Used Oil as an Admixture to Improve the Rheological Properties of Concrete

  • Gerrit M. Moelich
  • Rick van Huffel
  • Riaan CombrinckEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 24)


In the past, industrial waste and by-products have successfully been used to improve the properties of concrete. Used engine oil is a waste product which is burdensome to discard of and, due to frequent replacement, is produced in high quantities in the construction industry. The utilisation of used engine oil in concrete has shown potential as an admixture by reducing slump and increasing air-content. The main disadvantage is a reduction in long term compressive strength. This study investigates used engine oil (UEO) and used hydraulic oil (UHO) as admixtures to concrete, focusing on its effect on the rheological properties. Slump, air-content, compressive strength and rheometer tests are conducted for concrete containing different dosages of UEO and UHO. Adding low dosages of UEO and UHO have no noteworthy effect on the compressive strength, although increasing air-content and altering the rheological properties significantly. UEO and, to a lesser extent UHO, reduced the energy required to initiate flow (static yield stress) as well as decreased the plastic viscosity. Adding UEO has a similar effect on the static yield stress and plastic viscosity as increasing water content or substituting cement with a proportion of fly-ash. In conclusion, UEO shows potential as an air-entrainer or water-reducing admixture.


Concrete Admixtures Used oil Air-entrainer Water-reducer 



This work is based on the research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. Any opinion, finding and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material is that of the author(s) and the NRF does not accept any liability in this regard. The financial support of Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerrit M. Moelich
    • 1
  • Rick van Huffel
    • 1
  • Riaan Combrinck
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Unit for Construction Materials, Civil Engineering DepartmentStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa

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