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Sustainable Design, Evaluation and Optimization of Eco-Friendly Construction Materials

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 4350

Special Issue Editors

State Key Laboratory of Silicate Materials for Architectures, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Interests: asphalt based road construction materials; pavement structure design; solid waste utilization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
National Research Center of Cultural Industries, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
Interests: cultural sustainable development; heritage protection
Dr. Hanqi Liu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Automotive and Transportation Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
Interests: damage mechanism of asphalt mixture during service; asphalt performance grading system; mechanistic modeling for road materials
Dr. Anqi Chen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Silicate Materials for Architectures, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Interests: damage mechanism of asphalt materials; recycling and reuse of solid waste; low-carbon maintenance technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the development of urbanization and modernization globally, the eco-friendly construction of infrastructure has raised increasing concerns in the fields of advanced pavement material and urban culture design. Obtaining the eco-friendly construction materials could promote the implementations of sustainable road development, while ecologically cultural construction in the field of urban infrastructure would deepen the public’s consciousness for sustainability implementation. Both aspects are important ways to accelerate the development and implementation of sustainable roads in hardware and software, respectively.

The Special Issue aims to investigate the feasibility of eco-friendly infrastructure construction and sustainable urbanization development from two aspects: the initial inner performances and the external appearance properties of the material itself, respectively. Hence, the Special Issue relates to the topics of transportation technology, material science, ecologically cultural development, and road construction and planning. The objectives certainly fit well with the journal scope.

Accordingly, in this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Analysis of advanced road construction technology and material characteristics;
  • Environmental impact assessment of infrastructure construction;
  • Performance analysis and optimization of urban infrastructure;
  • Performance and Evaluation of Ecological and Environmental Protection Materials;
  • Visual optimization of materials;
  • Sustainable cultural development in cities.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Shaopeng Wu
Dr. Chuanming Sun
Dr. Hanqi Liu
Dr. Anqi Chen
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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • material characteristics
  • environmental impact assessments
  • urban infrastructure optimization
  • eco-friendly material assessments
  • advanced pavement construction materials
  • material visual optimization
  • sustainable culture development

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 28902 KiB  
Article
Healing Evaluation of Asphalt Mixtures with Polymer Capsules Containing Rejuvenator under Different Water Solutions
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15258; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115258 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 577
Abstract
Polymer Ca-alginate capsules with rejuvenator bring a high healing level for asphalt concrete under dry healing environments; however, the healing levels of bituminous mixtures containing capsules under water healing conditions are still unknown. In view of this, this study aimed at exploring the [...] Read more.
Polymer Ca-alginate capsules with rejuvenator bring a high healing level for asphalt concrete under dry healing environments; however, the healing levels of bituminous mixtures containing capsules under water healing conditions are still unknown. In view of this, this study aimed at exploring the healing levels of asphalt concrete containing polymer capsules under various solution healing conditions following cyclic loads. This study involved the preparation of capsules, followed by the evaluation of their morphological characteristics, resilience to compression, thermal endurance, and rejuvenator content. The assessment of the healing properties of asphalt concrete utilizing capsules was conducted through a fracture–heal–refracture examination. This study conducted Fourier transform infrared spectrum experiments to determine the rejuvenator release ratio of capsules under dry conditions and the remaining rejuvenator content in extracted bituminous binder from capsule–asphalt concrete after solution treatment. Meanwhile, a dynamic shear rheometer was utilized to investigate the rheological characteristics of asphalt binder. Results revealed that the healing ratios of capsule–asphalt concrete beams under a dry healing environment were significantly higher than that of beams under various solution healing conditions, and the alkali solution has the worst effect on the improvement in healing ratio. The coupled impact of moisture intrusion and ion erosion resulted in an enhancement of complex modulus of asphalt binder while concurrently reducing its phase angle. Consequently, the restorative capacity of the asphalt binder was weakened. Full article
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18 pages, 8299 KiB  
Article
Physical, Rheological, and Anti-Ultraviolet Aging Performance of Layered Double Hydroxides + Styrene Block Copolymer-Modified Asphalt Binders
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115246 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 531
Abstract
To determine the preparation parameters of layered double hydroxides (LDHs) + styrene butadiene styrene block copolymer (SBS)-modified asphalt binders (MABs) in engineering applications and identify the structure of LDHs used in asphalt modification, this paper investigated the physical, rheological, and UV aging resistance [...] Read more.
To determine the preparation parameters of layered double hydroxides (LDHs) + styrene butadiene styrene block copolymer (SBS)-modified asphalt binders (MABs) in engineering applications and identify the structure of LDHs used in asphalt modification, this paper investigated the physical, rheological, and UV aging resistance of LDHs + SBS MABs under various preparation parameters. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and an ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer (UV-vis) were used to characterize the structure and UV resistance of LDHs and D-LDHs (dissolving from LDHs + SBS MABs). The mechanical properties of LDHs + SBS MABs were studied based on penetration, ductility, softening point, and rotational viscosity tests. The rheological performance and UV aging resistance of LDHs + SBS MABs were assessed using the bending beam rheometer (BBR) test, direct tensile test (DTT), dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) test, and FTIR. The results demonstrated that the crystal and chemical structures of LDHs remain unchanged before and after use in asphalt modification. The optimal preparation parameters of LDHs + SBS MABs were as follows: a preparation temperature of 170 °C, a shearing time of 60 min, and a shearing rate of 4000 r/min. The high-temperature performance of LDHs + SBS MABs improved significantly with LDHs added, and the low-temperature performance slightly decreased. The viscosity of LDHs + SBS MABs with 4 wt% LDHs at 135 °C was 1.920 Pa·s, which was 47.4% higher than that of SBS MABs. The DTT results indicated that SBS MABs have the highest fracture energy (FE) value of 4873 J/m2, showing the best low-temperature cracking resistance. In comparison, the FE values of MABs doped with 3 wt% and 4 wt% LDHs are 4518 J/m2 and 4248 J/m2, respectively, just 7.3% and 12.8% lower than that of ABs without LDHs. The complex modulus aging index (CMAI) of MABs doped with 4% LDHs is 14.3%, which is 15.9% lower than that of SBS MABs, indicating that the anti-ultraviolet aging performance of LDHs + SBS MABs has been improved. FTIR analysis demonstrated that the relative content of C=O (RCC) and S=O (RCS) of LDHs + SBS MABs decreased drastically compared with SBS MABs, indicating that the UV aging resistance of LDHs + SBS MABs was largely enhanced. Furthermore, the segregation test result of 3wt% LDHs + SBS-modified asphalt is 0.3 °C, showing the best compatibility with asphalt. Full article
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28 pages, 12788 KiB  
Article
Performance and Mechanism of High-Viscosity and High-Elasticity Bitumen (HVE-MB) Modified with Five Additives
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14089; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914089 - 22 Sep 2023
Viewed by 609
Abstract
In order to improve the viscoelasticity of bitumen, several modifiers were compounded with it, including SBS, reclaimed rubber powder, tackifier, plasticizer, and oil stabilizer, to produce High-viscosity and High-elastic Modified Bitumen (HVE-MB). The viscoelasticity and various physical and rheological properties of the bitumen [...] Read more.
In order to improve the viscoelasticity of bitumen, several modifiers were compounded with it, including SBS, reclaimed rubber powder, tackifier, plasticizer, and oil stabilizer, to produce High-viscosity and High-elastic Modified Bitumen (HVE-MB). The viscoelasticity and various physical and rheological properties of the bitumen were evaluated using a number of factors, such as dynamic viscosity at 60 °C, elastic recovery, penetration, softening point, ductility, and DSR. By comparing different types of modifiers and the content of SBS, it was found that the viscoelasticity of the original bitumen was significantly improved by adding the modifiers. In comparison to the original bitumen, the dynamic viscosity of the HVE-MB increased by more than 110 times, the elastic recovery rate more than doubled, the softening point and ductility improved, and the penetration decreased. As the content of SBS increased, the improvement in the properties became more significant. The workability of HVE-MB satisfies the requirement of less than 2.5 °C by adding the suitable dosage of stabilizer. On the other hand, the content of SBS can be adjusted based on the specific requirements. It is a sustainable and economic way to use the reclaimed rubber powder to improve the technical performance of bitumen. Full article
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15 pages, 5367 KiB  
Article
Microwave Heating Healing of Asphalt Mixture with Coal Gangue Powder and Basalt Aggregate
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712986 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 810
Abstract
Microwave heating is an effective method to achieve autonomic crack healing in asphalt mixtures, and the use of microwave-absorbing materials can largely improve this healing efficiency. As a solid waste, coal gangue contains metal oxides, which shows the possibility of microwave heating. In [...] Read more.
Microwave heating is an effective method to achieve autonomic crack healing in asphalt mixtures, and the use of microwave-absorbing materials can largely improve this healing efficiency. As a solid waste, coal gangue contains metal oxides, which shows the possibility of microwave heating. In order to further promote the application of coal gangue in the microwave healing of asphalt mixtures, this study looks into the synergistic effect of basalt and coal gangue powder (CGP) on the microwave heating self-healing of an asphalt mixture. The mechanical performance, water stability, low-temperature crack resistance and microwave healing efficiency of the asphalt mixture were investigated using the immersion Marshall test, standard Marshall test, Cantabro test and semi-circular bending (SCB), and healing tests, respectively. The results indicated that the addition of CGP in asphalt mixture can improve the microwave heating speed, which also showed a significant advantage in water stability and fracture energy recovery. The research results will further promote the utilization rate of coal gangue. Full article
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13 pages, 4051 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Polyurethane/Waste Rubber Powder Composite Modifier and Its Effect on the Performance of Asphalt Mixture
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712703 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 861
Abstract
To solve the problems of storage stability and the volatile organic compound emission of waste-rubber-powder-modified bitumen, the strategy of preparing composite modifiers using waterborne polyurethane coating for waste rubber powder was proposed in an early-stage work. However, the effect of polyurethane/waste rubber powder [...] Read more.
To solve the problems of storage stability and the volatile organic compound emission of waste-rubber-powder-modified bitumen, the strategy of preparing composite modifiers using waterborne polyurethane coating for waste rubber powder was proposed in an early-stage work. However, the effect of polyurethane/waste rubber powder composite modifier on the performance of asphalt mixture is unclear, which limits the further popularization of this technology. Therefore, this work mainly investigates the characteristics of composite modifiers and their influence on asphalt mixture. The results indicate that the optimum ratio of polyurethane to waste rubber powder is about 1:1, which can give the composite modifier sufficient mechanical properties and acceptable economic benefits. The scanning electron microscopy images also confirm that polyurethane can densely encapsulate waste rubber powder. The physical properties experiment of bitumen shows that composite modifiers can increase the softening point and viscosity of bitumen but reduce the ductility and penetration of bitumen. Moreover, it was also found that composite modifiers can significantly improve asphalt mixtures’ resistance to permanent deformation and moisture damage. This can be attributed to the increase in the consistency of the asphalt binder due to the composite modifier. However, the anti-cracking properties of asphalt mixtures will be destroyed if the content of the composite modifier is too high. Therefore, it is necessary to balance the high and low temperature properties of asphalt mixtures when determining the dosage of composite modifiers in practical engineering. The results of this paper can provide a reference for the green application of waste-rubber-powder-modified bitumen. Full article
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18 pages, 7417 KiB  
Article
Modification Mechanism and Technical Performance of Recycled PE-Modified Asphalt
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612273 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 632
Abstract
Waste plastic pollution is a serious issue. In order to adhere to the concept of green development and rationally dispose of polyethylene waste plastic products, polyethylene (PE)-modified asphalt was prepared using recycled polyethylene (RPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as raw materials. The chemical [...] Read more.
Waste plastic pollution is a serious issue. In order to adhere to the concept of green development and rationally dispose of polyethylene waste plastic products, polyethylene (PE)-modified asphalt was prepared using recycled polyethylene (RPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as raw materials. The chemical structures of the RPE- and LDPE-modified asphalt were studied using a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR), and the dispersion of RPE was studied using a fluorescence microscope (FM). Subsequently, the modification mechanism of the PE-modified asphalt was revealed. The physical properties and high- and low-temperature rheological characteristics of the PE-modified asphalt were examined using physical property tests, a dynamic shear rheometer (DSR), and a bending beam rheometer (BBR). The creep performance of the PE-modified asphalt was analyzed using multiple-stress creep recovery (MSCR). In addition, a laboratory-made inexpensive inorganic stabilizer was added to enhance the storability of the PE-modified asphalt. The results show that PE and asphalt are similarly compatible and form an S-C bond with an inorganic stabilizer. The resulting product’s storage stability is enhanced via the cross linking between the PE and asphalt and the subsequent formation of a network structure. The segregation softening point increased from 2 °C to 45 °C with the increase in PE content, and the increase in RPE was more obvious than that of LDPE. The high-temperature failure of the 2–6% RPE-modified asphalt can reach 70 °C, while that of the 8% RPE-modified asphalt can reach 76 °C. Low-temperature performance was reduced slightly: the 8% PE-doping low-temperature failure temperature was −14.7 °C. The low-temperature performance was somewhat reduced, but it was still within a PG rating. Full article
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