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Special Issue "Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2023 | Viewed by 7296

Special Issue Editor

Instutute of Building Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Transport Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, 60-965 Poznań, Poland
Interests: building materials; concrete technology; nanotechnology; nanomaterials; chemical technology; fibre-reinforced concrete; durability; sustainable construction
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that the production of materials based on cement, especially concrete, is associated with high greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2, and a large carbon footprint. Therefore, in recent years, the cement and concrete industry has increasingly paid attention to the search for new material solutions that will contribute to greater durability of this material. Durability is a very broad term, usually equated with a high strength material that will guarantee the long service life of cement-based materials. However, it is important to note that durability in this sense will also be affected by external factors acting on the material and determining its performance. These factors may be chemical in nature, such as carbonation, chloride or acid attack, or physical in nature, such as cyclic frost or abrasion, etc. This makes it important to take a complete look at the production of cement-based materials, taking into account the correlation between chemical composition, microstructure and external environmental factors, that will ensure high material durability and performance and will result in a lower environmental impact, thus contributing to more sustainable construction.

Therefore, topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Materials design and characterization for enhanced durability;
  • Concrete and cementitious composites including advanced nanomaterials;
  • Durability of concrete and cement-based materials (e.g., chloride attack, carbonation, sulfate attack, acid attack, alkali-silica reaction, freeze/thaw, abrasion, etc.);
  • Possibility of reusing old and recovery building materials or by-products in concrete in the aspect of durability and sustainable development;
  • Durability and sustainability assessment.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present the latest research and advances in this area, particularly on the microstructures and durability of concrete and cementitious materials in the aspect of sustainable development. Original research papers, state-of-the-art reviews, communications, and discussions are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Ślosarczyk
Guest Editors

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
  • supplementary materials
  • cementitious-like composites
  • durability
  • environmental factors
  • nanotechnology in concrete
  • sustainable development
  • by-products
  • recycling concrete

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Alkali-Activated Materials Doped with ZnO: Physicomechanical and Antibacterial Properties
Materials 2023, 16(18), 6224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16186224 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 200
Abstract
The requirements related to reducing the carbon footprint of cement production have directed the attention of researchers to the use of waste materials such as blast-furnace slag or fly ashes, either as a partial replacement for cement clinker or in the form of [...] Read more.
The requirements related to reducing the carbon footprint of cement production have directed the attention of researchers to the use of waste materials such as blast-furnace slag or fly ashes, either as a partial replacement for cement clinker or in the form of new alternative binders. This paper presents alkali-activated materials (AAMs) based on blast-furnace slag partially replaced with fly ash, metakaolin, or zeolite, activated with water glass or water glass with a small amount of water, and doped with zinc oxide. The mortars were tested for flow, hydration heat, mechanical strength, microstructure, and antimicrobial activity. The obtained test results indicate the benefits of adding water, affecting the fluidity and generating a less porous microstructure; however, the tested hydration heat, strength, and antibacterial properties are related to more favorable properties in AAMs produced on water glass alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Article
Analysis of Pore Structure in Cement Pastes with Micronized Natural Zeolite
Materials 2023, 16(13), 4500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16134500 - 21 Jun 2023
Viewed by 481
Abstract
The continuous development of urban areas around the world led to an increase in construction material use and demand, with concrete seeing significant market uptake. Although significant progress has been made to reduce the environmental impact of concrete, there is still a stringent [...] Read more.
The continuous development of urban areas around the world led to an increase in construction material use and demand, with concrete seeing significant market uptake. Although significant progress has been made to reduce the environmental impact of concrete, there is still a stringent need for improvement. One of the most widely used methods to reduce the environmental impact of the cement industry and the construction industry alike is the replacement of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) by supplementary cementitious materials (SCM). Aside from by-products of industry, SCMs could also come from natural sources. Taking into account the porous structure of zeolites and their contribution to the improvement of the mechanical and durability properties of cement-based materials, the analysis of pore structure in cement pastes incorporating micronized natural zeolite is deemed necessary. In this research, the OPC was replaced by zeolite in three different percentages: 10%, 20%, and 30% by mass. The evolution of pore structure was investigated by means of nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry at the curing ages of 1, 7, and 28 days. The microstructure of cement pastes was assessed by scanning electron microscopy investigations at 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. The obtained results show that smaller pore sizes are present in cement pastes containing zeolites during the first 7 days. However, at the age of 28 days, the reference mix exhibits a similar pore structure to the mix containing 10% micronized zeolite due to the presence of larger amounts of hydration products. Increasing the replacement percentage to 30% results in larger pores, as indicated by larger values of the relaxation time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Article
Parameters of Concrete Modified with Micronized Chalcedonite
Materials 2023, 16(9), 3602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16093602 - 08 May 2023
Viewed by 698
Abstract
The PN-EN 197-1:2012 standard allows the use of additives as the main component above 5.0% by mass, as well as as a secondary component in an amount less than 5.0% by mass of cement. Proper selection of additives positively affects the rheological characteristics [...] Read more.
The PN-EN 197-1:2012 standard allows the use of additives as the main component above 5.0% by mass, as well as as a secondary component in an amount less than 5.0% by mass of cement. Proper selection of additives positively affects the rheological characteristics and hardened concrete parameters during longer maturity periods. Additives have already become an integral component of concrete mixes. The aim of the research is to confirm the possibility of using the tested additive in the composition of concrete mixes in an amount of 15% relative to the amount of cement, which would solve the problem of storing and utilizing waste generated during the production of broken chalcedonite aggregates. The planned laboratory tests were carried out for concrete of three classes, C30/37, C35/45, C40/50, according to the PN-EN 206+A1:2016-2 standard, with the addition of chalcedonite dust in a constant amount of 15% relative to cement, and three series without additives as control series. The additive used for concrete mixes was chalcedonite dust with a diameter below 72 μm. It is waste from a broken aggregate mine. The research program included rheological tests of fresh concrete mix, i.e., air content, consistency, bulk density, as well as parameters of hardened concrete mix—compressive strength, absorbability, and capillary uptake. Compressive strength was tested after 7, 14, 28, 56, and 90 days. The laboratory tests aimed to verify whether the addition of 15% chalcedonite dust additive would not worsen the predicted hardened concrete parameters resulting from the designed concrete classes. All three tested series, C30/37, C35/45, and C40/50, with the addition of 15% chalcedonite dust relative to the amount of cement, achieved the assumed strength classes after 28 days of maturation. Concrete mix components were correctly designed. The addition of chalcedonite dust to the concrete mix did not cause a decrease in compressive strength to the extent that the analyzed series did not meet the normative requirements for concrete classes according to the PN-EN 206+A1:2014 standard. The results of absorbability testing indicate water absorption below 5%, while the increase in sample mass in the capillary uptake test gained similar values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Article
Managing the Heat Release of Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement by Modifying the Ye’elimite Content
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062470 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Nowadays, calcium sulfoaluminate cement (CSA) is garnering a large amount of attention worldwide and is being promoted as a sustainable alternative to Portland cement for specific applications. This study aimed to control the heat release of CSA cement paste by choosing the appropriate [...] Read more.
Nowadays, calcium sulfoaluminate cement (CSA) is garnering a large amount of attention worldwide and is being promoted as a sustainable alternative to Portland cement for specific applications. This study aimed to control the heat release of CSA cement paste by choosing the appropriate composition. For this purpose, different calcium sulfoaluminate clinkers with up to 75 wt. % of ye’elimite were synthetized. Then, a reactivity study on the synthesized clinkers was conducted while varying the amount of gypsum added. The heat of hydration was measured by isothermal calorimetry. The influence of the ye’elimite content on the heat release and on the compressive strength was investigated. According to the findings, the amount of ye’elimite in the cement has a direct relationship with the heat release. The heat release as well as the mechanical performance increase with the increase in the ye’elimite content in the CSA cement. An equation allowing the prediction of the total heat release after 24 h is provided. Such data can be of particular interest to consultants aiming at the reduction of thermal cracking in massive concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Article
Study of the Structure and Properties of Electrical Sand Concrete under Prolonged Exposure to Sulfate Environment
Materials 2022, 15(23), 8542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15238542 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
Destructive processes accompanying sulfate corrosion of concrete significantly affect the durability of products and structures based on Portland cement. In the presented study, the long-term effect of sulfate corrosion on the electrical properties of electrically conductive sand concrete was studied. In the course [...] Read more.
Destructive processes accompanying sulfate corrosion of concrete significantly affect the durability of products and structures based on Portland cement. In the presented study, the long-term effect of sulfate corrosion on the electrical properties of electrically conductive sand concrete was studied. In the course of the study, the following were tested: an electrically conductive composition and a control composition based on plain Portland cement. The analysis of changes in the mineral composition of the samples over the course of time in an aggressive solution was carried out. The results show that during the exposure period of the samples from 28 to 224 days, the absorption of sulfate ions slows down and averages 26% for the control composition and 29% for the electrically conductive composition, of the total volume of absorbed sulfates. At the same time, the course of sulfate corrosion was accompanied by a 6% increase in the density of samples of both compositions, as well as a cyclic change in mechanical strength within 15%. In its turn, the key indicator of the electrical characteristics of the compositions—electrical resistivity—tended to increase throughout the experiment. These results can be recommended for assessing the durability and the nature of the operating conditions of electrical concretes used in aggressive environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Article
Physicomechanical and Antimicrobial Characteristics of Cement Composites with Selected Nano-Sized Oxides and Binary Oxide Systems
Materials 2022, 15(2), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15020661 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1637
Abstract
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the durability of building materials, including those based on cementitious binders. Important aspects of durability include the increase of the strength of the cement matrix and enhancement of material resistance to external factors. The [...] Read more.
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the durability of building materials, including those based on cementitious binders. Important aspects of durability include the increase of the strength of the cement matrix and enhancement of material resistance to external factors. The use of nanoadditives may be a way to meet these expectations. In the present study, zinc, titanium and copper oxides, used in single and binary systems (to better the effect of their performance), were applied as additives in cement mortars. In the first part of this work, an extensive physicochemical analysis of oxides was carried out, and in the second, their application ranges in cement mortars were determined. The subsequent analyses were employed in determining the physicochemical properties of pristine oxides: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), measurement of the particle size distribution, as well as zeta potential measurement depending on the pH values. Influence on selected physicomechanical parameters of the cement matrix and resistance to the action of selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi were also examined. Our work indicated that all nanoadditives worsened the mechanical parameters of mortars during the first 3 days of hardening, while after 28 days, an improvement was achieved for zinc and titanium(IV) oxides. Binary systems and copper(II) oxide deteriorated in strength parameters throughout the test period. In contrast, copper(II) oxide showed the best antibacterial activity among all the tested oxide systems. Based on the inhibitory effect of the studied compounds, the following order of microbial susceptibility to inhibition of growth on cement mortars was established (from the most susceptible, to the most resistant): E. coli < S. aureus < C. albicans < B. cereus = P. aeruginosa < P. putida. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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Review

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Review
Concrete Performance Attenuation of Mix Nano-SiO2 and Nano-CaCO3 under High Temperature: A Comprehensive Review
Materials 2022, 15(20), 7073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207073 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Fire and extreme heat environmental changes can have an impact on concrete performance, and as climate change increases, new concrete structures are being developed. Nano-silica and nano-calcium carbonate have shown excellent performances in modifying concrete due to their large specific surface areas. This [...] Read more.
Fire and extreme heat environmental changes can have an impact on concrete performance, and as climate change increases, new concrete structures are being developed. Nano-silica and nano-calcium carbonate have shown excellent performances in modifying concrete due to their large specific surface areas. This review describes the changes in concrete modified with nano-silica (NS) and nano-calcium carbonate (NC), which accelerate the hydration reaction with the cementitious materials to produce more C-S-H, resulting in a denser microstructure and improved mechanical properties and durability of the concrete. The mechanical property decay and visualization of deformation of mixed NS and NC concrete were tested by exposure to high temperatures to investigate the practical application of mixed composite nanomaterials (NC+NS) to concrete. The nano-modified concrete had better overall properties and was heated at 200 °C, 400 °C, 600 °C and 800 °C to relatively improve the mechanical properties of the nano concrete structures. The review concluded that high temperatures of 800 °C to 1000 °C severely damaged the structure of the concrete, reducing the mechanical properties by around 60%, and the dense nano concrete structures were more susceptible to cracking and damage. The high temperature resistance of NS and NC-modified nano concrete was relatively higher than that of normal concrete, with NC concrete being more resistant to damage at high temperatures than the NS samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability Studies on the Concrete and Related Composites)
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