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Industrial Symbiosis and Development of New Materials or Products in Building Sector

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 February 2023) | Viewed by 23825

Special Issue Editors

Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: concrete; building; building materials; ceramics; materials; material; characterization; nanomaterials; civil engineering materials; concrete technologies; construction material
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Dimičeva ulica 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: circular economy; recycling; life cycle assessment; soil and water remediation; composites; tailings; landfill mining
Department of Materials, Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb, Fra Andrije Kačića Miošića 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: building materials; construction and demolition waste; concrete; supplementary cementitious materials; recycled aggregate; wood biomass ash

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building and construction sector consumes more than 50% of all extracted materials, making it the largest consumer of raw materials. In order to make the building sector more sustainable and reduce these figures, the principles of the circular economy and industrial symbiosis should be applied, resulting in the following synergies:

  • Waste from one company can serve as raw material for another;
  • Consequent reduction of landfill costs;
  • Savings in primary raw materials;
  • Lower CO2 footprint; and
  • Potentially better material characteristics.

Converting waste materials into environmentally friendly secondary raw materials and using them in the construction industry contributes to the circular model of industry and strengthens the economy by developing innovative environmental products, technologies, and business models. Many simple solutions have already been implemented; the challenges today are to find more complex and advanced solutions, in which digitalization can also play an important role. Such solutions are often the result of large (inter-)national interdisciplinary projects. The European Commission has allocated substantial resources to the circular economy as part of the Green Deal, and as a result, many new ideas and solutions are (or will be) available for implementation.

This Special Issue aims to cover recent research and advances in the field of industrial symbiosis in relation to the building sector. Contributions related but not limited to the following topics are welcome:

  • Industrial symbiosis with the construction sector;
  • Development of innovative construction products from waste or byproducts (e.g., green concrete, alkali activated materials, recycled and manufactured aggregates, materials for road construction, composites);
  • Recycling/reuse;
  • Immobilization of hazardous compounds in building composites;
  • Extraction of critical raw materials (e.g. rare earth metals);
  • Leaching parameters/health and environmental impact assessment;
  • Durability aspect of recycled materials/products;
  • Results from (inter)national upscaling/demo projects (case studies);
  • Lifecycle assessment (LCA) of building materials;
  • Legislation and regulation aspect to facilitate market uptake, including social aspects of recycling products.

Research articles, case studies, review papers, and short communications are welcome. We would therefore like to invite you to submit your contributions to this Special Issue and to share this call for papers with your colleagues.

Dr. Vilma Ducman
Dr. Alenka Mauko Pranjić
Prof. Dr. Nina Štirmer
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

  • industrial symbiosis
  • recycling
  • environmental assessment
  • concrete
  • alkali-activated materials
  • supplementary cementitious materials
  • recycled and manufactured aggregate
  • composites

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

16 pages, 7997 KiB  
Article
Composite Beams Made of Waste Wood-Particle Boards, Fastened to Solid Timber Frame by Dowel-Type Fasteners
Materials 2023, 16(6), 2426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16062426 - 18 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1192
Abstract
To increase the sustainability of prefabricated timber buildings and constructions, composite timber beams with “box” cross-sections were developed in collaboration with an industry partner. They were constructed from a solid timber frame and from webs made of residual waste wood-particle boards from prefabricated [...] Read more.
To increase the sustainability of prefabricated timber buildings and constructions, composite timber beams with “box” cross-sections were developed in collaboration with an industry partner. They were constructed from a solid timber frame and from webs made of residual waste wood-particle boards from prefabricated timber buildings production. The developed beams’ design concepts presented in this paper were governed by architectural features of prefabricated timber buildings, geometrical limitations, available production technology, and structural demand related to various possible applications. The paper presents the results of experimental bending tests of six variations of the developed composite timber beams constructed by mechanical fasteners only. The developed design concept of composite timber beams without adhesives is beneficial compared to glued beams in terms of design for deconstruction and lower VOC emissions. The tests were conducted to study the influence of the following parameters on the beams’ mechanical behavior: (i) web material (oriented strand boards (OSBs) vs. cement-particle boards); (ii) the influence of beam timber frame design (flanges and web stiffeners vs. flanges, web stiffeners, and compressive diagonals), and (iii) the influence of stiffener–flange joint design. Besides the beams’ load-bearing capacities, their linear and non-linear stiffness characteristics were the main research interest. While adding compressive timber diagonals did not prove to significantly increase the stiffness of the beams in the case of cement-particle board webs, it increased their load-bearing capacity by enabling the failure of flanges instead of prior webs and stiffener–flange joints failure. For beams with OSB webs, failure of the bottom flange was achieved already with the “basic” timber frame design, but timber diagonals proved beneficial to increase the stiffness characteristics. Finally, mechanical characteristics of the developed beams needed in structural design for their application are provided together with further development guidelines. Full article
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15 pages, 6647 KiB  
Article
Recovery of End-of-Life Tyres and Mineral Wool Waste: A Case Study with Gypsum Composite Materials Applying Circular Economy Criteria
Materials 2023, 16(1), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16010243 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The building sector is currently undergoing a process of change due to concerns about the sustainability of the construction industry. The application of circular economy criteria to develop new, more sustainable construction products has become one of the major challenges for the society [...] Read more.
The building sector is currently undergoing a process of change due to concerns about the sustainability of the construction industry. The application of circular economy criteria to develop new, more sustainable construction products has become one of the major challenges for the society of the future. This research advances towards the development of new lightened gypsum composites that incorporate waste from end-of-life tyres and recycled fibres from mineral wool thermal insulation in their composition. The results show how it is possible to reduce the consumption of the original raw materials by replacing them with recycled rubber granular particles, developing new construction products that are lighter, with better water resistance and greater thermal resistance. Additionally, it is shown that the incorporation of recycled fibres from rock wool and glass wool insulation is a good solution to improve the mechanical resistance of lightened gypsum composites, giving these construction and demolition wastes a second useful life by reincorporating them in the process of manufacturing new prefabricated housing products. Full article
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19 pages, 6606 KiB  
Article
Combined Effects of Metakaolin and Hybrid Fibers on Self-Compacting Concrete
Materials 2022, 15(16), 5588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165588 - 15 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
There is a need to develop new construction materials with improved mechanical performance and durability that are low-priced and have environmental benefits at the same time. This paper focuses on the rheological, mechanical, morphological, and durability properties of synthetic and steel fiber reinforced [...] Read more.
There is a need to develop new construction materials with improved mechanical performance and durability that are low-priced and have environmental benefits at the same time. This paper focuses on the rheological, mechanical, morphological, and durability properties of synthetic and steel fiber reinforced self-compacting concrete (SCC) containing 5–15% metakaolin (M) by mass as a green replacement for Portland cement. Testing of the fresh mixes included a slump-flow test, density, and porosity tests. Mechanical properties were determined through compression and flexural strength. A rapid chloride penetrability test (RCPT) and the chloride migration coefficient were used to assess the durability of the samples. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersion spectrometry (EDS) was used to study the concrete microstructure and the interfacial transition zone (ITZ). The results show that a combination of metakaolin and hybrid fibers has a negative effect on the flowability of SCC. In contrast, the inclusion of M and hybrid fibers has a positive effect on the compressive and flexural strength of SCC. The fracture of SCC samples without fibers was brittle and sudden, unlike the fiber-reinforced SCC samples, which could still transfer a considerable load with increasing crack mouth opening deflection. Overall, the chloride migration coefficients were reduced by up to 71% compared to the control mix. The chloride reduction is consistent with the resulting compact concrete microstructure, which exhibits a strong bond between fibers and the concrete matrix. Full article
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17 pages, 5833 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Solidified Wastewater Treatment Sludge as a Potential SCM in Pervious Concrete Pavements
Materials 2022, 15(14), 4919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15144919 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
Waste and recycled materials have recently been used in the construction industry to comply with the principles of circular economy and sustainable development. The aim of this paper is to examine the potentials of solidified wastewater treatment sludge (SWWTS) as a supplementary cementitious [...] Read more.
Waste and recycled materials have recently been used in the construction industry to comply with the principles of circular economy and sustainable development. The aim of this paper is to examine the potentials of solidified wastewater treatment sludge (SWWTS) as a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) in the production of lightweight pervious concrete pavers (LWPCP) suitable for pedestrian trails and rooftops (green) that comply with EU standards. Detailed characterization of SWWTS was performed, in order to understand its properties related to application as SCM, which led to the conclusion that it may be applied only as a filler, having 89.5% of Ca(OH)2. After thorough characterization, LWPCP samples were prepared and testing of physical and mechanical properties was conducted. The research showed that partial replacement of cement with SWWTS led to the decrease of all mechanical properties, ranging between 3.91 and 5.81 MPa for compressive strength and 0.97 to 1.23 MPa for flexural strength. However, all of the investigated mixtures showed a value higher than 3.5 MPa, which was defined as the lowest compressive strength in the range of pervious concrete properties. The addition of SWWTS led to a slight decrease in bulk density of the mixtures and an increase in water absorption. This could be explained by the reduction in hydration products that would fill in the micropores of the matrix, since SWWTS showed no pozzolanic reactivity. Pore sizes that prevail in the tested binder matrices are in accordance with the results measured on ordinary pervious concrete (the largest fraction of pores had a diameter between 0.02 and 0.2 μm). Low thermal conductivity nominates produced pavers as potential rooftop elements. Full article
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17 pages, 4667 KiB  
Article
Environmental Assessment of Carbon Concrete Based on Life-Cycle Wide Climate, Material, Energy and Water Footprints
Materials 2022, 15(14), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15144855 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
The construction industry contributes a major share to global warming and resource consumption. Steel-reinforced concrete (SC) is the world’s most important building material, with over 100 million cubic meters used per year in Germany. In order to achieve a resource-efficient and climate-friendly construction [...] Read more.
The construction industry contributes a major share to global warming and resource consumption. Steel-reinforced concrete (SC) is the world’s most important building material, with over 100 million cubic meters used per year in Germany. In order to achieve a resource-efficient and climate-friendly construction sector, innovative technologies and the substitution of materials are required. Carbon concrete (CC) is a composite material made of concrete and a reinforcement of carbon fibers. Due to the non-rusting and high-strength carbon reinforcement, a much longer life-time can be expected than with today’s designs. In addition, the tensile strength of carbon fibers is about six times higher than that of steel, so CC can be designed with a relatively lower concrete content, thus saving cement and aggregates. This research analyzes and compares SC with CC over its entire life-cycle with regard to its climate, material, energy, and water footprints. The assessment is done on material and building level. The results show that the production phase contributes majorly to the environmental impacts. The reinforcements made from rebar steel or carbon fibers make a significant contribution, in particular to the climate, energy, and water footprint. The material footprint is mainly determined by cement and aggregates production. The comparison on the building level, using a pedestrian bridge as an example, shows that the footprints of the CC bridge are lower compared to the SC bridge. The highest saving of 64% is in the material footprint. The water footprint is reduced by 46% and the energy and climate footprint by 26 to 27%. The production of carbon fibers makes a significant contribution of 37% to the climate footprint. Full article
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19 pages, 2138 KiB  
Article
Multidisciplinary Approach to Agricultural Biomass Ash Usage for Earthworks in Road Construction
Materials 2022, 15(13), 4529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15134529 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
Agricultural biomass has great bioenergy potential due to its availability, and it is a carbon-free energy source. During biomass incineration, biomass ash is formed, which is still considered as a waste without proper disposal and management solutions. Various biomass ash utilization options were [...] Read more.
Agricultural biomass has great bioenergy potential due to its availability, and it is a carbon-free energy source. During biomass incineration, biomass ash is formed, which is still considered as a waste without proper disposal and management solutions. Various biomass ash utilization options were investigated, mainly concerning engineering issues (the mechanical characterization of newly produced building materials or products), and there is a lack of knowledge of environmental issues arising from this “waste” material utilization in civil engineering practice. The main aim of this research is discussion of a different agricultural biomass characteristics as a fuel, the impact of agricultural biomass ashes (ABA) on the mechanical properties of stabilized soil with a particular emphasis on the environmental impacts within this kind of waste management. The results of this study indicate improved geotechnical characteristics of low-plasticity clay stabilized by lime/ABA binder. In addition to mechanical characterization for materials embedded in road embankments and subgrades, appropriate environmental risk assessment needs to be performed, and the results of this study indicate that the amount of ABAs added to the soil for roadworks should not have adverse effects on the soil fauna in the surrounding environment. Full article
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18 pages, 3271 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Sediments from the River Drava and Their Potential for Further Use in the Building Sector
Materials 2022, 15(12), 4303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15124303 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Sedimentation is a naturally occurring process of allowing particles in water bodies to settle out of the suspension under a gravity effect. In this study, the sediments of the Drava River were fully investigated to determine the heavy metal concentrations along the river [...] Read more.
Sedimentation is a naturally occurring process of allowing particles in water bodies to settle out of the suspension under a gravity effect. In this study, the sediments of the Drava River were fully investigated to determine the heavy metal concentrations along the river and their potential reuse in the construction sector. Naturally dehydrated sediments from the Drava River were tested as an additive for the production of fired bricks. The dredged sediments were used as a substitute for natural brick clay in amounts up to 50% by weight, and it was confirmed that up to 20% by weight of the added sediment could be used directly in the process without critically affecting performance. Finally, the naturally dehydrated sediments were also evaluated for their use as a filling material in the construction of levees. The natural moisture content of the dehydrated sediment was too high for it to be used without additives, so quicklime was added as an inorganic binder. The test results showed an improvement in the geotechnical properties of the material to such an extent that it is suitable as a filling material for levees. Full article
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14 pages, 1789 KiB  
Article
Compressive and Thermal Properties of Non-Structural Lightweight Concrete Containing Industrial Byproduct Aggregates
Materials 2022, 15(11), 4029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15114029 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2666
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the recycling opportunities for industrial byproducts and their contribution to innovative concrete manufacturing processes. The attention was mainly focused on municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI-FA) and its employment, after a washing pre-treatment, as the main component [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the recycling opportunities for industrial byproducts and their contribution to innovative concrete manufacturing processes. The attention was mainly focused on municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI-FA) and its employment, after a washing pre-treatment, as the main component in artificially manufactured aggregates containing cement and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) in different percentages. The produced aggregates were used to produce lightweight concrete (LWC) containing both artificial aggregates only and artificial aggregates mixed with a relatively small percentage of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the sand form. Thereby, the possibility of producing concrete with good mechanical properties and enhanced thermal properties was investigated through effective PET reuse with beneficial impacts on the thermal insulation of structures. Based on the obtained results, the samples containing artificial aggregates had lower compressive strength (up to 30%) but better thermal performance (up to 25%) with respect to the reference sample made from natural aggregates. Moreover, substituting 10% of recycled aggregates with PET led to a greater reduction in resistance while improving the thermal conductivity. This type of concrete could improve the economic and environmental aspects by incorporating industrial wastes—mainly fly ash—thereby lowering the use of cement, which would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions. Full article
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14 pages, 1675 KiB  
Article
Green Deal and Circular Economy of Bottom Ash Waste Management in Building Industry—Alkali (NaOH) Pre-Treatment
Materials 2022, 15(10), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15103487 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the possibilities of municipal waste incineration bottom ash (MSWIBA) utilization in the construction sector. MSWIBA development fits into the European Green Deal, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Circular Economy (CE). This manuscript describes current MSWIBA treatment such [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the possibilities of municipal waste incineration bottom ash (MSWIBA) utilization in the construction sector. MSWIBA development fits into the European Green Deal, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Circular Economy (CE). This manuscript describes current MSWIBA treatment such as solidification, ceramization, vitrification, chemical activation (NaOH, CaOH2, NA2SiO3 + NaOH, Na2CO3 + NaOH, NH4OH), acid treatment with diluted solutions (HCl, H2SO4), chemical stabilization (FeSO4, PO43−), chelation, etc. For the purpose of comparative research, MSWIBA before valorization, after valorization, and after NaOH pre-treatment was investigated. In terms of their physico-chemical properties, the tested samples were examined. Three kinds of MSWIBA were used as a substitute for 30% of cement in mortars. The mortars were tested for 28-day strength. Leachability tests were performed in acid, aggressive, alkali, and neutral water environments. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis was carried out, which presented the environmental benefits of MSWIBA management in construction. Full article
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18 pages, 4529 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of Corrosion Initiated by Cl and SO42−-ions in Blast Furnace Cement Concrete Mixed with Sea Water
Materials 2022, 15(9), 3003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093003 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
The use of blast furnace cement is an effective way to meet the requirements of sustainable development. However, CEM III/C is characterized by slow strength gain. The problem can be worse for plasticized reinforced blast furnace cement concretes mixed with sea water in [...] Read more.
The use of blast furnace cement is an effective way to meet the requirements of sustainable development. However, CEM III/C is characterized by slow strength gain. The problem can be worse for plasticized reinforced blast furnace cement concretes mixed with sea water in view of shorter durability. The mitigation of corrosion in plasticized blast furnace cement concretes mixed with sea water can be provided through a composition of minor additional constituents, with percentage by mass of the main constituents: alkali metal compounds, 2…3; calcium aluminate cement, 1; clinoptilolite, 1. The alkali metal compounds are known to activate hydraulic properties of ground granulated blast furnace slag. A calcium aluminate cement promotes the accelerated chemical binding of Cl and SO42−-ions with the formation of Kuzel’s salt. A clinoptilolite occludes these aggressive ions. The positive effects of the mentioned minor additional constituents in the blast furnace cement were supported by the increased early strength gain and the higher structural density, as well as by a good state of steel reinforcement, in the plasticized concretes mixed with sea water. Full article
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14 pages, 4005 KiB  
Article
Potential for Use of Recycled Cathode Ray Tube Glass in Making Concrete Blocks and Paving Flags
Materials 2022, 15(4), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041499 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2039
Abstract
The potential to use waste glass, including cathode ray tube (CRT) glass, for making new products or as an admixture to existing ones is being intensively investigated. This kind of research intensified particularly in the period after CRT TV sets and computer monitors [...] Read more.
The potential to use waste glass, including cathode ray tube (CRT) glass, for making new products or as an admixture to existing ones is being intensively investigated. This kind of research intensified particularly in the period after CRT TV sets and computer monitors were replaced in the market by the advanced technology of thin film transistor (TFT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. Cathode ray tube glass represents a considerable part of electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste globally increases at a far higher rate than other solid waste materials. There is a possibility to recycle cathode ray tube glass and use it in the construction industry. This paper shows the test results of physical and mechanical properties of blocks and paving flags. The reference specimen was made with quartz sand, while the other product employed a combination of quartz sand and ground panel cathode ray tube glass. The glass was ground to the fraction 0.25/1.00 mm, which corresponds to quartz sand fineness. The following tests were performed: shape and dimensions, resistance to freeze/thaw and de-icing salts, water absorption, splitting tensile strength and tensile strength by bending. Special attention was paid to the tests of Böhme wear resistance, slip resistance of the top surface of CRT products using a pendulum, radioactivity and leaching. The texture of the experimental concrete products was observed by SEM (scanning electron microscopy) and analyzed. The results obtained by experimental testing unequivocally show that CRT glass can successfully be used for making concrete blocks and paving flags. Full article
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22 pages, 2915 KiB  
Article
Influence of Wood Fly Ash on Concrete Properties through Filling Effect Mechanism
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237164 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2096
Abstract
This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at determining the influence of wood fly ash (WFA) from three Croatian power plants on the properties of concrete. First, the chemical and physical properties of WFA’s were determined. It was found that [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at determining the influence of wood fly ash (WFA) from three Croatian power plants on the properties of concrete. First, the chemical and physical properties of WFA’s were determined. It was found that these properties are highly influenced by combustion technology, the type and parts of wood used as fuel, and the local operating conditions. Subsequently, workability, heat of hydration, stiffness development, 28-day compressive strength, apparent porosity, and capillary absorption were determined on concrete mixes prepared with WFA as cement replacement from 5–45% by weight. Cement replacement up to 15% with the finest WFA accelerated hydration, stiffness development, and increased compressive strength of concrete up to 18%, while replacement with coarser WFA’s led to a decrease in compressive strength of up to 5% and had more gradual heat liberation. The dominant effect that could explain these findings is attributed to the filler and filling effect mechanisms. At the same time replacement content of up to 45% had very little effect on capillary absorption and could give concrete with sufficiently high compressive strength to be suitable for construction purposes. Full article
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Review

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29 pages, 3525 KiB  
Review
The Obstacles to a Broader Application of Alkali-Activated Binders as a Sustainable Alternative—A Review
Materials 2023, 16(8), 3121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16083121 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1523
Abstract
This paper aims to raise awareness regarding the obstacles limiting alkali-activated binders’ (AABs) application as a sustainable solution in the construction industry. Such an evaluation is essential in this industry, which has been introducing a wide range of alternatives to cement binders yet [...] Read more.
This paper aims to raise awareness regarding the obstacles limiting alkali-activated binders’ (AABs) application as a sustainable solution in the construction industry. Such an evaluation is essential in this industry, which has been introducing a wide range of alternatives to cement binders yet achieved limited utilisation. It has been recognised that technical, environmental, and economic performance should be investigated for the broader adoption of alternative construction materials. Based on this approach, a state-of-the-art review was conducted to identify the key factors to consider when developing AABs. It was identified that AABs’ adverse performance compared to conventional cement-based materials mainly depends on the choice of which precursors and alkali activators to employ and the regionalised practices adopted (i.e., transportation, energy sources, and data on raw materials). In light of the available literature, increasing attention to incorporating alternative alkali activators and precursors by utilising agricultural and industrial by-products and/or waste seems to be a viable option for optimising the balance between AABs’ technical, environmental, and economic performance. With regard to improving the circularity practices in this sector, employing construction and demolition waste as raw materials has been acknowledged as a feasible strategy. Full article
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