This work deals with the flexural performance of recycled concrete subjected to increasing loads up to failure. For this purpose, eight reinforced concrete beams were made with recycled coarse aggregates using two different water to cement ratios (0.50 and 0.65) and four replacement percentages (0%, 20%, 50% and 100%). Firstly, the basic concrete properties were determined (mechanical strengths and modulus of elasticity) and then, beam specimens were loaded up to failure using a four-point bending test at 28 days. As a result, bending moments, deflections, strains and curvatures were obtained at different load levels (cracking, service, yielding and ultimate state conditions), and also, the crack pattern.
On the basis of these results, it can be noted that service, yielding and ultimate state of recycled concrete exhibits, in general, a similar trend to that of conventional concrete. However, the cracking behaviour shows differences between recycled and conventional concrete. Finally, code-based expressions were used to calculate bending moments and deflections under flexural load, taking into account the different content of recycled coarse aggregate.
In order to promote the sustainability of concrete, efforts have been made to address some of the environmental problems associated with concrete waste. In line with this, numerous researches have been conducted to analyse the structural performance of recycled concrete [1–13]. However, its use in real building and civil engineering applications requires more full scale studies, to assess the load-deformation response of recycled concrete that leads to good agreement on structural design.
In this work, the flexural performance of recycled concretes has been determined. On the basis of these results the following conclusions can be drawn:
• The cracking moment decreases as the replacement percentage increases. This reduction is consistent with the lower tensile splitting strength of recycled concretes, which leads to a greater and earlier cracking than with conventional concrete.
• At serviceability, bending moments and deflections are slightly affected by the content of recycled coarse aggregate due to the low influence of material properties on structural response when structural members are designed to present a ductile behaviour.