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Concrete Materials: Advancement in Materials Design, Manufacturing, and Applications

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction and Building Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 October 2023) | Viewed by 19024

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Division of Architecture and Urban Design, Incheon National University, 119 Academy-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 22012, Korea
Interests: cement; concrete; alkali-activated materials; cementitious materials; sustainability; durability; microstructure; physicochemical property; materials design; CO2 utilization
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, “Concrete Materials: Advancement in Materials Design, Manufacturing and Applications”, will address advances in materials design, manufacturing, and applications of various novel concrete-incorporating alternative materials. Concrete is one of the oldest building materials, with early practices tracing back to the times of the Roman Empire. In the past few decades, architectural and infrastructural challenges have resulted in the development of new design techniques, production, and application methods. Accumulating and curating different aspects of new trends in concrete materials is the need of the hour to draw a clear and concise understanding and provide effective application areas.

Concrete materials are inherently heterogeneous with different design techniques and manufacturing philosophies. Depending on the application, it is possible to design and manufacture new concrete materials which are sustainable and result in the enhancement of concrete technology. Therefore, the topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Environmentally friendly design of concrete composites;
  • New process for concrete production;
  • Functionally graded concrete materials;
  • Fiber-reinforced cement composites;
  • Smart materials and its applications in concrete;
  • Energy-efficient concrete materials;
  • Advanced characterization method for concrete.

The aim of this Special Issue is to showcase the latest research and advances in this area, particularly on the design, manufacturing, and applicability of various types of concrete materials. Original research papers, state-of-the-art reviews, communications, and discussions are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Jeong Gook Jang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Concrete 
  • Cement-based material 
  • High-performance material 
  • Manufacturing process 
  • Application

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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30 pages, 11055 KiB  
Article
Significance of Vibration Time in Developing Properties of Precast Pervious Concrete
by Karol Chilmon, Beata Jaworska, Maciej Kalinowski, Wioletta Jackiewicz-Rek and Aleksandra Podkoń
Materials 2023, 16(18), 6239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16186239 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Due to its properties, pervious concrete is usually considered a material of choice for permeable surfaces. However, its permeability properties, as well as mechanical performance, depend on its effective porosity. In this paper, the Authors investigated the influence of material and technological factors [...] Read more.
Due to its properties, pervious concrete is usually considered a material of choice for permeable surfaces. However, its permeability properties, as well as mechanical performance, depend on its effective porosity. In this paper, the Authors investigated the influence of material and technological factors on the selected properties of pervious concrete. A new method, based on the Vebe consistency test method, was developed to assess the vibration time required to reach a designed effective porosity of pervious concrete. Five classes of pervious concrete’s consistency measured by the modified vebe method were proposed, and the limiting values to determine optimum vibration time were indicated. A model of dependence between the porosity of pervious concrete, its consistency, and compaction time was proposed. It was found that for the assumed range of variability, compaction time and material composition significantly influence the porosity of pervious concrete, and, therefore, all properties of pervious concrete. Full article
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18 pages, 4736 KiB  
Article
Possibility of Using Waste Materials as Substitutes for Gravel or Water in Concrete Mix
by Arkadiusz Bieszczad, Ernest Popardowski, Weronika Lubińska, Maciej Gliniak, Grzegorz Nawalany and Paweł Sokołowski
Materials 2023, 16(5), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16051810 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Analyzing the global waste management sector, we can see that some waste, due to its specificity, is a major challenge when it comes to its management. This group includes rubber waste and sewage sludge. Both items pose a major threat to the environment [...] Read more.
Analyzing the global waste management sector, we can see that some waste, due to its specificity, is a major challenge when it comes to its management. This group includes rubber waste and sewage sludge. Both items pose a major threat to the environment and human health. The remedy for this problem may be the solidification process, in which the presented wastes are used as substrates in the production of concrete. The aim of this work was to determine the effect of waste addition to cement in the form of an active additive (sewage sludge) and a passive additive (rubber granulate). An unusual approach to sewage sludge was used, which was introduced as a substitute for water, and not, as in most works, sewage sludge ash. In the case of the second waste, commonly used tire granules were replaced with rubber particles resulting from the fragmentation of conveyor belts. A wide range of the share of additives in the cement mortar was analyzed. The results for the rubber granulate were consistent with numerous publications. For the addition in the form of hydrated sewage sludge, the deterioration of the mechanical properties of concrete was demonstrated. It was found that the flexural strength of the concrete in which water was replaced with hydrated sewage sludge was lower than that of the sample without the addition of sludge. The compressive strength of concrete with the addition of rubber granules was higher than the control sample and did not significantly depend on the amount of granulate used. Full article
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23 pages, 6929 KiB  
Article
Seismic Performance of Precast Concrete Frame Beam-Column Connections with High-Strength Bars
by Jianbing Yu, Ershuai Zhang, Zhiqiang Xu and Zhengxing Guo
Materials 2022, 15(20), 7127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207127 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
As the construction industry is striding towards the industrialization of green buildings, a precast concrete frame beam-column joint with high-strength reinforcement was proposed. Simulate reversed cyclic loading was carried out on two precast connections and one cast-in-place connection to examine the seismic behavior [...] Read more.
As the construction industry is striding towards the industrialization of green buildings, a precast concrete frame beam-column joint with high-strength reinforcement was proposed. Simulate reversed cyclic loading was carried out on two precast connections and one cast-in-place connection to examine the seismic behavior of the proposed new precast connection. The main test variables between the two precast connections were the strength of the reinforcement at the bottom of the beam. The failure shape, hysteresis curve, skeleton curve, strength, deformation ability, stiffness degradation, and energy dissipation were monitored and compared with the cast-in-place connection. The findings of this paper showed that the precast joints had good strength reserve, and the seismic performance in the later stage of loading even exceeds the cast-in-place joints. It was also found that the plastic hinge zone of the beam could be moved away from the column surface via reinforcement method. Additionally, based on the experiment, a detailed nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) method was developed to reproduce the test response of specific types of bending moment-resistant precast concrete beam-column connections under a reversed loading test, which provided a theoretical reference for further research of the connections. Full article
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18 pages, 4869 KiB  
Article
Cement Paste Mixture Proportioning with Particle Packing Theory: An Ambiguous Effect of Microsilica
by Paweł Niewiadomski, Anna Karolak, Damian Stefaniuk, Aleksandra Królicka, Jacek Szymanowski and Łukasz Sadowski
Materials 2021, 14(22), 6970; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14226970 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Recently, the research of innovative building materials is focused on applying supplementary materials in the form of micro- and nanopowders in cementitious composites due to the growing insistence on sustainable development. Considering above, in paper, a research on the effect of microsilica and [...] Read more.
Recently, the research of innovative building materials is focused on applying supplementary materials in the form of micro- and nanopowders in cementitious composites due to the growing insistence on sustainable development. Considering above, in paper, a research on the effect of microsilica and SiO2 nanoparticles addition to cement paste, designed with Andreasen and Andersen (AA) packing density model (PDM), in terms of its physical and mechanical properties was conducted. Density, porosity, compressive strength, hardness, and modulus of indentation were investigated and compared regarding different amount of additives used in cement paste mixes. Microstructure of the obtained pastes was analyzed. The possibility of negative influence of alkali-silica reaction (ASR) on the mechanical properties of the obtained composites was analyzed. The results of the conducted investigations were discussed, and conclusions, also practical, were presented. The obtained results confirmed that the applied PDM may be an effective tool in cement paste design, when low porosity of prepared composite is required. On the other hand, the application of AA model did not bring satisfactory results of mechanical performance as expected, what was related, as shown by SEM imaging, with inhomogeneous dispersion of microsilica, and creation of agglomerates acting as reactive aggregates, what as a consequence caused ASR reaction, crack occurrence and lowered mechanical properties. Finally, the study found that the use of about 7.5% wt. of microsilica is the optimum in regards to obtain low porosity, while, to achieve improved mechanical properties, the use of 4 wt. % of microsilica seems to be optimal, in the case of tested cement pastes. Full article
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19 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Precursor, Molarity and Temperature on the Rheology and Structural Buildup of Alkali-Activated Materials
by Salman Siddique, Vivek Gupta, Sandeep Chaudhary, Solmoi Park and Jeong-Gook Jang
Materials 2021, 14(13), 3590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14133590 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
This study presents an investigation of the effects of the precursor, alkalinity and temperature on the rheology and structural buildup of alkali activated materials. Here, 100% fly ash, 100% slag and blended mixes of fly ash and slag were activated by 4 M, [...] Read more.
This study presents an investigation of the effects of the precursor, alkalinity and temperature on the rheology and structural buildup of alkali activated materials. Here, 100% fly ash, 100% slag and blended mixes of fly ash and slag were activated by 4 M, 6 M, 8 M or 10 M (only for sodium hydroxide) solutions at 25 °C, 35 °C, 45 °C and 55 °C. The rheological properties were investigated to obtain the flow curves, viscosity, storage modulus, and loss factor of these materials. The results showed that for the presence of slag, a higher molarity of the alkali activating solution and a high temperature all caused greater interparticle force, leading to an increase in the shear stress and viscosity of the alkali activated materials. It was also observed that slag had the greatest effect on the increase in the storage modulus of the blended mixes. Furthermore, the higher alkalinity and temperature levels were instrumental in initiating the dissolution of fly ash and improving its rate of structural buildup. Moreover, the interdependence of various factors showed that the type of precursor, as well as the concentration of alkali activating solution, were the primary influencing factors on the polymerization process, as well as the rheological measurements of alkali-activated materials. Full article
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16 pages, 4951 KiB  
Article
A Mathematical Model of the Expansion Evolution of Magnesium Oxide in Mass Concrete Based on Hydration Characteristics
by Chuqiao Feng, Cheng Zhao, Xiaomin Yu, Jie Xiong and Longwen Tang
Materials 2021, 14(12), 3162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123162 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
The low swelling property of magnesium oxide concrete is a significant feature that can be used to control the cracking of mass concrete. Based on the characteristics of the chemical reaction, this work proposes a coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical model that can be implemented with [...] Read more.
The low swelling property of magnesium oxide concrete is a significant feature that can be used to control the cracking of mass concrete. Based on the characteristics of the chemical reaction, this work proposes a coupled hydro-thermo-mechanical model that can be implemented with the finite element method for predicting the autogenous volumetric deformation of magnesium concrete. By introducing the degree of the hydration reaction of magnesia and the degree of the hydration reaction of cementitious materials as intermediate variables of the chemical reaction system, a prediction model of the concrete temperature and chemical fields is established, and using this model, the effect of the temperature on the reaction rate can be considered in real time. In addition, by combining the relationship between the degree of the hydration reaction of magnesium oxide and the comprehensive expansion of concrete, a mathematical model for calculating the expansion stress of magnesia concrete was established. The algorithms were derived by mathematical equations, and the simulation results were compared to the experimental temperature and autogenous volumetric strain curves, which showed that the hydration model provides a relatively high accuracy. The model was also applied to an arch dam, and the coupled thermo-chemical-mechanical responses of mass concrete during construction were investigated. Simulation results show that the increase in temperature (hydration of cementitious material) and expansion volumetric deformation (hydration of MgO) of the concrete on the upstream and downstream surfaces lags obviously behind that of the inner regions. Quantitative analysis for differences of internal and external expansion is worthy of further attention and study on a basis of further experimental data as well as monitored data. Full article
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32 pages, 47456 KiB  
Article
Predictive Hydration Model of Portland Cement and Its Main Minerals Based on Dissolution Theory and Water Diffusion Theory
by Tianqi Qi, Wei Zhou, Xinghong Liu, Qiao Wang and Sifan Zhang
Materials 2021, 14(3), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030595 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
Efficient and accurate cement hydration simulation is an important issue for predicting and analyzing concrete’s performance evolution. A large number of models have been proposed to describe cement hydration. Some models can simulate the test results with high accuracy by constructing reasonable functions, [...] Read more.
Efficient and accurate cement hydration simulation is an important issue for predicting and analyzing concrete’s performance evolution. A large number of models have been proposed to describe cement hydration. Some models can simulate the test results with high accuracy by constructing reasonable functions, but they are based on mathematical regression and lack of physical background and prediction ability. Other models, such as the famous HYMOSTRUC model and CEMHYD3D model, can predict the hydration rate and microstructure evolution of cement based on its initial microstructure. However, this kind of prediction model also has some limitations, such as the inability to fully consider the properties of cement slurry, or being too complicated for use in finite element analysis (FEA). In this study, the hydration mechanisms of the main minerals in Portland cement (PC) are expounded, and the corresponding hydration model is built. Firstly, a modified particle hydration model of tricalcium silicate (C3S) and alite is proposed based on the moisture diffusion theory and the calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) barrier layer hypothesis, which can predict the hydration degree of C3S and alite throughout the age. Taking the hydration model of C3S as a reference, the hydration model of dicalcium silicate (C2S) is established, and the synergistic hydration effect of C3S and C2S is calibrated by analyzing the published test results. The hydration model of tricalcium aluminate(C3A)-gypsum system is then designed by combining the theory of dissolution and diffusion. This model can reflect the hydration characteristics of C3A in different stages, and quantify the response of the hydration process of C3A to different gypsum content, water–cement ratio, and particle size distribution. Finally, several correction coefficients are introduced into the hydration model of the main mineral, to consider the synergistic hydration effect among the minerals to some extent and realize the prediction of the hydration of PC. Full article
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17 pages, 10172 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Preplaced Aggregate Concrete Fabricated with Alkali-Activated Slag/Fly Ash Cements
by Salman Siddique, Hyeju Kim, Hyemin Son and Jeong Gook Jang
Materials 2021, 14(3), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030591 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2054
Abstract
This study assesses the characteristics of preplaced aggregate concrete prepared with alkali-activated cement grout as an adhesive binder. Various binary blends of slag and fly ash without fine aggregate as a filler material were considered along with different solution-to-solid ratios. The properties of [...] Read more.
This study assesses the characteristics of preplaced aggregate concrete prepared with alkali-activated cement grout as an adhesive binder. Various binary blends of slag and fly ash without fine aggregate as a filler material were considered along with different solution-to-solid ratios. The properties of fresh and hardened grout along with the properties of hardened preplaced concrete were investigated, as were the compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, density, water absorption and total voids of the preplaced concrete. The results indicated that alkali-activated cement grout has better flowability characteristics and compressive strength than conventional cement grout. As a result, the mechanical performance of the preplaced aggregate concrete was significantly improved. The results pertaining to the water absorption and porosity revealed that the alkali-activated preplaced aggregate concrete is more resistant to water permeation. The filling capacity based on the ultrasonic pulse velocity value is discussed to comment on the wrapping ability of alkali-activated cement grout. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 2744 KiB  
Review
Suitability of Blending Rice Husk Ash and Calcined Clay for the Production of Self-Compacting Concrete: A Review
by Abubakar Muhammad, Karl-Christian Thienel and Ricarda Sposito
Materials 2021, 14(21), 6252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14216252 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
One principal approach to achieve self-compacting properties is the increased amount of finer constituents of the mixture. This, in turn, increases cement consumption leading to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Pozzolanic materials, like rice husk ash or calcined highly kaolinitic clays, have gained increased [...] Read more.
One principal approach to achieve self-compacting properties is the increased amount of finer constituents of the mixture. This, in turn, increases cement consumption leading to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Pozzolanic materials, like rice husk ash or calcined highly kaolinitic clays, have gained increased attention as supplementary cementitious materials in self-compacting concrete production. These materials could be viable alternative supplementary cementitious materials for sub-Saharan Africa which already lacks fly ash, slag and silica fume. This current effort reviews the impact of rice husk ash and calcined clays for the production of self-compacting concrete. Special focus is on their impact on rheological, mechanical and durability properties of self-compacting concrete. Rice husk ash and, in particular, calcined highly kaolinitic clays are introduced as technical and cost-effective supplementary materials for use in self-compacting. The review disclosed a lack of knowledge when it comes to the use of low-kaolinitic calcined clays as sole SCM or together with rice husk ash, which could be a very promising combination for e.g., several countries in Africa. Further studies are needed on the rheological properties, shrinkage, creep, and durability of self-compacting concrete produced with other calcined common clays and their blend with rice husk ash. Full article
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