Recycled Foam Works in Concrete

Posted: December 2021

Category: New Markets

In an 18-month study at UCLA, researchers found that chemically recycled polyurethane mattress foam can be used to make concrete with less energy consumption than traditional concrete production methods. The results of two MRC-funded studies at UCLA were released in December 2021.

Researchers determined the upcycled polyurethane foam can be combined with naturally occurring zeolite minerals to produce high strength composites with properties comparable to ordinary Portland cement. The composites have better flexural strength and crack resistance and may be suitable for use in cast concrete and other products such as concrete sound barriers, benches, etc. The research also showed that the recycled foam actually outperformed virgin polyurethane materials.

A patent application was also filed in October 2021 for the process to add upcycled polyurethane foam to concrete.