WHAT IS THE INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS MATRIX?
The hundreds of thousands of tons of reuseable industrial materials generated annually in the United States can be used in lieu of virgin materials in a wide variety of applications. Industrial materials are being used in large scale public sector projects such as highway, airport and utility construction. They are being used in the commercial sector for virtually every aspect of buildings and grounds, including site development, building components, parking lots, sidewalks, and landscaping. And in some cases, their characteristics make them valuable in soils-based applications, ranging from direct land application to site remediation to landcaping soils.
Each material type is suitable for multiple applications. Of course, different materials have different physical characteristics that suit some development opportunities better than others. So how is the project owner, manager, or designer to decide what the options are for matching materials to projects?
The IRC has developed the Industrial Materials Matrix as a decision tool to help align the properties of materials with the types of applications in which they have performed well. The matrix is designed to be a continually evolving resource, which leads the project developer to references, sample case studies, specifications, and other pertinent information about the use of a given material in a given application.
This tool was developed in conjunction with the Recycled Materials Resource Center, which uses a similar concept to describe the material-application matches in the FHWA User Guidelines. There are two versions of the Industrial Materials Matrix available. One is an "at a glance" matrix which can be downloaded in a PDF format by clicking on the icon above.
The second version of the Industrial Materials Matrix is referred to as the Electronic IRC Matrix, or E-matrix for short. The E-Matrix can be found on the following page.
How to Use the Industrial Materials Matrix
The matrix is designed like a spreadsheet with rows and columns. One axis lists the six major MATERIAL groups that form the basis for the IRC. The IRC has developed basic MATERIAL PROFILES for the following industrial materials:
- Coal Combustion Products
- Foundry Sands & Slags
- Construction & Demolition Materials
- Iron & Steel Slags
- Scrap Tires
- Pulp & Paper Production Materials
The other axis defines a number of APPLICATIONS where multiple IRC materials have been used. The IRC has developed basic APPLICATION PROFILES that describe the application and the IRC materials that have been used in this application. Additional applications are developed as information and resources become available. APPLICATION overviews have been developed for:
- Structural fills
- Granular Bases and Subbases
- Stabilized Base and Subbases
- PCC (concrete) Pavement
- Hot Mix Asphalt
- Flowable Fill
- Portland Cement Manufacturing
- Portland Cement Concrete Products other than pavements
- Soil Stabilization
- Agricultural Land Application
- Landfill Cover & Construction
A check mark in the matrix not only indicates that a particular material-application combination has been used successfully, but that adequate data are available to prepare a description of the physical and chemical properties of the material and to describe the design requirements and performance records for one or more specific applications. Material-application combinations that have not progressed beyond the research stage are not described here. Nor is the matrix intended to cover every conceivable use for every material.
Please CONTACT the individual members of the IRC for more detailed information about the specific use of an industrial material in a given application.
The omission of a particular material-application match in this matrix is not to be construed as a prohibition against its use; rather, omission merely indicates that either the material-application combination was inappropriate or that insufficient information was available to provide a useful guideline.
Also note that reusable industrial materials may have regulatory requirements such as permitting that may differ from state to state. Be sure to check with your material supplier or state regulatory agency before beginning construction.