Applied Petrography of Construction Materials

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (12 March 2021) | Viewed by 21184

Special Issue Editors

Chemical Process & Energy Resources Institute, Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH),15125 Athens, Greece
Interests: energy storage and policy; hydrogen; carbon capture and stotage; geo-engineering; hydro-pump energy storage; nanomaterials; land reclamation; ultramafic rocks petrology; industrial minerals; critical raw materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Section of Earth Materials, Department of Geology, University of Patras, 26504 Patras, Greece
Interests: mineral raw materials; sustainable construction; aggregate rocks; construction applications of rocks; circular economy; engineering properties of rocks; carbon capture and storage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Section of Earth Materials, Department of Geology, University of Patras, 265 04 Patras, Greece
Interests: petrography of aggregate rocks; petrography of various recycled materials; construction and environmental applications of rocks; concrete petrography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Construction materials and applications constitute part of our daily life for hundreds of years. This Special Issue will explore the effect of petrography on construction materials and applications, such as concrete and road construction. More specifically, the effect of different types of aggregate materials (natural or recycled) on the quality of produced concrete will be examined. Particular emphasis is placed on the replacement of natural aggregate rocks with recycled materials such as industrial and agricultural wastes. Moreover, this Special Issue encourages attempts to explain failures in concrete by petrographical means. Aggregates (natural rocks as well as recycled materials) constitute main components of construction applications such as cement, mortar, concrete, bricks, and tiles. The quality of these applications (strength, durability, insulation, failure) depends on the characteristics of the used aggregates and more specifically depending on their chemical composition (bulk and micro), geochemistry, crystalline and non-crystalline attributes, mineralogy, size, shape, distribution, and textural characteristics. Several analytical methods such as optical microscopy, SEM, diffraction methods, XRF, EPMA, ICP-MS, FTIR, Raman, TEM, and tomography are used in order to analyze in detail the petrographic features of each construction material. A supplementary aim of this issue presents the development of eco-friendly constructions when simultaneously these constructions may be used as energy storage reservoirs (e.g., CO2 storage in concrete), thus enhancing life cycle sustainability.

Dr. Nikolaos Koukouzas
Dr. Petros Petrounias
Dr. Panagiota P. Giannakopoulou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Concrete petrography
  • Petrographic features of construction materials
  • Petrography of aggregate rocks
  • Recycled materials in construction applications
  • Sustainability of aggregate rocks
  • Environmental concrete
  • Agricultural wastes as concrete aggregates
  • Industrial wastes as concrete aggregates
  • Replacement of natural aggregates in concrete

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 3997 KiB  
Article
Concretes Made of Magnesium–Silicate Rocks
Minerals 2021, 11(5), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050441 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2408
Abstract
At present, there is a shortage of high-quality feedstock to produce widely used building materials—concretes. Depletion of natural resources and growing restrictions on their extraction, in connection with environmental protection, necessitate the search for an equivalent replacement for conventional raw materials. Magnesium–silicate rocks [...] Read more.
At present, there is a shortage of high-quality feedstock to produce widely used building materials—concretes. Depletion of natural resources and growing restrictions on their extraction, in connection with environmental protection, necessitate the search for an equivalent replacement for conventional raw materials. Magnesium–silicate rocks are a waste of the mining industry. We researched the possibility of using these rocks as coarse and fine aggregates in heavy concrete production. Following the requirements of the national standards, we studied the physical and mechanical characteristics of the obtained material. It was found that the strength of concrete, made of magnesium–silicate rock coarse aggregate, at the age of 28 days of hardening is within 28 MPa, while the strength of the control sample is 27.3 MPa. Replacing quartz sand with dunite sand also leads to an increase in concrete strength (~4%). Complete replacement of aggregates facilitates an increase in strength by 15–20% than the control sample. At the same time, the density of the obtained materials becomes higher. Concretes have a dense structure that affects their quality. Concrete water absorption is within 6%. The fluxing coefficient is 0.85–0.87. The application of magnesium–silicate rocks in concrete production enables the complete replacement of conventional aggregates with mining waste without reducing the quality of the obtained materials. Furthermore, the issues of environmental protection in mineral deposit development are being addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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19 pages, 4547 KiB  
Article
Copper Slag of Pyroxene Composition as a Partial Replacement of Natural Aggregate for Concrete Production
Minerals 2021, 11(5), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050439 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2402
Abstract
Copper slag, a by-product of the pyrometallurgical process used for obtaining copper from copper ore in Bor, Serbia, contains mainly silicon, iron, calcium, and aluminium oxides. Due to such properties, it is disposed of in landfills. Despite the favourable technical properties copper slag [...] Read more.
Copper slag, a by-product of the pyrometallurgical process used for obtaining copper from copper ore in Bor, Serbia, contains mainly silicon, iron, calcium, and aluminium oxides. Due to such properties, it is disposed of in landfills. Despite the favourable technical properties copper slag aggregates possess, such as low-water absorption (WA24 0.6%), low resistance to fragmentation (LA 10%), and low resistance to wear (MDE 4%), its use in the construction industry is still limited. The results of testing the technical properties of copper slag aggregates (CSAs) as a potential replacement for natural river aggregate (RA) are presented in this paper. The experiments included tests on three concrete mixtures with partial replacement of coarse natural aggregate with copper slag. The replacement of RA particle sizes of 8/16 mm and 16/31.5 mm with CSA in the amount of 20% + 50% and 50% + 50% resulted in an increase in the compressive strength of 12.4% and 10.5%, respectively. The increase of CSA content led to a decrease in water penetration resistance and salt-frost resistance of concrete, whereas the resistance to chloride ion penetration did not change significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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16 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
Petrological and Geochemical Properties of Greek Carbonate Stones, Associated with Their Physico-Mechanical and Aesthetic Characteristics
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060507 - 31 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4687
Abstract
Greece is considered amongst the world’s top marble producers in the global carbonate ornamental stone market. Selected Greek carbonate ornamental stones considered in our study suite are characterized by their distinctive and in some cases unique appearance, having a significant impact on their [...] Read more.
Greece is considered amongst the world’s top marble producers in the global carbonate ornamental stone market. Selected Greek carbonate ornamental stones considered in our study suite are characterized by their distinctive and in some cases unique appearance, having a significant impact on their commercial value. Their wide range of colour varieties and their physico-mechanical properties are closely related to their mineral assemblage, chemical constitution, petrographic properties, structural defects, which in turn depend highly upon their metamorphic/diagenetic grade and in some cases hydrothermal processes that affected them. This study endeavors to feature the petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical properties of the main Greek carbonate ornamental stones from selected localities and their by-product waste material used as aggregates. The documented data aims to serve a better understanding of the dynamic Greek marble industry by relating their mineral and chemical properties with their physico-mechanical and aesthetic characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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14 pages, 4088 KiB  
Article
Accelerated Carbonation of Recycled Aggregates Using the Pressurized Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Sparging Process
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060486 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3664
Abstract
The carbonation of recycled aggregate was accelerated by sparging with supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) to reduce the amount of time needed for carbonation, which is necessary for the pH neutralization of recycled aggregate. To accelerate the carbonation process, pressurized scCO2 [...] Read more.
The carbonation of recycled aggregate was accelerated by sparging with supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) to reduce the amount of time needed for carbonation, which is necessary for the pH neutralization of recycled aggregate. To accelerate the carbonation process, pressurized scCO2 was sparged into two different types of recycled aggregates immersed in water for 1 h, followed by standstill for 2 h (in total, a 3 h treatment process). The reduction of the pH of the treated aggregates due to carbonation was investigated using batch extraction experiments. A continuous column extraction experiment for the scCO2-sparged recycled aggregate was also performed to identify the effect of pH reduction under the condition of non-equilibrium reaction. From XRD, SEM/EDS, and TG/DTA analyses, much of the portlandite in the recycled aggregates was consumed. In its place, calcite was created as a secondary mineral during only 3 h of treatment (1 h scCO2 sparging and 2 h stationing), indicating satisfactory carbonation of the aggregate. The results of the batch extraction experiments for both of the two recycled aggregate types also showed that the average pH of scCO2-sparged aggregate decreased from 12.0 to <9.8 (the tolerance limit for recycling). The pH of the eluent from the column packed with the scCO2-sparged aggregate also remained as <9.8, suggesting that a 1 h scCO2 sparging process is sufficient to carbonate waste concrete aggregate and to create an alternative construction material resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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27 pages, 12280 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Chemical Composition of Ultramafic and Mafic Aggregates on Their Physicomechanical Properties as well as on the Produced Concrete Strength
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050406 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3150
Abstract
This study examines how the chemical composition of ultramafic and mafic rocks effects their physicomechanical properties and therefore how influences the concrete strength of the produced concrete specimens. For this scope, ultramafic (Group I) and mafic rocks (Group II) derived from the Veria–Naousa [...] Read more.
This study examines how the chemical composition of ultramafic and mafic rocks effects their physicomechanical properties and therefore how influences the concrete strength of the produced concrete specimens. For this scope, ultramafic (Group I) and mafic rocks (Group II) derived from the Veria–Naousa and Edessa ophiolite complexes (Greece) were selected in order to identify their chemical composition and their engineering properties according to international standards. Additionally, representative rocks were used as concrete aggregates in order to produce concrete specimens, whereas their mechanical strength was calculated. A geochemical index (Ga) was proposed and correlated with the engineering properties of the examined rocks as well as with the widely used alteration degree LOI (loss on ignition). Correlation diagrams between engineering properties and the proposed geochemical index (Ga) have showed that these properties were strongly influenced by the alteration processes expressed via Ga index. More particularly, mainly serpentine in ultramafic and chlorite in mafic rocks, minerals indicators for the alteration of ultramafic and mafic rocks, respectively, seem to determine their engineering properties. Concerning the mechanical strength of the produced concrete specimens, the results have showed that the increasing values of Ga index negatively effect concrete strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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20 pages, 5722 KiB  
Article
Does the Methylene Blue Test Give Equally Satisfactory Results in All Studied Igneous Rocks Relative to the Identification of Swelling Clay Minerals?
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030283 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3745
Abstract
The presence or the absence of swelling clay minerals in rocks, which are used in various construction applications, constitutes a determinant factor for their strength, and consequently, in their general behavior in various construction applications, as they have the ability to swell up [...] Read more.
The presence or the absence of swelling clay minerals in rocks, which are used in various construction applications, constitutes a determinant factor for their strength, and consequently, in their general behavior in various construction applications, as they have the ability to swell up to 400 times of their usual volume, causing failures to any application in which they participate. The aim of this study is to respond to the question of whether the empirical method of methylene blue yields equally safe and correct results in different types of igneous rocks and if not, which is the determining factor affecting the results. The answer to this complex question is feasible by investigating the microscopic structure and the mineralogy of the studied rocks, and particularly, using the content of specific phyllosilicate minerals which may be related or not with the methylene blue values. According to the results, the methylene blue test seems to work correctly for the intermediate (Group I) and mafic (Group II) examined rocks, but it seems to be wrong for the highly serpentinized ultramafic rocks (up to 70% of serpentine) (Group III). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Petrography of Construction Materials)
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