Recycling waste tyre polymer for production of fibre reinforced cemented tailings backfill in green mining

Zhenbang Guo, Jingping Qiu, Alex Kirichek, Hao Zhou, Chen Liu, Lei Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The increasing amount of solid waste, e.g., waste tyres from car industry and tailings from mine operations, causes substantial environmental and societal issues. The recycled tyre polymer fibre (RTPF) reinforced cemented tailings backfill (CTB) is a kind of composite that can treat waste tyres and tailings simultaneously and realize green mining, but its engineering properties have not been well understood. In this study, the rheology (i.e., static and dynamic yield stress, and structural build-up), strength (i.e., uniaxial and triaxial compressive, splitting tensile and flexural strengths), microstructure, and life cycle of RTPF reinforced CTB are comprehensively evaluated. For comparison, the engineering performance of the commonly used polypropylene fibre (PPF) reinforced CTB in mines is tested. The experimental results demonstrate that incorporating 0.6 wt% RTPF into CTB can achieve comparable fluidity and strength to the CTB reinforced with 0.3 wt% PPF at reduced cost and improved sustainability. A strength enhancement approach for RTPF reinforced CTB is also developed by adjusting the viscosity of suspending CTB before the addition of RTPF. With this approach, the splitting tensile strength increases by 68 %. The results obtained from this study pave the way for promoting the recycling of abandoned waste tyres and the safe design of backfill structures in mines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number168320
Number of pages16
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Solid waste utilization
  • Recycled Tyre polymer fibre
  • Cemented tailings backfill
  • Rheology
  • Strength
  • Microstructure


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