Transient thermal behaviour of crumb rubber-modified concrete and implications for thermal response and energy efficiency in buildings

Experimental data is presented for the dry and saturated steady state thermo-physical properties, and also the dynamic thermal properties, of 180, 120 and 65 mm target slump mix designs for Plain Rubberised Concrete (PRC) with varying %wt rubber substitution and aggregate replacement types (fine, coarse, and mixed). The composites had significantly lower density and thermal conductivity than plain concrete, and there was an inverse relationship between thermal admittance and (a) mix design target slump, and (b) %wt crumb rubber substitution. The thermal decrement remained almost constant, and yet the associated time lag can be increased significantly. Parametric analysis of the effects of crumb rubber substitution for a heavyweight PassivHaus standard dwelling (in non-mechanical ventilation mode) was conducted using building performance simulation. For a London (warmer) or Glasgow (cooler) climate, PRC can be used at up to 30%wt addition and all replacement types as a substitute for plain concrete without causing any significant difference in Dry Resultant Temperature (DRT) fluctuation, if used in conjunction with passive ventilation for night time cooling. However, for the same material there was a general tendency to increase the number of overheating hours in this construction type due to its greater ability to retain any stored heat energy.