Susanna Rose Westersund

Civil, environmental and sustainable engineering

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2023

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FURI | Spring 2022

Treated Waste Plastics: A Solution for Enhancing the Performance of Concrete Construction

The environment today is facing concerns about the over-accumulation of plastics in landfills as well as excessive CO2 emissions. Containers and packaging take up approximately 15 million tons each year, and accumulations such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are entering the oceans. Work has been done to alter and treat polyethylene plastic to be added to cement mixtures. This is done in an attempt to increase the bearing capacity and ductility of concrete in addition to decreasing carbon emissions and plastic waste.

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Treating polyethylene plastic for concrete construction will help inspire new end-of-life uses for plastic beyond recycling.

Mentor:

  • FURI
  • Fall 2021

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