Student: Susan Cheng

Project: Comparing the Properties of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Plastic Bricks to Conventional Concrete Masonry Units

View: Research Poster (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics

Advisor: Ganesh Balasunbramanian


The research investigates the viability of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bricks as a replacement for concrete masonry units as a building material. The underlying goal is to validate the pursuit of production and testing of recycled PET bricks. Recycled plastic bricks have the potential to divert valuable post-consumer plastic waste from landfills, locking up this plastic for decades to come. A comparison of the material properties, as well as the greater societal impacts, of virgin PET and concrete comprise this study. The compressive strengths of the two materials are compared using both published data and a computational analysis. The toxic substances released during production and post-production of concrete and PET are examined, to gain a deeper understanding of the overall impact these materials have on human health.

Susan Cheng

About Susan Cheng

Susan Cheng is a senior at Lehigh University majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in product design.