Special Issue "Cement-Based Composites: Advancements in Development and Characterization"

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystalline Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pawel Sikora
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Building Materials and Construction Chemistry, Technische Universität Berlin (Germany) & Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland
Interests: cement-based composites; construction materials; nanotechnology; sustainability; fire resistance
Prof. Sang-Yeop Chung
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Interests: construction materials; numerical analysis; material characterization; microstructural investigation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Concrete, a composite material composed of cement, water, aggregates, and often admixtures, is the most produced human-made material in the world. This material is an indispensable element of modern societies and is used in most of today's constructed engineering structures. Concrete structures need to satisfy specific characteristics in terms of mechanical performance and long-term durability so that they can be used without serious consideration of maintenance  for many decades. Therefore, methods for the production of advanced high-performance composites are actively required. Due to their composite nature, the choice of proper individual components and their interaction and compatibility play a vital role in shaping the final properties of cement-based composites. In addition, numerical approaches to modeling and evaluating a material’s characteristics and properties can also be used to accelerate the material’s development.

The aim of this Special Issue is to showcase the latest research and advances in the field of cement-based composites. Original research papers, state-of-the-art reviews, and short communications are welcome.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • the characterization of cement-based materials;
  • hydration and microstructural formation;
  • admixtures and additives;
  • alternative and sustainable binders;
  • waste materials and by-products in the production of cement-based composites;
  • production of durable and high-performance cement-based composites;
  • materials design for enhanced durability;
  • incorporation of nanomaterials;
  • durability and sustainability assessment;
  • life-cycle assessment;
  • concretes for special purposes (lightweight and heavyweight concretes);
  • numerical simulation for evaluating the properties of cement-based composites; and
  • multi-scale analysis for cement-based composites and structures.

Dr. Pawel Sikora
Prof. Sang-Yeop Chung
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 papers will be 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. Crystals 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 1600 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.


  • cement hydration
  • concrete
  • admixture and additives
  • rheology
  • mechanical performance
  • durability
  • nanomaterials
  • numerical simulations
  • special concretes

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of the Mechanical and Physical Characteristics of Cement Paste Incorporating Different Air Entraining Agents using X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography
Crystals 2020, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10010023 - 06 Jan 2020
Improving the thermal insulation properties of cement-based materials is the key to reducing energy loss and consumption in buildings. Lightweight cement-based composites can be used efficiently for this purpose, as a structural material with load bearing ability or as a non-structural one for [...] Read more.
Improving the thermal insulation properties of cement-based materials is the key to reducing energy loss and consumption in buildings. Lightweight cement-based composites can be used efficiently for this purpose, as a structural material with load bearing ability or as a non-structural one for thermal insulation. In this research, lightweight cement pastes containing fly ash and cement were prepared and tested. In these mixes, three different techniques for producing air voids inside the cement paste were used through the incorporation of aluminum powder (AL), air entraining agent (AA), and hollow microspheres (AS). Several experiments were carried out in order to examine the structural and physical characteristics of the cement composites, including dry density, compressive strength, porosity and absorption. A Hot Disk device was used to evaluate the thermal conductivity of different cement composites. In addition, X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) was adopted to investigate the microstructure of the air-entrained cement pastes and the spatial distribution of the voids inside pastes without destroying the specimens. The experimental results obtained showed that AS specimens with admixture of hollow microspheres can improve the compressive strength of cement composites compared to other air entraining admixtures at the same density level. It was also confirmed that the incorporation of aluminum powder creates large voids, which have a negative effect on specimens’ strength and absorption. Full article
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