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Life-Cycle Performance and Sustainable Techniques and Materials for Structural Connections

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 3468

Special Issue Editors

Fischer Austria GmbH, Traiskirchen, Austria
Interests: concrete durability; multi-physics; fastening technology
Architektur und Bauingenieurwesen, TU Dortmund University, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
Interests: tunnels; fastenings; concrete; reliability; life cycle
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: reinforced concrete; timber concrete composites; connections between steel and concrete; fastenings; timber connections

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global future challenges of the recent past can already be seen in everyday life: intense urbanisation, demographic change, and the braking or even reversal of climate change, and all within a fast-paced digitalisation across any business and life aspect. The construction industry in particular is also facing respective challenges in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability such as skilled workforce and occupational safety deficits, setbacks in digital integration and productivity and its significant addition to greenhouse gas emissions. Responding to these challenges requires faster and automated construction, moreover using sustainable construction elements and materials as well as clear life cycle and circular economy concepts. Structural connections play a crucial role in established as well as future-oriented building processes and technologies. Simultaneously, connection technologies and engineering concepts are constantly developing in an effort to address the particular requirements such as: safe connection between interfaces with different materials, function and age; service life and degradation forecasting; redundancy, prevention of progressive collapse and response to extreme actions; integration of digital and automation technologies; and use of advanced materials. The main goal of this Special Issue is to collect high-quality peer-reviewed articles that share the recent findings and developments regarding the life-cycle and sustainability performance of structural connections. This Special Issue calls for papers on areas including but not limited to the following:

- use of low-emission concrete or metals and other sustainable materials

- automation and digitalisation for sustainable construction, logistics and architectural schemes

- engineering concepts and applications for

+ recycling and reuse, circular economy

+ collapse prevention under extreme actions

+ assessment of degradation and remaining service life

Dr. Ioannis Boumakis
Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Spyridis
Prof. Dr. Giovanni Muciaccia
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

  • structural design
  • structural analysis
  • life cycle
  • eco-concrete
  • recycled aggregates
  • geopolymer concrete
  • recycled concrete
  • sustainable concrete
  • organic fibers
  • industrial waste
  • sustainable cement
  • green concrete

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 8354 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Post-Installed Anchor Stiffnesses in Uncracked Concrete with Different Types of Coarse Aggregates
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416855 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 459
Abstract
This paper investigates the potential influence of different aggregates in the concrete mix design on the concrete cone resistance of different types of anchors as well as the anchor stiffness. In fact, bonded anchors with three different adhesives and mechanical anchors and concrete [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the potential influence of different aggregates in the concrete mix design on the concrete cone resistance of different types of anchors as well as the anchor stiffness. In fact, bonded anchors with three different adhesives and mechanical anchors and concrete screws of two types were installed in five different concrete mixes and tested in a standard tensile configuration using pull-out tests with wide support resulting in concrete cone failure. A rigorous analysis of both the initial and secant stiffness values of the different anchor types is carried out in a comparative manner. The results of the experimental program show that the anchor stiffnesses are not influenced by the different aggregates in the concrete mixes, but rather by the type of anchor. Finally, this manuscript provides a narrow range of both initial and secant stiffness values with respect to anchor type only. Full article
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19 pages, 5718 KiB  
Article
Stiffness Warming Potential: An Innovative Parameter for Structural and Environmental Assessment of Timber–Concrete Composite Members
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014857 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1134
Abstract
Timber hybridization with concrete is a rising widespread strategy to obtain members with a structural performance comparable to traditional ones—e.g., RC members—but characterized by a greater sustainability potential thanks to the presence of timber-based materials; this solution is of great interest due to [...] Read more.
Timber hybridization with concrete is a rising widespread strategy to obtain members with a structural performance comparable to traditional ones—e.g., RC members—but characterized by a greater sustainability potential thanks to the presence of timber-based materials; this solution is of great interest due to its low embodied carbon content, which supports the decarbonization goals set, especially for the building sector. Such systems enhance the concrete and timber favorable properties and ameliorate their detrimental characteristics, both from the structural and environmental perspectives. In general, since these two aspects are generally considered separately, a new parameter is proposed to simultaneously combine a structural performance indicator with a warming potential one. Focusing on composite slabs in bending, the stiffness warming potential (λ) is introduced, which combines the evaluation of effective bending stiffness (according to Eurocode 5 γ-method) with the Global Warming Potential—GWP (on the basis of data from Athena Impact Estimator for Building software and data from an Environmental Product Declaration of a timber panel). The method provides a multi-criteria analysis concerning the slab design accounting for vibration, deflection, and acoustic criteria when optimizing the member span. On the other hand, GWP is assessed according to cradle-to-cradle Life Cycle Assessment analysis, where two scenarios with different sustainability levels are encompassed. Results firstly confirm the viability of the novel methodology, with a different outlook on timber–concrete hybrid members, stressing the importance of maintaining thinness of the concrete layer and clearly bringing out the importance of correct re-use and/or a timber recycling management to guarantee effective reductions in terms of CO2 emissions. Full article
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25 pages, 9377 KiB  
Article
Minimally Invasive Retrofitting of RC Joints with Externally Applied SMA Plate—Adaptive Design Optimisation through Probabilistic Damage Simulation
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043831 - 20 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Beam–column joints are the critical section of many reinforced concrete (RC) structure types in which any failure could lead to the collapse of the entire structure. This paper attempts to employ a superelastic shape memory alloy plate as an innovative and adaptive external [...] Read more.
Beam–column joints are the critical section of many reinforced concrete (RC) structure types in which any failure could lead to the collapse of the entire structure. This paper attempts to employ a superelastic shape memory alloy plate as an innovative and adaptive external strengthening element to rehabilitate existing concrete beam–column joints and enhance the structure’s performance. An experimentally investigated beam–column joint is used as the case study, and it is investigated numerically to validate the effects of an innovative strengthening technique based on shape memory alloys. The results show that the proposed technique could increase the joint’s stiffness and reduce the risk of overall failure. A particular innovation in the proposed method is associated with the novel material itself but also with the fact that the increased potential costs of using special alloys are counteracted by its potential to produce these elements in an optimised industrially produced fastened plate. This fits-all construction product further allows a rapid and minimally invasive strengthening technique. Moreover, to achieve this, the plate is adaptively designed against random critical load combinations through probabilistic damage prediction. Full article
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