVC(R), respectively, exceed the bakau ultimate tensile strength. Thermoplastic polymer piles showed great potential to be the substitution for bakau piles to serve in the construction industry, with the recorded experimental tensile and compressive strength tests.

  • Akenji, L., Bengtsson, M., Hotta, Y., Kato, M., & Hengesbaugh, M. (2020). Chapter 21 - Policy responses to plastic pollution in Asia: Summary of a regional gap analysis. In T. M. Letcher (ed.), Plastic Waste and Recycling (pp. 531-567). Academic Press.

  • American Society for Testing and Materials. (2014). Standard test method for tensile properties of polymer matrix composite materials (ASTM D3039).

  • American Society for Testing and Materials. (2023). Standard test method for compressive properties of rigid plastics (ASTM D695).

  • Awoyera, P. O., & Adesina, A. (2020). Plastic wastes to construction products: Status, limitations and future perspective. Case Studies in Construction Materials, 12, Article e00330.

  • Bazli, M., Heitzmann, M., & Hernandez, B. V. (2021). Hybrid fibre reinforced polymer and seawater sea sand concrete structures: A systematic review on short-term and long-term structural performance. Construction and Building Materials, 301, Article 124335.

  • Boscato, G., Mottram, J. T., & Russo, S. (2011). Dynamic response of a sheet pile of fiber-reinforced polymer for waterfront barriers. Journal of Composites for Construction, 15(6), 974-984.

  • Cui, J., & Forssberg, E. (2003). Mechanical recycling of waste electric and electronic equipment: A review. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 99, 243-263.

  • Curless, T. R., & Das, S. (1991). Plastic Wastes: Management, Control, Recycling, and Disposal. Noyes Data Corp.

  • Dutta, P. K., & Vaidya, U. (2003). A Study of the Long-Term Applications of Vinyl Sheet Piles. US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center.

  • Gerrard, N. (2020). The Construction Industry Rises to the Plastics Challenge.

  • Goldberg, L., Lagomasino, D., Thomas, N., & Fatoyinbo, T. (2020). Global declines in human‐driven mangrove loss. Global Change Biology, 26(10), 5844-5855.

  • Hawkins, W. L. (1987). Recycling of polymers. Conservation and Recycling 10(1), 15–19.

  • Jahan, A., Rahman, M. M., Kabir, H., Kabir, M. A., Ahmed, F., Hossain, M. A., & Gafur, M. A. (2012). Comparative study of physical and elastic properties of jute and glass fiber reinforced LDPE composites. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 1(10), 68-72.

  • JKR. (2017). Guideline for Piling Works. Jabatan Kerja Raya.

  • Kamarudin, S. H., Basri, M. S. M., Rayung, M., Abu, F., Ahmad, S., Norizan, M. N., Osman, S., Sarifuddin, N., Desa, M. S., Abdullah, U. H., Tawakkal, I. S. M. A., & Abdullah, L. C. (2022). A review on natural fiber reinforced polymer composites (NFRPC) for sustainable industrial applications. Polymers, 14(17), Article 3698.

  • Kuan, H. T. N., Tan, M. Y., Shen, Y., & Yahya, M. Y. (2021). Mechanical properties of particulate organic natural filler-reinforced polymer composite: A review. Composites and Advanced Materials, 30, 1-17.

  • Lamberti, F. M., Román-Ramírez, L. A., & Wood, J. (2020). Recycling of bioplastics: Routes and benefits. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 28, 2551-2571.

  • Luck, J. D., Bazli, M., & Rajabipour, A. (2022). Bond between fibre-reinforced polymer tubes and sea water sea sand concrete: Mechanisms and effective parameters: Critical overview and discussion. Fibers, 10(1), Article 8.

  • Möllnitz, S., Feuchter, M., Duretek, I., Schmidt, G., Pomberger, R., & Sarc, R. (2021). Processability of different polymer fractions recovered from mixed wastes and determination of material properties for recycling. Polymers, 13(3), Article 457.

  • Perugini, F., Mastellone, M. L., & Arena, U. (2005). A life cycle assessment of mechanical and feedstock recycling options for management of plastic packaging wastes. Environmental Progress, 24(2), 137-154.

  • Robinson, B., & Iskander, M. (2008). Static and dynamic load tests on driven polymeric piles. In GeoCongress 2008: Geosustainability and Geohazard Mitigation (pp. 939-946). ASCE Publishing.

  • Sakr, M., El Naggar, M. H., & Nehdi, M. (2005). Interface characteristics and laboratory constructability tests of novel fiber-reinforced polymer/concrete piles. Journal of Composites for Construction, 9(3), 274-283.

  • Sasse, F., & Emig, G. (1998). Chemical recycling of polymer materials. Chemical Recycling of Polymer Materials, 21, 777-789.;2-L

  • Tan, M. Y., Kuan, H. T. N., & Khan, A. A. (2017). Tensile properties of ground coffee waste reinforced polyethylene composite. In Materials Science Forum (Vol. 880, pp. 73-76). Trans Tech Publications Ltd.

  • United Nations. (2022). The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022. United Nations.

  • UNEP. (2014). Destruction of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually. UNEP Report.

  • Vineetha, V. J., & Ganesan, K. (2014). Interface friction between glass fibre reinforced polymer and gravel soil. Advanced Materials Research, 984-985, 707-710.

  • Wang, X. H. (2022). Biodegradable polymers, history tells polymer science’s fortune. Chinese Journal of Polymer Science, 40, 431-432.

  • Yakupoglu, T., Rodrigo-Comino, J., & Cerdà, A. (2019). Potential benefits of polymers in soil erosion control for agronomical plans: A laboratory experiment. Agronomy, 9(6), Article 276.

  • You, J., Jiang, Z., Jiang, H., Qiu, J., Li, M., Xing, H., Xue, J., & Tang, T. (2022). A “plasticizing-foaming-reinforcing” approach for creating thermally insulating PVC/polyurea blend foams with shape memory function. Chemical Engineering Journal, 450, Article 138071.

  • Yunus, M. (2018). Model test ultimate bearing capacity of bakau piles foundation on soft soil deposit. EPI International Journal of Engineering, 1(2), 94-99.

ISSN 0128-7680

e-ISSN 2231-8526

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles