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Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials

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 April 2024) | Viewed by 9982

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
Interests: zero waste; zero carbon; geopolymer concrete, sustainable pavement; ultra-low carbon concrete; construction materials; waste recycling; smart materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Interests: intelligent infrastructure materials; soil mix technology; advanced and green binders and grouts; self-healing and self-repair materials; smart materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of the current Special Issue is to present state-of-the-art advances in sustainable construction materials that are fundamental to civil engineering, as they are used to build various buildings and infrastructures. Concrete, steel and asphalt form the majority of the material used, followed by bricks, glass and different kinds of wood. However, the increased use of raw materials in the construction industry has led to the depletion of natural resources, such as aggregates and fossil fuels. As a result, researchers, agencies, and policy makers have been seeking sustainable alternatives to mitigate this issue.

As for the construction sector, there is a growing interest in manufacturing sustainable buildings and infrastructure with high percentages of recycled materials, which is aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These sustainable solutions include, but are not limited to, recycling aggregates and other waste materials into new products. In addition to recycling, there are other sustainable practices being implemented in civil engineering. For instance, green building materials such as bamboo, straw bales, and recycled plastic are being used as alternatives to traditional construction materials. These materials are renewable, biodegradable, and have a lower carbon footprint. Moreover, researchers are continuing to push the boundaries and advance sustainable solutions that will result in zero-waste or zero-carbon infrastructures for example. The field is experiencing rapid advancements, as novel areas of discovery continue to emerge.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Abbas Solouki
Prof. Dr. Abir Al-Tabbaa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

  • smart materials
  • low -carbon binders
  • sustainability
  • LCA
  • construction materials
  • concrete
  • asphalt
  • infrastructure
  • material characterization
  • waste fines

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (16 papers)

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17 pages, 7420 KiB  
Article
Performance of Earth Plasters with Graphene-Based Additive
by Paola Gallo Stampino, Letizia Ceccarelli, Marco Caruso, Laura Mascheretti, Giovanni Dotelli and Sergio Sabbadini
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17102356 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 215
Abstract
A central debate is the improvement in the mechanical and water resistance of sustainable earthen architecture without additives or stabilizers. This innovative work aims to test the effects of a graphene-based additive, optimized for the improvement in concrete properties, on the strength and [...] Read more.
A central debate is the improvement in the mechanical and water resistance of sustainable earthen architecture without additives or stabilizers. This innovative work aims to test the effects of a graphene-based additive, optimized for the improvement in concrete properties, on the strength and water resistance of raw-earth plasters without any stabilizer other than sand. Given the heterogeneous nature of raw earth, three different soils were tested by adding three increasing graphene-based additive contents (0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 wt% of the earth–sand proportion). The link between soil intrinsic properties, i.e., geotechnical and mineralogical properties, and their interaction with the additive were investigated through geotechnical characterization, as well as mineralogical characterization, by XRD and ATR-FTIR analyses. The experimental tests carried out focused on the adhesion properties of the twelve different plasters on standard hollow bricks and on their interaction with water through capillary rise tests and erosion resistance tests. Conclusion from the experimental tests suggests that the graphene-based additive in earth plasters, by increasing the cohesion of the mixture, improves their adhesion performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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16 pages, 5679 KiB  
Article
Adobe Bricks of the Champagne Region (France): Characterization of a Chalky Raw Earth Construction Material
by Guillaume Polidori, Adrien Aras-Gaudry, Fabien Beaumont, Fabien Bogard, Sébastien Murer, Mohammed Lachi, Chadi Maalouf, Tala Moussa, Christophe Bliard, Gilles Fronteau and Erwan Hamard
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17102307 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Raw earth bricks made from the soil of the Chalky Champagne region (France) have been used for at least two millennia in construction, a promising heritage in the context of reducing the carbon emissions of buildings. The present experimental study aims to measure [...] Read more.
Raw earth bricks made from the soil of the Chalky Champagne region (France) have been used for at least two millennia in construction, a promising heritage in the context of reducing the carbon emissions of buildings. The present experimental study aims to measure the physical, mechanical, thermal, and hydric properties of adobes collected from a local village barn. The results show a high chalk content, estimated at 71%, and a clay content, acting as a binder, of 14%. Despite limited load-bearing capacity, these lightweight adobes are suitable for current single-story constructions, while their hydrothermal properties classify them as excellent moisture regulators for occupants. In association with other bio-sourced materials such as starch–beet pulp bricks, Chalky Champagne adobes yield promising insulating properties, and meet the criteria defined by current energy standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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20 pages, 5837 KiB  
Article
The Use of Sargassum spp. Ashes Like a Raw Material for Mortar Production: Composite Performance and Environmental Outlook
by Gabriela Pitolli Lyra, Ana Letícia Colombo, Afonso José Felício Peres Duran, Igor Machado da Silva Parente, Cristiane Bueno and João Adriano Rossignolo
Materials 2024, 17(8), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17081785 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The accumulation of brown algae from the genus Sargassum has been increasing over the years in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil, and Mexico. This causes harmful effects to the ecosystem, human health, the economy, and the climate due to gas emissions [...] Read more.
The accumulation of brown algae from the genus Sargassum has been increasing over the years in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil, and Mexico. This causes harmful effects to the ecosystem, human health, the economy, and the climate due to gas emissions from its decomposition process. There is the possibility of this biomass being reused in civil construction, and some studies have been carried out on its application to common Portland cement mortar. As such, the objective of this study is to evaluate the potential of sargassum ash as a mineral addition to partially replace fine aggregates in Portland cement mortar. Characterization of the raw materials was carried out through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, loss on ignition, particle size distribution, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, real density, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and dispersion spectroscopy of electrons. The mortars were prepared by partially replacing the fine aggregate (sand) with sargassum ash at 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20%. Mortar performance was evaluated through water absorption, apparent porosity, apparent specific mass, and compressive strength 7, 28, and 63 days after curing. Lastly, a life cycle assessment was conducted in accordance with ISO standards 14040:2006 and 14044:2006. The results showed that replacing sand with sargassum ash increases water absorption and apparent porosity, and decreases the apparent specific mass and compressive strength as replacement increases. Nevertheless, the compressive strength results after 63 days for 5 and 10% replacement did not differ statistically from reference values. The life cycle assessment indicated that mortars with partial replacement of sand by sargassum ash show positive environmental impacts when compared to reference values for most categories, regardless of the scenario analyzed, especially for mortar with 10% replacement. As such, the use of sargassum ash at 10% does not alter the mortar’s compressive strength values after 63 days, but does reduce its environmental impact. The application of this biomass in civil construction materials provides a destination for this algae, and that can be a solution to mitigate the social, environmental, and economic problems it has been causing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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15 pages, 5799 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties of Aeolian Sand Concrete Made from Alkali-Treated Aeolian Sand and Zeolite Powder
by Lisi Wei, Zhanquan Yao, Hao Li, Haolong Guo and Yue Li
Materials 2024, 17(7), 1537; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17071537 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The aim of this study is to promote the application of the excited zeolite powder (ZP)with aeolian sand powder (ASP) in the field of aeolian-sand concrete (ASC) production. This study utilises NaOH to treat composite cementitious materials containing aeolian sand and zeolite powders, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to promote the application of the excited zeolite powder (ZP)with aeolian sand powder (ASP) in the field of aeolian-sand concrete (ASC) production. This study utilises NaOH to treat composite cementitious materials containing aeolian sand and zeolite powders, which were used to replace 50% of the cement in aeolian-sand concrete (ASC). Production of alkali-inspired cement-based windswept concrete(AAZC).The mechanical properties of treated ASC considerably improved, especially when the NaOH dosage was 4% by mass. After curing this sample (denoted as AAZC-4) for 28 d, its compressive strength improved by 17.2%, and its split tensile increased by 16.3%. Potassium feldspar and montmorillonite in zeolite powder and SiO2 in the sand were decomposed by OH and combined with other elements to generate various silicate gels and A-type potassium zeolite crystals inside the concrete. Microscopic examination showed that the gels and crystals intertwined to fill the pores, decreasing (increasing) the percentage of large (small) pores, thus optimising the pore structure. This substantially improved the mechanical properties of ASC. Freeze–thaw salt-intrusion tests showed that the extent of mass loss, degree of damage and loss of compressive strength of AAZC-4 were similar to those of ordinary concrete but were reduced by 36.8%, 19% and 52.1%, respectively, compared with those of ASC. Therefore, AAZC-4 has a sustainable working performance in chloride-ion permeable environments in cold and arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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20 pages, 7092 KiB  
Article
Computational Evaluation of the Fracture Behavior of Porous Asphalt Concrete Exposed to Moisture and Salt Erosion
by Yuheng Liang, Jiaqi Chen and Liang Li
Materials 2024, 17(7), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17071505 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Salt erosion has an adverse impact on the durability of asphalt pavements. Porous asphalt concrete is particularly susceptible to the influence of salt. In this study, a finite element model was developed to investigate the fracture behavior of PAC exposed to salt erosion. [...] Read more.
Salt erosion has an adverse impact on the durability of asphalt pavements. Porous asphalt concrete is particularly susceptible to the influence of salt. In this study, a finite element model was developed to investigate the fracture behavior of PAC exposed to salt erosion. The 2D heterogeneous structure of PAC was generated with an image-aided approach to computationally study the fracture behavior of PAC. Laboratory SCB tests were conducted to validate the finite element model. The simulation results of the SCB tests indicate that the peak load of the PAC decreased by 21.8% in dry-wet cycles and 26.1% in freeze-thaw cycles compared to the control group. The salt solution accelerated the degradation of the durability of PAC under both dry-wet cycles and freeze-thaw cycle conditions, which is consistent with laboratory tests. After flushing treatment before the drying phase, the peak load of the PAC in salt environments increased by 5.3% compared to that of the samples with no flushing. Salt erosion also results in a higher average value of scalar stiffness degradation (SDEG), and the damaged elements were primarily the cohesive elements in the fracture of the PAC. Additionally, the influence of crucial factors including the void content, adhesion and cohesion, and loading rate on the fracture behavior of the PAC was analyzed. As the void content increases, the average SDEG value of the cohesive elements increases and surpasses the average SDEG value of the adhesive elements at a void content of approximately 9%. The performance of the fine aggregate matrix (FAM) has a much greater impact than the FAM-aggregate interface on the durability of the PAC. And there were more damaged CZM elements with the increase in the loading rate. Salt erosion results in higher SDEG values and a larger number of cohesive damaged elements at each loading rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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12 pages, 2894 KiB  
Article
Increasing the Service Life of Marine Transport Using Heat-Resistant Polymer Nanocomposites
by Oleksandr Sapronov, Andriy Buketov, Boksun Kim, Pavlo Vorobiov and Lyudmila Sapronova
Materials 2024, 17(7), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17071503 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 414
Abstract
This paper presents the technological aspects of increasing the thermal stability of polymers, with epoxy binder used to form the polymer materials. Polyethylene polyamine was used to crosslink the epoxy binder. To ensure the thermal stability of the polymer, nanodispersed condensed carbon with [...] Read more.
This paper presents the technological aspects of increasing the thermal stability of polymers, with epoxy binder used to form the polymer materials. Polyethylene polyamine was used to crosslink the epoxy binder. To ensure the thermal stability of the polymer, nanodispersed condensed carbon with a dispersion of 10–16 nm was used. The research into nanocomposites under the influence of elevated temperatures was carried out using the “Thermoscan-2” derivatograph. Complex studies of thermophysical properties were carried out, according to the results of which the optimal content of nanofiller (0.050 pts.wt.) was determined. At the same time, this particular polymer was characterized by the following properties: temperature of the beginning of mass loss—T0 = 624.9 K; final temperature of mass loss—Tf = 718.7 K; relative mass loss—εm = 60.3%. Research into the activation energy of thermal destruction was performed to determine the resistance to the destruction of chemical bonds. It was proved that the maximum value of activation energy (170.1 kJ/mol) is characterized by nanocomposites with a content of nanodispersed condensed carbon of 0.050 pts.wt., which indicates the thermal stability of the polymer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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17 pages, 5722 KiB  
Article
Effect of K+ Diffusion on Hydration of Magnesium Potassium Phosphate Cement with Different Mg/P Ratios: Experiments and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Calculations
by Difei Leng, Qiuyan Fu, Yunlu Ge, Chenhao He, Yang Lv and Xiangguo Li
Materials 2024, 17(5), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17051151 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Magnesium potassium phosphate cement (MKPC) is formed on the basis of acid–base reaction between dead burnt MgO and KH2PO4 in aqueous solution with K-struvite as the main cementitious phase. Due to the unique characteristics of these cements, they are suitable [...] Read more.
Magnesium potassium phosphate cement (MKPC) is formed on the basis of acid–base reaction between dead burnt MgO and KH2PO4 in aqueous solution with K-struvite as the main cementitious phase. Due to the unique characteristics of these cements, they are suitable for special applications, especially the immobilization of radioactive metal cations and road repair projects at low temperature. However, there are few articles about the hydration mechanism of MKPC. In this study, the types, proportions and formation mechanism of MKPC crystalline phases under different magnesium to phosphorus (Mg/P) ratios were studied by means of AAS, ICP-OES, SEM, EDS and XRD refinement methods. Corresponding MD simulation works were used to explain the hydration mechanism. This study highlights the fact that crystalline phases distribution of MKPC could be adjusted and controlled by different Mg/P ratios for the design of the MKPC, and the key factor is the kinetic of K+. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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23 pages, 2524 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Utilization of Activated Volcanic Ash as a Substitute for Portland Cement in Mortar Formulation: A Thorough Experimental Investigation
by Andrés Játiva and Miren Etxeberria
Materials 2024, 17(5), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17051123 - 29 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 599
Abstract
The manufacture of natural pozzolans as cement products is economically affordable and contributes to CO2 mitigation in the cement-based materials industry. Through two experimental stages, this study evaluates the feasibility of using volcanic ash (VA) to partially substitute portland cement (PC) in [...] Read more.
The manufacture of natural pozzolans as cement products is economically affordable and contributes to CO2 mitigation in the cement-based materials industry. Through two experimental stages, this study evaluates the feasibility of using volcanic ash (VA) to partially substitute portland cement (PC) in mortar production. In Stage 1, the effectiveness of different activation methods, such as calcination, alkali activation, and lime addition, in enhancing VA reactivity was assessed when the mortars were produced using 35% VA. The compressive strength (fcm) and physical properties of the mortars produced were determined at 7 and 28 days and compared with those of mortars without activated VA. In Stage 2, the most effective treatments obtained from Stage 1 were applied to produce mortars with 50% and 75% of VA replacements, focusing on their physical and mechanical properties. The findings revealed promising results, particularly when mortars were produced with up to 50% calcined VA (CVA) at 700 °C and 20 wt% lime addition, reaching a higher fcm than 45 MPa. Chemical activation with 2% CaCl or 1% NSi enhanced early-age strength in 35% VA-based mortars. Additionally, NSi-activated CVA-lime-based mortar at 50% VA achieved a notable fcm of 40 MPa at 28 days. Even mortars with 75% VA replacement achieved an adequate compressive strength of 33MPa at 28 days. This study determined that VA-based mortars have the potential for construction applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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18 pages, 6696 KiB  
Article
Structural Study of the Thermoelectric Work Units Encapsulated with Cement Paste for Building Energy Harvesting
by Ziqiang Lai, Yali Hao, Yongqi Wei, Anming She and Wu Yao
Materials 2024, 17(4), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17040926 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Cement-based material encapsulation is a method of encapsulating electronic devices in highly thermally conductive cement-based materials to improve the heat dissipation performance of electronic components. In the field of construction, a thermoelectric generator (TEG) encapsulated with cement-based materials used in the building envelope [...] Read more.
Cement-based material encapsulation is a method of encapsulating electronic devices in highly thermally conductive cement-based materials to improve the heat dissipation performance of electronic components. In the field of construction, a thermoelectric generator (TEG) encapsulated with cement-based materials used in the building envelope has significant potential for waste heat energy recovery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of cement-based materials integrated with aluminum heatsinks on the heat dissipation of the TEG composite structure. In this work, three types of thermoelectric work units encapsulated with cement paste were proposed. Moreover, we explored the effect of encapsulated structure, heat dissipation area, the height of thermoelectric single leg, and heat input temperature on maintaining the temperature difference between the two sides of the thermoelectric single leg with COMSOL Multiphysics. The numerical simulation results showed that under the conditions of a heat source temperature of 313.15 K and ambient temperature of 298.15 K, the temperature difference between the two sides of the internal thermoelectric single leg of Type-III can maintain a stable temperature difference of 7.77 K, which is 32.14% higher than that of Type-I and Type-II (5.88 K), and increased by 26.82% in the actual experiment. This work provides a reference for the selection and application of TEG composite structures of cement-based materials combined with aluminum heatsinks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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18 pages, 4973 KiB  
Article
A Numerical Simulation of Moisture Reduction in Fine Soil Subgrade with Wicking Geotextiles
by Chuanyi Ma, Haojie Feng, Chuan Wang, Ning Zhang, Yiyi Liu, Jinglei Li, Xia Liu, Shasha Li, Hongguang Jiang and Yixin Li
Materials 2024, 17(2), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17020390 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
A new wicking geotextile is proposed to control the water content of fine-grained soil subgrade. By comparing the spatial distribution of volumetric water content and matric suction before and after the installation of the wicking geotextile, the effectiveness of the geotextile in controlling [...] Read more.
A new wicking geotextile is proposed to control the water content of fine-grained soil subgrade. By comparing the spatial distribution of volumetric water content and matric suction before and after the installation of the wicking geotextile, the effectiveness of the geotextile in controlling the subgrade humidity is evaluated. Firstly, the hydraulic parameters of the wicking geotextile are obtained through laboratory tests using a pressure plate apparatus. Then, a numerical model for water flow in the subgrade is established using COMSOL to obtain the spatial distribution characteristics of humidity in the subgrade under different groundwater levels (2~8 m). The results show the wicking geotextile exhibits strong hydrophilicity, low water retention, and high horizontal permeability. Compared to the subgrade without geotextile, the water content of the soil above the geotextile decreases significantly by 7.6~9.6% at groundwater levels of 4~8m, while the saturation decreases by 18.3~23.0%, and the matric suction increases by 2~2.3 times. The wicking fabric functions as an effective drainage material to serve as a capillary barrier in the cross-plane direction and an effective drainage tunnel to transport water in the in-plane direction. The dynamic resilient modulus of the subgrade increases by 23.2~43.6%. The wicking geotextile effectively absorbs and drains weakly bound water in unsaturated soil due to the matric suction difference and its horizontal drainage capacity to improve the bearing capacity of the subgrade. It suggests that using wicking geotextile for drainage and reinforcement in fine-grained soil subgrades with groundwater levels ranging from 4 to 8 m is beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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16 pages, 10186 KiB  
Article
The Impact of NaOH on the Micro-Mechanical Properties of the Interface Transition Zone in Low-Carbon Concrete
by Yue Li, Hailong Wang, Lisi Wei, Haolong Guo and Kuo Ma
Materials 2024, 17(1), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17010258 - 3 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
To tackle carbon emissions from cement production and address the decline in concrete’s mechanical properties due to the substitution of cement with solid waste (glass powder) and natural mineral admixture (zeolite powder) materials, we employed glass powder and zeolite powder to create composite [...] Read more.
To tackle carbon emissions from cement production and address the decline in concrete’s mechanical properties due to the substitution of cement with solid waste (glass powder) and natural mineral admixture (zeolite powder) materials, we employed glass powder and zeolite powder to create composite cementitious materials. These materials underwent alkali activation treatment with a 4% NaOH dosage, replacing 50% of cement to produce low-carbon concrete. Nanoindentation tests and mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) were employed to uncover the micro-mechanical properties and influencing mechanisms of alkali-activated low-carbon concrete. The results indicate a notable enhancement in the indentation modulus (19.9%) and hardness (25.9%) of alkali-activated low-carbon concrete compared to non-activated concrete. Simultaneously, the interfacial transition zone thickness decreased by 10 µm. The addition of NaOH led to a reduced volume fraction of pores (diameter >100 nm) and an increased fraction of pores (diameter < 100 nm), thereby reducing porosity by 2.6%, optimizing the pore structure of low-carbon concrete. The indentation modulus, hardness and volume fraction of the hydrated phase derived from Gaussian fitting analysis of the nanoindentation statistics showed that NaOH significantly improved the modulus and hardness of the hydration products of low-carbon concrete. This activation resulted in decreased LDC-S-H gel (low-density hydrated calcium silicate Ca5Si6O16(OH)·4H2O) and pore content, while the HD C-S-H gel (high-density hydrated calcium silicate Ca5Si6O16(OH)·4H2O) and CH (calcium hydroxide crystals Ca(OH)2) content increased by 13.91% and 23.46%, respectively. Consequently, NaOH influenced the micro-mechanical properties of low-carbon concrete by generating more high-density hydration products, reducing pore content, enhancing the pore indentation modulus and hardness, and shortening the interfacial transition zone. This study offers novel insights into reducing carbon emissions and promoting the use of solid waste (glass powder) and natural mineral admixture (zeolite powder) materials in concrete, contributing to the advancement of sustainable construction practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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11 pages, 2557 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Long Alkyl and Fluoroalkyl Substituted Siloxane Copolymers for the Water Repellency of Rammed Earth Walls
by Keun-Byoung Yoon, Mu-Jin Kim, Dong-Eun Lee and Hee-Seon Kim
Materials 2024, 17(1), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17010216 - 30 Dec 2023
Viewed by 791
Abstract
Rammed earth in a built environment has vapor diffusion characteristics and humidity control abilities, each of which is respectively attributed to the porous structures and the hydrophilic properties. Indeed, these structures and properties allow for the easy absorbance of water particles, hence affecting [...] Read more.
Rammed earth in a built environment has vapor diffusion characteristics and humidity control abilities, each of which is respectively attributed to the porous structures and the hydrophilic properties. Indeed, these structures and properties allow for the easy absorbance of water particles, hence affecting the durability of a rammed earth wall. This paper presents the water-repellency method for rammed earth walls, which utilizes siloxane copolymers containing fluorine. The water-repellent properties are investigated by measuring the contact angle, water absorption rate, and compressive strength after spray-coating with the synthesized siloxane copolymers on the surface of the rammed earth specimens under study. The water contact angle of the specimen, coated with a siloxane copolymer containing 10 mol.% of a silane monomer with a fluorine group, is about 140°. The water absorption of the specimen obtained after immersing in water for 24 h is low, at about 3.5 wt.%. In addition, the compressive strength remains more than 80% of the corresponding strength of the specimen which is not immersed in water. It is confirmed that the use of a 10% by volume of the siloxane copolymer containing the fluorine group may enhance the water-repellent performance and economic competitiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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22 pages, 12409 KiB  
Article
Research on Mechanical and Shrinkage Characteristics of a Resource-Based Cement Solid-Waste Concrete
by Shikai Ning, Xidong Jiang, Bin Li, Long Shan and Hongbo Li
Materials 2024, 17(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17010177 - 28 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 570
Abstract
Recycling of multi-source solid waste is of great benefit to energy conservation and environmental governance. In this paper, a new type of environmental protection concrete for railway accessory facilities was prepared from silicon-manganese slag, steel slag, fly ash and recycled macadam. Seven kinds [...] Read more.
Recycling of multi-source solid waste is of great benefit to energy conservation and environmental governance. In this paper, a new type of environmental protection concrete for railway accessory facilities was prepared from silicon-manganese slag, steel slag, fly ash and recycled macadam. Seven kinds of concrete with different mix proportions were designed. Through unconfined compressive strength, splitting, drying shrinkage and temperature shrinkage tests, the multivariate changing trends of steel slag content, cement dosage and age on the anti-interference ability of concrete were investigated. The main mechanisms of the development of mechanical and dry shrinkage properties were revealed by the hydration process of 3SR-60. The results show that 3SR-60 had better mechanical strength under the same cement dosage. The temperature shrinkage strain decreased and then increased with the rise of the proportion of waste residue, increased with the addition of cement dosage and decreased first and then increased with the descent in the temperature. The temperature shrinkage coefficient reached the lowest value at 0–10 °C. The drying shrinkage coefficient decreases with the increase in the proportion of waste residue and increases with the increase in cement dosage. The dry shrinkage strain increased rapidly during the first 8 days and became almost constant after 30 days. Cementation of calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) and ettringite (AFt) developed continuously and filled the internal pores of the structure, interlocking and cementing with each other, which made the microstructure develop from a three-dimensional network to a dense complex, and the macro dimension was reflected in the enhancement of the power to resist external interference. The conclusion of the test summarized that SR-60 had preferable mechanical and shrinkage performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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15 pages, 4913 KiB  
Article
Theoretical Investigation on Indirect Tensile Strength of Concrete with Rectangular Cross-Section under Locally Distributed Load
by Ziran Wang, Jialin Xu, Linhao Sun, Jinchao Yue and Quansheng Zang
Materials 2023, 16(24), 7671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16247671 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
The indirect tensile test plays a crucial role in experimental investigations of brittle material properties. In this study, a mechanical analysis model of the rectangular test block is established based on the theory of elastic mechanics for the characteristics of the indirect tensile [...] Read more.
The indirect tensile test plays a crucial role in experimental investigations of brittle material properties. In this study, a mechanical analysis model of the rectangular test block is established based on the theory of elastic mechanics for the characteristics of the indirect tensile test. The theoretical solution of the triangular series is derived for the rectangular test block under the locally distributed load. The finite element simulation results and splitting test results were compared with the theoretical results. The results of the study verify the accuracy of the theoretical solutions. Based on the proposed analytical solution, the effects of loading width and length-to-height ratio (h/l) of local loading on the measured tensile strength of test block are discussed. The results demonstrate that the tensile strength of the test block increases as the loading width expands, and the rate of growth in the recorded tensile strength gradually stabilizes. The variation in loading width affects the location of crack initiation points during the concrete test block splitting tests. When the loading width exceeds 6% of the side length of test block, the cracking point is positioned at the center of test block, ensuring the effectiveness of the splitting test. As the length-to-height ratio of the test block increases, there is a general upward trend in the measured tensile strength. When h/l < 0.6, the measured tensile strength initially increases before decreasing. However, when h/l > 0.6, the measured tensile strength consistently increases, with the rate of increase gradually diminishing until it stabilizes. The length-to-height ratio also significantly influences the location of the cracking point in the test block. As the length-to-height ratio increases, the cracking point initially shifts from around the center to the central point and then further from the center toward the edge. To ensure that the location of the crack initiation point is in the center of the specimen and that the tensile strength is close to the measured result, the length to height ratio can be chosen at around 0.85. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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15 pages, 6351 KiB  
Article
Field Measurement and Analysis on the Mechanical Response of Asphalt Pavement Using Large-Particle-Size Crushed Stone Base Treated with Fly Ash and Slag Powder
by Ruikang Yang, Xinzhong Gan, Liping Liu, Lijun Sun and Jiang Yuan
Materials 2023, 16(23), 7277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16237277 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 523
Abstract
The mechanical response of asphalt pavement under vehicular loading is an essential reference for crack-resistant pavement design. However, limited research focuses on the mechanical response measurement of asphalt pavement using a large-particle-size crushed stone base treated with fly ash and slag powder. Therefore, [...] Read more.
The mechanical response of asphalt pavement under vehicular loading is an essential reference for crack-resistant pavement design. However, limited research focuses on the mechanical response measurement of asphalt pavement using a large-particle-size crushed stone base treated with fly ash and slag powder. Therefore, two types of asphalt pavements were constructed. The first type of asphalt pavement uses a large-particle-size crushed stone base treated with fly ash and slag powder, where the slag powder uses granulated blast furnace slag powder. The second type uses a conventional cement-stabilized crushed stone base and serves as a reference structure. Firstly, the strain gauges and temperature sensors were installed during the construction of asphalt pavements. Secondly, the mechanical response of the pavement was tested at different speeds and service time conditions. Then, sensitivity analysis and three-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) were carried out. Finally, the prediction equations were developed. The results show that the longitudinal strain pulse of the asphalt layer exhibited a “compression–tension–compression” characteristic. For the transverse strain pulse of the asphalt layer, the base layer’s transverse and longitudinal strain pulses were only shown as “tensile” characteristics. The vehicular speed significantly affected the strain values for the base and asphalt layers, showing a decreasing trend with increasing speed. For the asphalt layer, the strain values showed an increasing trend with increasing temperature; for the base layer, the strain values showed a decreasing trend with increasing service time. The type of base layer had a significant effect on the strain value. Compared with the conventional base layer, the large-particle-size crushed stone base treated with fly ash and slag powder had lower strain at the base layer and a lower position of the asphalt layer, which could better prevent bottom-up fatigue cracking. Finally, the strain prediction model of the pavement under the speed and temperature (service time) was fitted to obtain a model that can predict the mechanical response of the pavement under different operating conditions. The findings of this research can provide a reference for the design of asphalt pavement using a large-particle-size crushed stone base treated with fly ash and slag powder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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Review

Jump to: Research

24 pages, 4374 KiB  
Review
Review on Design, Characterization, and Prediction of Performance for Asphalt Materials and Asphalt Pavement Using Multi-Scale Numerical Simulation
by Wentao Wang and Linbing Wang
Materials 2024, 17(4), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17040778 - 6 Feb 2024
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Asphalt pavement, which is mainly made up of the asphalt mixture, exhibits complicated mechanical behaviors under the combined effects of moving vehicle loads and external service environments. Multi-scale numerical simulation can well characterize behaviors of asphalt materials and asphalt pavement, and the essential [...] Read more.
Asphalt pavement, which is mainly made up of the asphalt mixture, exhibits complicated mechanical behaviors under the combined effects of moving vehicle loads and external service environments. Multi-scale numerical simulation can well characterize behaviors of asphalt materials and asphalt pavement, and the essential research progress is systematically summarized from an entire view. This paper reviews extensive research works concerning aspects of the design, characterization, and prediction of performance for asphalt materials and asphalt pavement based on multi-scale numerical simulation. Firstly, full-scale performance modeling on asphalt pavement is discussed from aspects of structural dynamic response, structural and material evaluation, and wheel–pavement interaction. The correlation between asphalt material properties and pavement performance is also analyzed, and so is the hydroplaning phenomenon. Macro- and mesoscale simulations on the mechanical property characterization of the asphalt mixture and its components are then investigated, while virtual proportion design for the asphalt mixture is introduced. Features of two-dimensional and three-dimensional microscale modeling on the asphalt mixture are summarized, followed by molecular dynamics simulation on asphalt binders, aggregates, and their interface, while nanoscale behavior modeling on asphalt binders is presented. Finally, aspects that need more attention concerning this study’s topic are discussed, and several suggestions for future investigations are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Sustainable Construction Materials)
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