31 Jul, 2019


  • Aggregate materials testing
  • Aggregates consultancy
  • Laboratory chemical analysis
  • Bespoke physical testing
  • Bespoke chemical preparation and testing including Eluate preparation in an up-flow percolation cell


The ACS Group of Companies was asked to test waste plastic items and plastic products for their physical and chemical properties. This included industrial plastic. This was as a result of a competition for the public run by parliament.

The proposed validity was for use in hot mix recycling similar to foamix for pothole repair.


The project objective was to determine whether waste plastic displayed similar physical and chemical properties to traditional aggregate. The purpose was to look at using in blacktop (BS EN 13043). ACS were supplied a typical plastic waste from a 3rd party, which was post-process from recovering more valuable recyclable plastics.

The ultimate aim was to determine whether the plastic was viable for use in road materials to:

  • Reduce waste to landfill and plastic pollution (mixed polymers are not cost effective commercially to recycle)
  • Reduce overall costs to the local authorities by using the waste generated plastic as an aggregate replacement
  • Reducing the amount of quarried aggregates required as part of the end product


Our role was to provide factual evidence of performance to determine how viable for use this new “aggregate” source was. This included full suites for physical and chemical testing including new bespoke tests to simulate the in-situ manufacturing process. Upon completion of the testing, a factual report was prepared collating and summarising results in to an easy to read format.


The mixed plastic polymers had a much lower melting point than traditional quarried aggregates. This meant adjusted drying temperatures and times to ensure materials thoroughly dried during and prior to testing.

  • Creating bespoke and customised testing to mimic the in-situ manufacturing process.
  • Presenting a report for non-technical readers to be able to fully understand.


From our main laboratory in Poole, Dorset, ACS Group provide high quality testing and material consultancy for the construction and civil engineering industry. Since our initial UKAS Accreditation in 1990, our scope of aggregate testing has grown and we now offer a comprehensive range of tests. These are carried out to both British and European Standards and to our approved in-house test methods.

We provide a comprehensive range of aggregates testing meeting required standards together with Standard Highways MCHW requirements. Mechanical, physical and chemical testing is conducted on a wide scope of natural and recycled aggregates to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Find out more about our aggregate testing services. Our comprehensive range of aggregates testing including:

  • Water Content
  • Particle Size Distribution
  • Los Angeles (Fragmentation)
  • Particle Shape
  • Loose Bulk Density and many more.

Please contact us for a complete list of aggregate testing services we provide.


Wiltshire Council

December 2018 to July 2019

ACS Head Office Laboratory

Government Funded Research