Professor Narayanan Neithalath

Development and Characterization of Concretes Incorporating Waste Glass Powder  

Professor Narayanan Neithalath, of Clarkson’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded a $200,000 two-year grant from the New York State Department of Economic Development Environmental Investment Program (EIP). The grant is to be used to investigate the potential of using waste glass powder generated by Potters Industries of Potsdam in the manufacture of high performance concretes. Potters Industries, which is one of the largest glass bead manufacturers in the country, generates about 8000 tons of waste glass powder from their Potsdam facility alone. Most of this waste material is being land filled at a significant cost to the producer. Since the glass powder is a rich source of silica, Professor Neithalath expects it to react with the calcium hydroxide in the cementitious system to form secondary binding compounds that can increase the strength and reduce the overall porosity of concretes. This will have a considerable impact on the long term durability of concretes. Understanding the physical and chemical effects of glass powder in cementitious matrices is an important step for Dr. Neithalath towards designing high performance concrete mixtures. See Figure 6.


Figure 6. Modeling of the increase in hydration of cement grains when glass powder is used in concrete.

Dr. Neithalath has teamed up with two local concrete manufacturers – Woodruff Block Company, and Graymont concrete to develop mixture proportions for concrete incorporating waste glass powder. Based on a series of tests conducted, he believes that the secondary reaction capability of glass powder can help in reducing the cement content in concretes by at least 10%, without compromising the long term performance of the material. This will be of significant economical importance, since cement is the costliest component of concrete (accounting for more than 75% of the total cost). The industrial partners in the project have committed to supplying all the raw materials required for this research and CAMP is providing matching funds through NYSTAR. Dr. Neithalath and his team hope to complete laboratory testing and characterization of the modified concretes in the first year of the project. In the second year, work will be carried out at the concrete plants of the industrial partners to develop custom mixture proportions for specific applications.

For more information about Professor Narayanan Neithalath and his research, you may call him at 315-268-1261 or send email to nneithal@clarkson.edu.

Using electrical impedance methods to analyze the early age behavior of cement pastes with glass powder.