Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1997

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

M. Ala Saadeghvaziri

Second Advisor

Edward G. Dauenheimer

Third Advisor

William R. Spillers


Recycling is gaining widespread support in many communities as an environmentally acceptable solution to the management of solid waste. The success of these recycling programs depends largely on the development of high-value end use for the recycled products. This research involves an experimental and analytical study on the development of high-value, high-volume end uses for recycled plastic shapes. The experimental part includes material tests to determine mechanical properties of various recycled plastics. A constitutive model is proposed and verified that can be used in characterization of recycled plastics. Bending tests of recycled plastic beams were performed to assess strength, stiffness and mode of failure. Analytical results using the proposed constitutive model are in good agreement with the experimental results. An innovative noise wall design that takes advantage of multi-layering to increase stiffness and sound effectiveness is discussed as well as other possible uses and future research needs.