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Special Issue "Construction Materials"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. En-Hua Yang (Website)

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
Fax: +65 6791 0676

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Construction materials are the most used materials in human history. They represent an enormous investment of raw materials, energy, and capital, and result in significant environmental burdens and social costs. Innovative technologies have been developed continuously to improve the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties, durability, and sustainability of construction materials. Recently, smart construction materials with special functionalities such as self-sensing and self-healing have drawn great attention and interest to the community. This special issue of Materials invites original research articles and comprehensive reviews on advances in construction materials which include, but are not limited to: cement, concrete, cement-based composites, additives, bricks, steel, timber, glass, and polymers.

Dr. En-Hua Yang
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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 monthly 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 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • cement
  • concrete
  • steel
  • timber
  • bricks

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Application of Hydrophilic Silanol-Based Chemical Grout for Strengthening Damaged Reinforced Concrete Flexural Members
Materials 2014, 7(6), 4823-4844; doi:10.3390/ma7064823
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1067 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, hydrophilic chemical grout using silanol (HCGS) was adopted to overcome the performance limitations of epoxy materials used for strengthening existing buildings and civil engineering structures. The enhanced material performances of HCGS were introduced, and applied to the section enlargement [...] Read more.
In this study, hydrophilic chemical grout using silanol (HCGS) was adopted to overcome the performance limitations of epoxy materials used for strengthening existing buildings and civil engineering structures. The enhanced material performances of HCGS were introduced, and applied to the section enlargement method, which is one of the typical structural strengthening methods used in practice. To evaluate the excellent structural strengthening performance of the HCGS, structural tests were conducted on reinforced concrete beams, and analyses on the flexural behaviors of test specimens were performed by modified partial interaction theory (PIT). In particular, to improve the constructability of the section enlargement method, an advanced strengthening method was proposed, in which the precast panel was directly attached to the bottom of the damaged structural member by HCGS, and the degree of connection of the test specimens, strengthened by the section enlargement method, were quantitatively evaluated by PIT-based analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Pozzolanic Activity of a Spent Catalyst by Conductivity Measurement of Aqueous Suspensions with Calcium Hydroxide
Materials 2014, 7(4), 2561-2576; doi:10.3390/ma7042561
Received: 18 February 2014 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 21 March 2014 / Published: 28 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pozzolanic activity of the spent catalyst produced by fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) has been studied by various methods in recent years. However, no quick and easy method has been reported for this activity based on the associated studies. In this work, [...] Read more.
The pozzolanic activity of the spent catalyst produced by fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) has been studied by various methods in recent years. However, no quick and easy method has been reported for this activity based on the associated studies. In this work, the pozzolanic activity of a spent catalyst was investigated by measuring its electrical conductivity in aqueous suspensions of pozzolan/calcium hydroxide. The behavior of the FCC catalyst residue was compared to that of reactive and inert materials of similar chemical compositions. Further, the influence of temperature on the suspension was studied, and also, a new method was proposed in which the pozzolan/calcium hydroxide ratio was varied (with the initial presence of solid Ca(OH)2 in the system). It was concluded that the method is effective, fast and simple for evaluating the high reactivity of the catalyst. Therefore, this method is an alternative for the evaluation of the reactivity of pozzolanic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Influence of Rapid Freeze-Thaw Cycling on the Mechanical Properties of Sustainable Strain-Hardening Cement Composite (2SHCC)
Materials 2014, 7(2), 1422-1440; doi:10.3390/ma7021422
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 14 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides experimental results to investigate the mechanical properties of sustainable strain-hardening cement composite (2SHCC) for infrastructures after freeze-thaw actions. To improve the sustainability of SHCC materials in this study, high energy-consumptive components—silica sand, cement, and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers—in the [...] Read more.
This paper provides experimental results to investigate the mechanical properties of sustainable strain-hardening cement composite (2SHCC) for infrastructures after freeze-thaw actions. To improve the sustainability of SHCC materials in this study, high energy-consumptive components—silica sand, cement, and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers—in the conventional SHCC materials are partially replaced with recycled materials such as recycled sand, fly ash, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers, respectively. To investigate the mechanical properties of green SHCC that contains recycled materials, the cement, PVA fiber and silica sand were replaced with 10% fly ash, 25% PET fiber, and 10% recycled aggregate based on preliminary experimental results for the development of 2SHCC material, respectively. The dynamic modulus of elasticity and weight for 2SHCC material were measured at every 30 cycles of freeze-thaw. The effects of freeze-thaw cycles on the mechanical properties of sustainable SHCC are evaluated by conducting compressive tests, four-point flexural tests, direct tensile tests and prism splitting tests after 90, 180, and 300 cycles of rapid freeze-thaw. Freeze-thaw testing was conducted according to ASTM C 666 Procedure A. Test results show that after 300 cycles of freezing and thawing actions, the dynamic modulus of elasticity and mass loss of damaged 2SHCC were similar to those of virgin 2SHCC, while the freeze-thaw cycles influence mechanical properties of the 2SHCC material except for compressive behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Corrosion Resistance of Calcium Aluminate Cement Concrete Exposed to a Chloride Environment
Materials 2014, 7(2), 887-898; doi:10.3390/ma7020887
Received: 21 October 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 24 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study concerns a development of calcium aluminate cement (CAC) concrete to enhance the durability against an externally chemically aggressive environment, in particular, chloride-induced corrosion. To evaluate the inhibition effect and concrete properties, CAC was partially mixed with ordinary Portland cement [...] Read more.
The present study concerns a development of calcium aluminate cement (CAC) concrete to enhance the durability against an externally chemically aggressive environment, in particular, chloride-induced corrosion. To evaluate the inhibition effect and concrete properties, CAC was partially mixed with ordinary Portland cement (OPC), ranging from 5% to 15%, as a binder. As a result, it was found that an increase in the CAC in binder resulted in a dramatic decrease in the setting time of fresh concrete. However, the compressive strength was lower, ranging about 20 MPa, while OPC indicated about 30–35 MPa at an equivalent age. When it comes to chloride transport, there was only marginal variation in the diffusivity of chloride ions. The corrosion resistance of CAC mixture was significantly enhanced: its chloride threshold level for corrosion initiation exceeded 3.0% by weight of binder, whilst OPC and CAC concrete indicated about 0.5%–1.0%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle A Study of Crystalline Mechanism of Penetration Sealer Materials
Materials 2014, 7(1), 399-412; doi:10.3390/ma7010399
Received: 23 November 2013 / Revised: 31 December 2013 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 14 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is quite common to dispense a topping material like crystalline penetration sealer materials (CPSM) onto the surface of a plastic substance such as concrete to extend its service life span by surface protections from outside breakthrough. The CPSM can penetrate into [...] Read more.
It is quite common to dispense a topping material like crystalline penetration sealer materials (CPSM) onto the surface of a plastic substance such as concrete to extend its service life span by surface protections from outside breakthrough. The CPSM can penetrate into the existing pores or possible cracks in such a way that it may form crystals to block the potential paths which provide breakthrough for any unknown materials. This study investigated the crystalline mechanism formed in the part of concrete penetrated by the CPSM. We analyzed the chemical composites, in order to identify the mechanism of CPSM and to evaluate the penetrated depth. As shown in the results, SEM observes the acicular-structured crystals filling capillary pores for mortar substrate of the internal microstructure beneath the concrete surface; meanwhile, XRD and FT-IR showed the main hydration products of CPSM to be C-S-H gel and CaCO3. Besides, MIP also shows CPSM with the ability to clog capillary pores of mortar substrate; thus, it reduces porosity, and appears to benefit in sealing pores or cracks. The depth of CPSM penetration capability indicated by TGA shows 0–10 mm of sealer layer beneath the concrete surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Effects of Ground Conditions on Microbial Cementation in Soils
Materials 2014, 7(1), 143-156; doi:10.3390/ma7010143
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 6 December 2013 / Accepted: 23 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of ground conditions on microbial cementation in cohesionless soils. Since the method of microbial cementation is still at the experimental stage, for its practical use in the field, a number of laboratory [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of ground conditions on microbial cementation in cohesionless soils. Since the method of microbial cementation is still at the experimental stage, for its practical use in the field, a number of laboratory experiments are required for the quantification of microbial cementation under various ground conditions, such as relative densities, relative compactions and particle size distributions. In this study, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of microbial cementation in treated sands and silts, an experiment was performed for different relative densities of silica sands, for different relative compactions of silts and for different particle size distributions of weathered soils sampled from the field. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and mapping analyses were implemented for the quantification of the levels of microbial cementations for sand, silt and weathered soil specimens. Based on the test results, a considerable microbial cementation was estimated depending on the soil conditions; therefore, an implementation of this new type of bio-grouting on a weak foundation may be possible to increase the strength and stiffness of weak ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Performance of Grouting Materials for Saturated Riprap
Materials 2013, 6(12), 5713-5725; doi:10.3390/ma6125713
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 1 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, four types of grout were developed to evaluate the effect of grouting of saturated riprap layers on ground water flow. The developed types of grout are divided into a quick-setting type and a general-type, and also into high and [...] Read more.
In this study, four types of grout were developed to evaluate the effect of grouting of saturated riprap layers on ground water flow. The developed types of grout are divided into a quick-setting type and a general-type, and also into high and low viscosities. A number of grout tests were performed in a model acrylic chamber, 0.4 m in diameter and 2.0 m in length, for visual observation of injection. To reproduce the field flow condition of the saturated riprap layers (approach flow), the grout tests were carried out at 0 cm/s and 100 cm/s for the flow speed and 10 L/min for the grout injection speed after installing a flow injection opening on the lower part of the chamber. Based on the results of the grout tests, the injection of each grout in the saturated riprap layers was examined to find out the most effective grout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Geosynthetic Reinforcement of Sand-Mat Layer above Soft Ground
Materials 2013, 6(11), 5314-5334; doi:10.3390/ma6115314
Received: 22 September 2013 / Revised: 3 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 19 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (986 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to improve the bearing capacity of soft ground for the purpose of getting trafficability of construction vehicles, the reinforcement of geosynthetics for sand-mat layers on soft ground has often been used. As the strength of the geosynthetics increases, and the [...] Read more.
In order to improve the bearing capacity of soft ground for the purpose of getting trafficability of construction vehicles, the reinforcement of geosynthetics for sand-mat layers on soft ground has often been used. As the strength of the geosynthetics increases, and the sand-mat system becomes stronger, the bearing capacity of sand-mat systems will be increased. The depths of geosynthetics, reinforced in sand-mat layers, were varied with respect to the width of footing. The tensile strengths of geosynthetics were also varied to evaluate the effect of reinforcement on the bearing capacity of soft ground. The dispersion angles, with varying sand-mat thicknesses, were also determined in consideration of the tensile strength of geosynthetics and the depths of reinforcement installations. The bearing capacity ratios, with the variation of footing width and reinforced embedment depth, were determined for the geosynthetics-only, reinforced soft ground, 1-layer sand-mat system and 2-layer sand-mat system against the non-reinforced soft ground. From the test results of various models, a principle that better explains the concept of geosynthetic reinforcement has been found. On the basis of this principle, a new bearing capacity equation for practical use in the design of geosynthetically reinforced soft ground has been proposed by modifying Yamanouchi’s equation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Form-Stable Phase Change Materials Based on Eutectic Mixture of Tetradecanol and Fatty Acids for Building Energy Storage: Preparation and Performance Analysis
Materials 2013, 6(10), 4758-4775; doi:10.3390/ma6104758
Received: 6 September 2013 / Revised: 15 October 2013 / Accepted: 16 October 2013 / Published: 22 October 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is focused on preparation and performance analysis of a series of form-stable phase change materials (FSPCMs), based on eutectic mixtures as phase change materials (PCMs) for thermal energy storage and high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) polymer as supporting materials. The [...] Read more.
This paper is focused on preparation and performance analysis of a series of form-stable phase change materials (FSPCMs), based on eutectic mixtures as phase change materials (PCMs) for thermal energy storage and high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) polymer as supporting materials. The PCMs were eutectic mixtures of tetradecanol (TD)–capric acid (CA), TD–lauric acid (LA), and TD–myristic acid (MA), which were rarely explored before. Thermal properties of eutectic mixtures and FSPCMs were measured by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The onset melting/solidification temperatures of form-stable PCMs were 19.13 °C/13.32 °C (FS TD–CA PCM), 24.53 °C/24.92 °C (FS TD–LA PCM), and 33.15 °C/30.72 °C (FS TD–MA PCM), respectively, and latent heats were almost greater than 90 J/g. The surface morphologies and chemical stability of form-stable PCM were surveyed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, respectively. The thermal cycling test revealed that the thermal reliability of these three form-stable PCMs was good. Thermal storage/release experiment indicated melting/solidification time was shortened by introducing 10 wt % aluminum powder (AP). It is concluded that these FSPCMs can act as potential building thermal storage materials in terms of their satisfactory thermal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle Mechanical and Microstructural Evaluations of Lightweight Aggregate Geopolymer Concrete before and after Exposed to Elevated Temperatures
Materials 2013, 6(10), 4450-4461; doi:10.3390/ma6104450
Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 22 September 2013 / Accepted: 25 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the mechanical and microstructural characteristics of a lightweight aggregate geopolymer concrete (LWAGC) synthesized by the alkali-activation of a fly ash source (FA) before and after being exposed to elevated temperatures, ranging from 100 to 800 °C. The results show [...] Read more.
This paper presents the mechanical and microstructural characteristics of a lightweight aggregate geopolymer concrete (LWAGC) synthesized by the alkali-activation of a fly ash source (FA) before and after being exposed to elevated temperatures, ranging from 100 to 800 °C. The results show that the LWAGC unexposed to the elevated temperatures possesses a good strength-to-weight ratio compared with other LWAGCs available in the published literature. The unexposed LWAGC also shows an excellent strength development versus aging times, up to 365 days. For the exposed LWAGC to the elevated temperatures of 100 to 800 °C, the results illustrate that the concretes gain compressive strength after being exposed to elevated temperatures of 100, 200 and 300 °C. Afterward, the strength of the LWAGC started to deteriorate and decrease after being exposed to elevated temperatures of 400 °C, and up to 800 °C. Based on the mechanical strength results of the exposed LWAGCs to elevated temperatures of 100 °C to 800 °C, the relationship between the exposure temperature and the obtained residual compressive strength is statistically analyzed and achieved. In addition, the microstructure investigation of the unexposed LWAGC shows a good bonding between aggregate and mortar at the interface transition zone (ITZ). However, this bonding is subjected to deterioration as the LWAGC is exposed to elevated temperatures of 400, 600 and 800 °C by increasing the microcrack content and swelling of the unreacted silicates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Materials)

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