Special Issue "Sustainable and Durable Building Materials"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021) | Viewed by 30283

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Chiara Giosuè
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning SIMAU, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: materials engineering; sustainability; circular economy; waste valorization; building materials; mortar and concrete technologies; indoor air quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Letizia Ruello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning SIMAU, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: raw material; secondary raw material; environmental monitoring; indoor air quality; depollution processes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandra Mobili
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning SIMAU, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: materials engineering; sustainability; durable materials; building materials; mortar and concrete technologies; alternative binders; recycling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability has become one of the most important aspects of the construction sector. We can no longer ignore the environmental impact of the construction sector, which contributes to 40% of global gaseous emissions. Extensive research is urgently required to find practical, economical, durable, and environmentally friendly solutions for construction materials integrated into a circular economy perspective. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance that sustainable materials can also fulfill durability requirements since durability is, in itself, a criterion of sustainability.

This Special Issue will showcase the latest international efforts in the development and application of sustainable and durable building materials. It is our pleasure to invite members of the scientific community behind this endeavor to share and publish their latest research in the form of original articles and reviews on this topic. More specifically, research on sustainable building materials, alternative binders and aggregates, recycled aggregates, phase change materials, functional nanocomposites, recycling, reuse of wastes and byproducts, use of biomaterials, self-healing materials, CO2 emissions, and energy consumption reductions are of particular interest. The influence on environmental sustainability should be considered not only in terms of life cycle assessment but also of pollutant release, or even through materials capable of removing pollutants.

Dr. Chiara Giosuè
Dr. Maria Letizia Ruello
Dr. Alessandra Mobili
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 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

  • alternative binders
  • building materials
  • circular economy
  • CO2 capture
  • CO2 reduction
  • durability
  • healthy buildings
  • life cycle assessment
  • materials engineering
  • nondestructive testing
  • reuse, recycling, and recovery
  • secondary raw materials
  • structural health monitoring
  • sustainability

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

Article
The Properties and Durability of Self-Leveling and Thixotropic Mortars with Recycled Sand
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2732; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052732 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
In recent decades, relevant environmental and economic reasons have driven an increasing interest in using a large amount of recycled aggregate in replacement of natural ones to produce mortar and concrete. The present study aims to investigate the effect of substituting 100% of [...] Read more.
In recent decades, relevant environmental and economic reasons have driven an increasing interest in using a large amount of recycled aggregate in replacement of natural ones to produce mortar and concrete. The present study aims to investigate the effect of substituting 100% of natural sand with recycled aggregate on fresh properties, mechanical properties, and the durability of a thixotropic and a self-leveling mortar. Recycled aggregate was characterized using X-ray diffractometry and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Its morphology was investigated using scanning electron microscopy and automated morphological imaging. Recycled aggregate mortars showed a moderate decline in initial workability, as well as higher shrinkage and porosity than the control ones. The compressive strength of self-leveling mortars produced with recycled aggregate was only 6% lower than mortars produced with natural sand. The gap increased to 40% in the case of thixotropic mortars. The self-leveling recycled aggregate mortar showed equivalent resistance to freeze–thaw cycles and better sulfate resistance than the control one. The thixotropic recycled aggregate mortar showed comparable sulphate resistance and only slightly lower resistance to freeze–thaw cycles than the control one. Their capacity to relief stresses, due to hydraulic pressures and the formation of expansive products, arises from their higher porosity. Thermal stability of the prepared mortars, after a curing period of 90 days, up to 700 °C, was also investigated. A significant decrease in ultrasonic pulse velocity is observed in the 200–400 °C interval for all the mortars, due to the dehydration–dehydroxylation of calcium silicate hydrate. The overall decline in the strength of both the recycled aggregate mortars was comparable to the control ones. The results reported in the present investigation suggest that the selection of high-quality recycled aggregate helps to obtain good-quality mortars when a large amount of natural sand is replaced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
The Evaluation of Historic Building Energy Retrofit Projects through the Life Cycle Assessment
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7145; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157145 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
The built environment sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion that contributes to the climate change crisis. The European Commission, in the “Green New Deal”, highlights that the sustainable regeneration/requalification of existing buildings plays a fundamental [...] Read more.
The built environment sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion that contributes to the climate change crisis. The European Commission, in the “Green New Deal”, highlights that the sustainable regeneration/requalification of existing buildings plays a fundamental role to maximize the objective of decarbonization and resource conservation for 2050. The aim of this study was to understand how historic buildings’ energy retrofit projects can contribute to achieve this goal. In this study, we made a life cycle assessment to evaluate an energy retrofit project of Villa Vannucchi, an historic building located in San Giorgio a Cremano (Naples). The results of this application showed that the use of hemp material, for walls’ thermal insulation, significantly reduces the percentage of environmental impacts in the entire material life cycle (compared with traditional materials). This was because the plant removes a significant percentage of CO2 already from the atmosphere when it is growing. In conclusion, the assessment of different design scenarios that promote the use of innovative technologies and materials can be of high utility to designers to compare and choose efficient solutions for the sustainable/circular renovation of historic buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Deterioration of Sandstone in the Historical and Contemporary Sea Walls upon the Impact of the Natural and Man-Made Hazards
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 6892; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11156892 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1215
Abstract
The contemporary sea walls built in the pedestrian seashore zone in the City of Acre, Israel, were sided with porous calcarenite sandstone, so-called ‘kurkar’. Kurkar stone has been broadly used as a durable building material in Acre and Jaffa, the Eastern Mediterranean offshore [...] Read more.
The contemporary sea walls built in the pedestrian seashore zone in the City of Acre, Israel, were sided with porous calcarenite sandstone, so-called ‘kurkar’. Kurkar stone has been broadly used as a durable building material in Acre and Jaffa, the Eastern Mediterranean offshore cities, since ancient times. Therefore, the contemporary urban architectural plans obligate kurkar siding in the modern structures erected beside the Old City of Acre. However, a rapid deterioration of kurkar siding had occurred in the contemporary sea walls during only a few years. In contrast, the Historic walls built of kurkar dimensional stone have been still sound. The current study has evaluated the factors and causes of kurkar deterioration in the modern seawalls. It was revealed that the main reason for deterioration was adhering the kurkar siding with cement mortar and the next exposure of adhered siding to the humid and salt-enriched offshore environment with high air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Development of Variants of High-Performance Self-Compacting Concrete with Improved Resistance to the Attack of Sulfates
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5945; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135945 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1012
Abstract
This paper presents experimental and analytical work of which the main objective was to support the introduction of a new technology for the production of sewer pipes. In this technology, the pipes produced consist of two differently produced parts. The direct part uses [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental and analytical work of which the main objective was to support the introduction of a new technology for the production of sewer pipes. In this technology, the pipes produced consist of two differently produced parts. The direct part uses conventional vibro press compacted concrete. In the curved part, on the other hand, self-compacting concrete technology is used. The cooperating company, Prefa Brno a.s., defined possible negative effects on concrete of sewer pipes. The task of the research team and now the author’s team was to propose a procedure for the development of suitable self-compacting concrete variants and subsequently the design of a methodology to verify their durability in aqueous environments containing sulfates. To increase the efficiency of the development, the model mortar method was used in the experimental work. That is, instead of the original concrete, a model mortar derived from it was tested. The principle and procedure of derivation of model mortars are described in the paper. In total, eight variants of model mortars were tested, and at least three of them fulfilled the requirements. An optional but beneficial part of the carried out work was the derivation and practical application of the time-anchored-triangles-of-cracking graphical method developed during the research. This method is used to quickly compare the degree of attack of different silicate composites tested in a common bath inducing type III corrosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Synthesis of Ambient Cured GGBFS Based Alkali Activated Binder Using a Sole Alkaline Activator: A Feasibility Study
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5887; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135887 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Utilisation of industrial waste-based material to develop a novel binding material as an alternative to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) has attracted growing attention recently to reduce or eliminate the environmental footprint associated with OPC. This paper presents an experimental study on the synthesis [...] Read more.
Utilisation of industrial waste-based material to develop a novel binding material as an alternative to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) has attracted growing attention recently to reduce or eliminate the environmental footprint associated with OPC. This paper presents an experimental study on the synthesis and evaluation of alkali activated Ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) composite using a NaOH solution as an alkaline activator without addition of silicate solution. Different NaOH concentrations were used to produce varied GGBFS based alkali activated composites that were evaluated for Uncofined Compressive Strength (UCS), durability, leachability, and microstructural performance. Alkali activated GGBFS composite prepared with 15 M NaOH solution at 15% L/S ratio achieved a UCS of 61.43 MPa cured for 90 days at ambient temperatures. The microstructural results revealed the formation of zeolites, with dense and non-porous morphology. Alkali activated GGBFS based composites can be synthesized using a sole alkaline activator with potential to reduce CO2 emission. The metal leaching tests revealed that there are no potential environmental pollution threats posed by the synthesized alkali activated GGBFS composites for long-term use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
On the Tortuosity-Connectivity of Cement-Based Porous Materials
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5812; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135812 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
In this work, the transport equations of ionic species in concrete are studied. First, the equations at the porescale are considered, which are then averaged over a representative elementary volume. The so obtained transport equations at the macroscopic scale are thoroughly examined and [...] Read more.
In this work, the transport equations of ionic species in concrete are studied. First, the equations at the porescale are considered, which are then averaged over a representative elementary volume. The so obtained transport equations at the macroscopic scale are thoroughly examined and each term is interpreted. Furthermore, it is shown that the tortuosity-connectivity does not slow the average speed of the ionic species down. The transport equations in the representative elementary volume are then compared with the equations obtained in an equivalent pore. Lastly, comparing Darcy’s law and the Hagen–Poiseuille equation in a cylindrical equivalent pore, the tortuosity-connectivity parameter is obtained for four different concretes. The proposed model provides very good results when compared with the experimentally obtained chloride profiles for two additional concretes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Sustainability Levels in Comparison with Mechanical Properties and Durability of Pumice High-Performance Concrete
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4964; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114964 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1806
Abstract
In the production of cement and concrete, mechanical and durable properties are essential, along with reasonable cost and sustainability. This study aimed to apply an evaluation procedure of the level of sustainability of mixtures of high-performance concretes (HPC) with various eco-friendly supplementary cementitious [...] Read more.
In the production of cement and concrete, mechanical and durable properties are essential, along with reasonable cost and sustainability. This study aimed to apply an evaluation procedure of the level of sustainability of mixtures of high-performance concretes (HPC) with various eco-friendly supplementary cementitious materials (SCM). The major supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), namely, volcanic pumice pozzolan (VPP), Class C and F fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag of grade 120, silica fume, and metakaolin, were included. Twenty-seven concrete mixtures were analyzed using a previously presented comprehensive material sustainability indicator in a cost-effective variant. The results indicated that the rank of the concretes differed at 28, 56, and 91 days after concreting. In addition, the study showed no correlation of strength and diffusion parameters with sustainability indicators. Finally, this study will contribute to the optimal selection of mixtures of HPC with VPP in terms of sustainability, cost, and durability for future implementation in reinforced concrete bridge deck slabs and pavements. The values of sustainability indicators for pumice-based mixtures were compared with those for other SCMs, highlighting the sustainable performance of volcanic ash-based SCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Electrochemical Corrosion of Galvanized Steel in Binary Sustainable Concrete Made with Sugar Cane Bagasse Ash (SCBA) and Silica Fume (SF) Exposed to Sulfates
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2133; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052133 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1428
Abstract
This research evaluates the behavior corrosion of galvanized steel (GS) and AISI 1018 carbon steel (CS) embedded in conventional concrete (CC) made with 100% CPC 30R and two binary sustainable concretes (BSC1 and BSC2) made with sugar cane bagasse ash (SCBA) and silica [...] Read more.
This research evaluates the behavior corrosion of galvanized steel (GS) and AISI 1018 carbon steel (CS) embedded in conventional concrete (CC) made with 100% CPC 30R and two binary sustainable concretes (BSC1 and BSC2) made with sugar cane bagasse ash (SCBA) and silica fume (SF), respectively, after 300 days of exposure to 3.5 wt.% MgSO4 solution as aggressive medium. Electrochemical techniques were applied to monitor corrosion potential (Ecorr) according to ASTM C-876-15 and linear polarization resistance (LPR) according to ASTM G59 for determining corrosion current density (icorr). Ecorr and icorr results indicate after more than 300 days of exposure to the sulfate environment (3.5 wt.% MgSO4 solution), that the CS specimens embedded in BSC1 and BSC2 presented greater protection against corrosion in 3.5 wt.% MgSO4 than the specimens embedded in CC. It was also shown that this protection against sulfates is significantly increased when using GS reinforcements. The results indicate a higher resistance to corrosion by exposure to 3.5 wt.% magnesium sulfate two times greater for BSC1 and BSC2 specimens reinforced with GS than the specimens embedding CS. In summary, the combination of binary sustainable concrete with galvanized steel improves durability and lifetime in service, in addition to reducing the environmental impact of the civil engineering structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Fundamentals of Building Deconstruction as a Circular Economy Strategy for the Reuse of Construction Materials
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11030939 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 6519
Abstract
The construction industry is one of the most environmentally detrimental industries in the world, impacting directly the use of raw materials, their determination of use involving the whole lifecycle, as well as all their surrounding environment. However, within the building sector, the transition [...] Read more.
The construction industry is one of the most environmentally detrimental industries in the world, impacting directly the use of raw materials, their determination of use involving the whole lifecycle, as well as all their surrounding environment. However, within the building sector, the transition from a linear to a circular economy is still at an early stage. Business models need to be reconsidered to include new and improved methods and innovative services that could lead to a net reduction in the use of resources and minimizing the waste disposed on landfills. In this context, an important role in buildings’ circularity is “deconstruction”, which is understood as a well-considered selective dismantlement of building components, in prevision of a future reuse, repurposing, or recycling. It represents a sustainable alternative to common demolition, which tends to be an arbitrary and destructive process, and although faster and cheaper, it typically creates a substantial amount of waste. The purpose of this article is to analyze the deconstruction potential of buildings and the strategies to apply in order to keep the impacts on the urban environment low. The article aims to facilitate the implementation of circular economy strategies for buildings by proposing common principles for deconstruction as a sustainable alternative to demolition and defining the key points to be applied during the design and planning process regardless of the type of construction system or material used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Gasification Char and Used Foundry Sand as Alternative Fillers to Graphene Nanoplatelets for Electrically Conductive Mortars with and without Virgin/Recycled Carbon Fibres
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010050 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Structural health monitoring to assess the safety, durability and performance of structures can be performed by non-destructive methods such as the measurement of impedance in self-sensing cement-based elements. Cement-based materials, like mortars and concretes, generally have high electrical resistivity but the addition of [...] Read more.
Structural health monitoring to assess the safety, durability and performance of structures can be performed by non-destructive methods such as the measurement of impedance in self-sensing cement-based elements. Cement-based materials, like mortars and concretes, generally have high electrical resistivity but the addition of carbon-based fillers and fibres decreases their electrical resistivity and thus enhances their self-sensing capabilities. In this study, two waste carbon-based fillers, namely, used foundry sand and gasification char were compared to commercial graphene nanoplatelets and used to produce self-sensing cement mortars, both with and without recycled or virgin carbon fibres. The mortars were tested in terms of their mechanical and electrical properties as well as their propensity to capillary water absorption. The results demonstrate that gasification char alone is the best carbonaceous waste for decreasing the electrical resistivity (−42%) and water absorption (−17%) of mortars, while their compressive strength remains unaltered. Moreover, although there is a slight reduction in compressive strength and an increase in water suction when gasification char is coupled with fibres, the combination of fillers and fibres has a synergistic effect in decreasing mortars’ electrical resistivity, especially when recycled carbon fibres are used (−80%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Sustainability in Italian Ceramic Tile Production: Evaluation of the Environmental Impact
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9063; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249063 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2234
Abstract
Sustainable development has recently become the driving force of all the policies leading environmental, economic, and social aspects of our life. In the construction sector, a large number of technological innovations has been introduced thus leading to an assessment of the environmental impact [...] Read more.
Sustainable development has recently become the driving force of all the policies leading environmental, economic, and social aspects of our life. In the construction sector, a large number of technological innovations has been introduced thus leading to an assessment of the environmental impact of the production processes. In the present study, the environmental impact of the Italian ceramic tiles production is analyzed and discussed. The evolution trends of the main atmospheric pollutants and the management of water and solid wastes of ceramic tile plants have been investigated over a period greater than 10 years, considering three different layouts of production cycles. The current evaluation shows that the Italian ceramic tiles industry has considered the environmental assessment as a fundamental practice for its development since the late 1980s. The reported data prove the high level of excellence reached by the Italian ceramic tile production and demonstrate how attention to the environmental impact is a fundamental key for the ceramic tile sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Effect of Wood Fiber Loading on the Chemical and Thermo-Rheological Properties of Unrecycled and Recycled Wood-Polymer Composites
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8863; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248863 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1791
Abstract
Novel wood fiber (WF)-polypropylene composites were developed using the extrusion process with a twin-screw extruder. The influence of different mass addition of WF to unrecycled polypropylene (PP) and recycled PP (R-PP) on the chemical, thermal and rheological properties of the processed WF-PP and [...] Read more.
Novel wood fiber (WF)-polypropylene composites were developed using the extrusion process with a twin-screw extruder. The influence of different mass addition of WF to unrecycled polypropylene (PP) and recycled PP (R-PP) on the chemical, thermal and rheological properties of the processed WF-PP and WF-R-PP composites was investigated. For this purpose, the chemical surface structure of the composites was followed with ATR-FTIR (attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infra red spectroscopy), while the thermal properties of the WF-PP composites were investigated with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Furthermore, the crystalline structure of the composites was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Finally, the rheology of the materials was also studied. It was observed that a stronger particle formation at high additional concentrations was observed in the case of recycled PP material. The addition of WF over 20% by weight increased the crystallinity as a result of the incorporation and reorganization of the WF and also their reinforcing effect. The addition of WF to pure PP had an influence on the crystallization process, which due to the new β phase and γ phase PP formation showed an increased degree of crystallinity of the composites and led to a polymorphic structure of the composites WF-PP. From the rheological test, we can conclude that the addition of WF changed the rheological behavior of the material, as WF hindered the movement of the polymeric material. At lower concentrations, the change was less pronounced, although we observed more drastic changes in the material behavior at concentrations high enough that WF could form a 3D network (percolation point about 20%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Study of Eco-Friendly Belite-Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cements Obtained from Special Wastes
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8650; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238650 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Belite-calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cements are special binders obtained from non-Portland clinkers; they have become increasingly more important due to their environmental impact during the manufacturing process compared to Portland cements, such as lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Belite-calcium sulfoaluminate (BCSA) cements are special binders obtained from non-Portland clinkers; they have become increasingly more important due to their environmental impact during the manufacturing process compared to Portland cements, such as lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The aim of this paper was to assess the possible use of titanogypsum (T) and water potabilization sludge (W) to reduce the amount of natural raw materials (natural gypsum and clay, respectively) used in the production of BCSA cements. Three BCSA clinker generating raw mixes, containing T and/or W, and a reference mix based only on natural materials (limestone, clay, bauxite and natural gypsum) were heated in an electric furnace at temperatures ranging from 1200 to 1350 °C. Quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the burnt products showed high conversion of reactants towards the main hydraulically active BCSA clinkers components (C2S and C4A3$), particularly at temperatures of 1300 and 1350 °C. Isothermal calorimetric measurements, differential thermal–thermogravimetric and XRD analyses as well as porosimetric measurements showed that all BCSA cements, from mixing the clinkers (at optimum temperatures) with commercial anhydrite, exhibited similar hydration behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Practical Model Proposed for the Structural Analysis of Segmental Tunnels
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8514; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238514 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1425
Abstract
The construction of tunnels has become increasingly common in city infrastructure; tunnels are used to connect different places in a region (for transportation and/or drainage). In this study, the structural response of a typical segmental tunnel built in soft soil was studied using [...] Read more.
The construction of tunnels has become increasingly common in city infrastructure; tunnels are used to connect different places in a region (for transportation and/or drainage). In this study, the structural response of a typical segmental tunnel built in soft soil was studied using a simplified model which considers the coupling between segmental rings. From an engineering point of view, there is a need to use simple and reliable finite element models. Therefore, a 1D model based on the Finite Element Method (FEM) composed of beam elements to model the segments and elastic-linear springs and non-linear springs to model the mechanical behavior of the joints was performed. To validate the modeling strategy, the numerical results were compared to (lab-based) experimental results, under an Ultimate Limit State, obtained from the literature, and a comparison between numerical results considering a 3D numerical complex model which included the nonlinearity of concrete, reinforcing steel and the joints was performed. With this simplified model, we obtained a prediction of approximately 95% of the ultimate loading capacity compared to the results developed in the experimental and 3D models. This proposed model will help engineers in practice to create “rational” structural designs of segmental tunnel linings when a “low” interaction between rings is expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Environmental Impacts of Cement Production: A Statistical Analysis
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8212; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228212 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
The attention to environmental impacts of cement production has grown fast in recent decades. The cement industry is a significant greenhouse gases emitter mainly due to the calcinations of raw materials and the combustions of fuels. This paper investigates on the environmental performances [...] Read more.
The attention to environmental impacts of cement production has grown fast in recent decades. The cement industry is a significant greenhouse gases emitter mainly due to the calcinations of raw materials and the combustions of fuels. This paper investigates on the environmental performances of cement production and on the identification of factors driving emissions. For this purpose, a sample of 193 different recipes of gray cement produced in Italy from 2014 to 2019 according to the European standard EN 197-1. This paper identifies the consumption impact categories (e.g., fossil fuels, renewable and non-renewable secondary fuels) that explain the assessment of the Global Warming Potential, one of the most crucial impacts of cement production. Having regard to the overall examined dataset and each cement type, a set of predictive models is implemented and evaluated. A similar approach has been adopted to produce accurate predictive models for further environmental impact categories that quantify emissions to air. The obtained results provide important information that can support cement producers to develop low-impacting cement recipes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Sustainable Reduction of the Odor Impact of Painting Wooden Products for Interior Design
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8124; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228124 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
The construction and building field represents a key sector for the recent Circular Economy Action Plan (March 2020). Therefore, the production of low impact materials represents an essential step towards the implementation of a sustainable market. In this regard, the present paper focused [...] Read more.
The construction and building field represents a key sector for the recent Circular Economy Action Plan (March 2020). Therefore, the production of low impact materials represents an essential step towards the implementation of a sustainable market. In this regard, the present paper focused on the production of painting wooden products for interior design. These industrial processes include an essential phase consisting of the reduction of odor emissions, which produce negative impacts on the environment and a persistent annoyance for the population close to the facilities. The main cause of the odor emissions in wood painting manufacturing is the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In this context, the present research aimed to develop an innovative process able to combine the use of lower impact paints with a more efficient UV system for the abatement of the emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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Article
Agricultural Residues of Lignocellulosic Materials in Cement Composites
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8019; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228019 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Lignocellulosic material residues in cement composites are a favourable option for new fibre cement formulations in building materials, because they combine good mechanical properties with low density. This study aimed to evaluate the chemical, physical, anatomical, and mechanical properties of five cement panels [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic material residues in cement composites are a favourable option for new fibre cement formulations in building materials, because they combine good mechanical properties with low density. This study aimed to evaluate the chemical, physical, anatomical, and mechanical properties of five cement panels reinforced with the following lignocellulosic materials: eucalyptus, sugarcane bagasse, coconut shell, coffee husk, and banana pseudostem. Lignocellulosic cement panels were produced with each lignocellulosic material residue, and three replicates of each type of lignocellulosic material were examined (15 panels in total). The lignin, extractives, ash, and holocellulose were examined. After 28 days of composite curing, the following physical properties of the panels were evaluated: density, porosity, water absorption after immersion for 2 and 24 h, and thickness swelling after immersion for 2 and 24 h. Mechanical tests (compression strength, internal bonding, modulus of rupture, and modulus of elasticity) were performed before and after the accelerated ageing test with a universal testing machine. Scanning electron microscopy and supervised image classification were performed to investigate the morphologies of the different materials and the filler/matrix interfaces. Eucalyptus and sugarcane panels had the best results in terms of the evaluated properties and thus, could potentially be used as non-structural walls. However, banana pseudostem, coconut shell, and coffee husk panels had the worst results and therefore, under these conditions, should not be used in building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Durable Building Materials)
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