materials-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Concrete and Construction Materials"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction and Building Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 November 2022 | Viewed by 186992

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sara Cattaneo
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: special concretes; damage and fracture of quasi-brittle materials; post-installed and cast-in anchors; structural glass
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although concrete is one of the most ancient materials (there are still-well preserved roman concrete constructions), the joint effort of many researchers active in different fields, such as chemistry, mechanics, and material sciences, has allowed us to dramatically improve its characteristics (e.g., strength, mechanical and chemical durability, abrasion resistance, volume stability, workability) and to overcome its drawbacks (e.g., brittleness, environmental sustainability) in the last few decades.

Nowadays, “new concretes” can be designed or tailored to different requirements by controlling their microstructure and the overall performance of reinforced concrete (RC) structures can be greatly improved with the use of ad-hoc materials/solutions (i.e., fiber reinforced polymers—FRP, pre-installed/post-installed connections, etc.) in terms of durability and safety.

These new materials are extending the frontiers of the design and construction of outstanding structures and allow significant improvements in the environmental impact of concrete production. Nevertheless, all the material properties as related to their durability, mechanical, and long-term behavior should be known for every application.

This Special Issue focuses on the development of new concretes, the study of their properties and features, and the different types of connections they are suitable for (e.g., pre-installed and post-installed).

The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • High-performance/fiber-reinforced concretes;
  • Self-compacting concretes;
  • Green concretes (with proper cement replacements);
  • Self-healing concretes;
  • Special concrete reinforcements (i.e., CFRP, GFRP, etc.);
  • Special concrete connections (i.e., pre-installed and post-installed connections);
  • Concrete bonds.

Prof. Dr. Sara Cattaneo
Collection Editor

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. Materials 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 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

  • concrete
  • high-performance concrete
  • durability
  • green concretes
  • self-healing concrete
  • bond
  • connections

Published Papers (146 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Radiological Characteristics of Carbonated Portland Cement Mortars Made with GGBFS
Materials 2022, 15(9), 3395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093395 - 09 May 2022
Viewed by 542
Abstract
The objective of this study is to assess whether the carbonation process can modify the physicochemical characteristics of the natural radionuclides of the three natural radioactive series, together with 40K. Three mortar specimens with different percentages of ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS), [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to assess whether the carbonation process can modify the physicochemical characteristics of the natural radionuclides of the three natural radioactive series, together with 40K. Three mortar specimens with different percentages of ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS), cured under water for 1, 3, 7, 14, or 28 days, were subjected to a natural carbonation process. Activity concentrations for the solid and ground mortars were determined by gamma spectrometry and by radiochemical separation of isotopic uranium. The novelty of this paper relies principally on the study we have carried out, for the first time, of the radiological characteristics of carbonated Portland cement mortars. It was found that the chemical properties of the 3 mortar specimens were not affected by the carbonation process, with particular attention placed on uranium (238U, 235U, and 234U), the activity concentrations of which were equivalent to the 226Ra results and ranged from 5.5 ± 1.6 Bq kg−1 to 21.4 ± 1.2 Bq kg−1 for the 238U. The average activity concentrations for the 3 types of mortars were lower than 20.1 Bq kg−1, 14.5 Bq kg−1, and 120.2 Bq kg−1 for the 226Ra, 232Th (212Pb), and 40K, respectively. Annual effective dose rates were equivalent to the natural background of 0.024 mSv. In addition, it was observed that the variation rate for the 222Rn emanation was due primarily to the Portland cement hydration and not due to the pore size redistribution as a consequence of the carbonation process. This research will provide new insights into the potential radiological risk from carbonated cement-based materials. Moreover, the assessment that is presented in this study will convey valuable information for future research that will explore the activity concentration of building materials containing NORM materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Seismic Performance of Steel-Reinforced Concrete Columns with Q690 High-Strength Steel
Materials 2022, 15(9), 2979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15092979 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 501
Abstract
In this paper, based on the low-cycle loading tests of 11 steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) frame columns with built-in Q690 steel and 5 SRC frame columns with built-in Q235 steel, a systematic study on their seismic performance was carried out. The design parameters of [...] Read more.
In this paper, based on the low-cycle loading tests of 11 steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) frame columns with built-in Q690 steel and 5 SRC frame columns with built-in Q235 steel, a systematic study on their seismic performance was carried out. The design parameters of the specimens were the steel strength, axial compression ratio, shear span ratio, steel content, and stirrup ratio. The failure modes, stress characteristics, hysteresis curve, skeleton curve, displacement ductility performance, energy dissipation capacity, and other main seismic indicators of the specimens with different parameters were analyzed, and the corresponding relationship between the displacement ductility performance of the specimen and the energy dissipation capacity and design parameters was obtained. The results show that the load–displacement curve of the specimens is relatively full, the descending section is gentle, and various seismic performance indicators are relatively excellent, reflecting good seismic performance. Equipped with high-strength steel SRC frame columns, they can better bear the horizontal load, the displacement ductility performance is improved, and the energy dissipation capacity is slightly lower than that of ordinary-strength steel SRC frame columns. The increase in the shear span ratio, steel content, and stirrup ratio of the specimens helps to improve their seismic performance, whereas an increase in the axial compression ratio makes their seismic performance worse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Sulfate Concentration on Chloride Diffusion of Concrete under Cyclic Load
Materials 2022, 15(6), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15062036 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
The existence of chloride ions, sulfate ions, and vehicle dynamic loads may lead to a shortened service life and premature failure of the road and bridge structures in northwestern China. Immersed in a dual-salt solution while simultaneously applying cyclic flexural loads, the free [...] Read more.
The existence of chloride ions, sulfate ions, and vehicle dynamic loads may lead to a shortened service life and premature failure of the road and bridge structures in northwestern China. Immersed in a dual-salt solution while simultaneously applying cyclic flexural loads, the free chloride ion concentration and erosion depth in concrete specimens were measured. The influence of the sulfate concentration on the apparent surface chloride concentration (Cs) and apparent diffusion coefficient (Dapp) was studied. An exponential model was used to fit the Cs, and the influence of sulfate concentration on the Cs was analyzed. The result showed that cyclic loading and solution concentration were two primary factors affecting chloride diffusion. Meanwhile, compared with the emersion conditions, dynamic loading would induce significantly accelerated chloride ion penetration. Under the coupling effect of sulfate and dynamic loading, as the sulfate concentration increased, the chloride ion concentration and erosion depth were both decreased. The existence of sulfate ions improved the chloride ion penetration resistance of concrete. The results provide insight in designing concrete in regions where multiple salt ingression (sulfate and chloride) is a major durability issue of the structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Resistance of RC Members Subjected to Bending with/without Axial Force
Materials 2022, 15(5), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15051957 - 06 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
This paper deals with the cross-sectional analysis of the resistance of RC members subjected to a bending moment with or without axial forces. To determine section resistance, the nonlinear material law for concrete in compression is assumed according to Eurocode 2, taking into [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the cross-sectional analysis of the resistance of RC members subjected to a bending moment with or without axial forces. To determine section resistance, the nonlinear material law for concrete in compression is assumed according to Eurocode 2, taking into account the effect of concrete softening. It adequately describes the concrete behavior of RC members up to failure. The idealized stress–strain relation for the reinforcing steel is assumed. For the ring cross-section subjected to bending with axial force and for areas weakened by an opening, normalized resistances have been derived by integrating corresponding equilibrium equations. They are presented in the form of interaction curves and compared with the results of testing conducted on RC eccentrically loaded columns. Furthermore, the ultimate normalized bending moment has been derived for the RC rectangle subjected to bending without axial force. It was applied to the cross-sectional analysis of steel and concrete composite beams consisting of the RC rectangular core located inside a reversed TT-welded profile. Comparative analysis indicated good agreements between the proposed section models and experimental data. The objective of the paper is the dimensioning optimization of the considered cross-sections with the fulfillment of structural safety requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Studies on Cement Pastes Exposed to Water and Solutions of Biological Waste
Materials 2022, 15(5), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15051931 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 583
Abstract
The paper presents studies on the early stages of biological corrosion of ordinary Portland cements (OPC) subjected to the reactive media from the agricultural industry. For ten months, cement pastes of CEM I type with various chemical compositions were exposed to pig slurry, [...] Read more.
The paper presents studies on the early stages of biological corrosion of ordinary Portland cements (OPC) subjected to the reactive media from the agricultural industry. For ten months, cement pastes of CEM I type with various chemical compositions were exposed to pig slurry, and water was used as a reference. The phase composition and structure of hydrating cement pastes were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis (DTA/TG/DTG/EGA), and infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The mechanical strength of the cement pastes was examined. A 10 to 16% decrease in the mechanical strength of the samples subjected to pig slurry was observed. The results indicated the presence of thaumasite (C3S·CO2·SO3·15H2O) as a biological corrosion product, likely formed by the reaction of cement components with living matter resulting from the presence of bacteria in pig slurry. Apart from thaumasite, portlandite (Ca(OH)2)—the product of hydration—as well as ettringite (C3A·3CaSO4·32H2O) were also observed. The study showed the increase in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) phase. The occurrence of unreacted phases of cement clinker, i.e., dicalcium silicate (C2S) and tricalcium aluminate (C3A), in the samples was confirmed. The presence of thaumasite phase and the exposure condition-dependent disappearance of CSH phase (calcium silicate hydrate), resulting from the hydration of the cements, were demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Experimental Research on Mechanical Properties and Compression Constitutive Relationship of PVA Fiber-Reinforced Coral Concrete
Materials 2022, 15(5), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15051762 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
In this paper, the mechanical properties of coral concrete with different strength and different polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber content under compression were experimentally investigated. The results show that adding an appropriate amount of PVA fiber could obtain satisfactory mechanical properties of coral concrete. [...] Read more.
In this paper, the mechanical properties of coral concrete with different strength and different polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber content under compression were experimentally investigated. The results show that adding an appropriate amount of PVA fiber could obtain satisfactory mechanical properties of coral concrete. The stress–strain constitutive relationship of plain and PVA fiber-reinforced coral concrete was investigated by prism uniaxial compression test. The results shown that the incorporation of PVA fiber had a significant effect on limiting the development of concrete internal cracks, and effectively improved the mechanical properties of coral concrete after cracking, especially the toughness. Different constitutive models from previous research were used to describe the axial compressive stress–strain relationship of plain and PVA fiber-reinforced coral concrete, and a piecewise function model was finally selected which is most consistent with the experimental curve and its characteristic points. In addition, determination of critical parameters for the selected constitutive model was proposed, and experimental validations confirmed its accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of Surfactant and Calcium Sulfate Type on Air-Entraining Effectiveness in Concrete
Materials 2022, 15(3), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15030985 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
The paper presents the evaluation of the influence of calcium sulfate on the air void microstructure in concrete and its action mechanism depending on the character of the air-entraining agent. Gypsum dehydration has been previously proven to negatively influence the air void structure [...] Read more.
The paper presents the evaluation of the influence of calcium sulfate on the air void microstructure in concrete and its action mechanism depending on the character of the air-entraining agent. Gypsum dehydration has been previously proven to negatively influence the air void structure of air-entrained concrete. Ettringite, nucleating from tricalcium aluminate and calcium sulfate, influences the adsorption and mode of action of anionic-based polycarboxylate ether admixtures. The authors suspected the admixture’s air-entraining mechanism was also affected by these characteristics. Gypsum dehydration was confirmed to influence the air void structure. In the case of the anionic surfactant, the content of air bubbles smaller than 300 µm was lower compared to cement with gypsum and hemihydrate. On the other hand, the content of air voids with a diameter up to 60 µm, which are the most favorable, was higher. The results obtained led to the conclusion that the mechanism of air entrainment was twofold, and in most cases occurred through the lowering of surface tension and/or through the adsorption of surfactant on cement grains. The adsorptive mechanism was proved to be more effective in terms of the total air content and the structure of the air void system. The results and conclusions of the study provide guidelines to determine the proper surfactant type to reduce the risk of improper air entrainment of concrete, and emphasize the importance of gypsum dehydration of cement in the process of air entrainment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
High Temperature Degradation Mechanism of Concrete with Plastering Layer
Materials 2022, 15(2), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15020398 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 427
Abstract
At present, the research on the high temperature degradation of concrete usually focuses on only the degradation of concrete itself without considering the effect of the plastering layer. It is necessary to take into account the influence of the plastering layer on the [...] Read more.
At present, the research on the high temperature degradation of concrete usually focuses on only the degradation of concrete itself without considering the effect of the plastering layer. It is necessary to take into account the influence of the plastering layer on the high temperature degradation of concrete. With an increase in the water/cement ratio, the explosion of concrete disappeared. Although increasing the water/cement ratio can alleviate the cracking of concrete due to lower pressure, it leads to a decrease in the mechanical properties of concrete after heating. It is proved that besides the water/cement ratio, the apparent phenomena and mechanical properties of concrete at high temperature can be affected by the plastering layer. The plastering layer can relieve the high temperature cracking of concrete, and even inhibit the high temperature explosion of concrete with 0.30 water/cement ratio. By means of an XRD test, scanning electron microscope test and thermogravimetric analysis, it is found that the plastering layer can promote the rehydration of unhydrated cement particles of 0.30 water/cement ratio concrete at high temperature and then promote the mechanical properties of concrete at 400 °C. However, the plastering layer accelerated the thermal decomposition of C-S-H gel of concrete with a water/cement ratio of 0.40 at high temperature, and finally accelerate the decline of mechanical property of concrete. To conclude, the low water/cement ratio and plastering layer can delay the deterioration of concrete at high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Investigation on Mechanical Performances of High-Strength Steel Reinforced Concrete Composite Short Columns under Axial Load
Materials 2022, 15(1), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010329 - 03 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
At present, the existing standards (AISC360-16, EN1994-1-1:2004, and JGJ138-2016) lack relevant provisions for steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) composite columns with high-strength steel. To investigate the axial compressive mechanical performance of short high-strength steel-reinforced concrete (HSSRC) columns, the axial load test was conducted on 12 [...] Read more.
At present, the existing standards (AISC360-16, EN1994-1-1:2004, and JGJ138-2016) lack relevant provisions for steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) composite columns with high-strength steel. To investigate the axial compressive mechanical performance of short high-strength steel-reinforced concrete (HSSRC) columns, the axial load test was conducted on 12 short composite columns with high-strength steel and ordinary steel. The influences of steel strength, steel ratio, and the section form of steel on the failure modes, bearing capacity, and ductility of the specimens were studied. Afterward, the experimental data were compared with the existing calculation results. The results show: compared with the specimens with Q235 steel, the bearing capacity of the specimens with Q460 steel increases by 7.8–15.3%, the bearing capacity of the specimens with Q690 steel increases by 13.2–24.1%, but the ductility coefficient increases by 15.2–202.4%; with the increase of steel ratio, the bearing capacity and ductility of specimens are significantly improved. A change of the steel cross-section could influence the ductility of SRC columns more than their bearing capacity. Moreover, the calculation results show that present standards could not predict the bearing capacity of HSSRC columns. Therefore, a modified method for determining the effective strength of steel equipped in HSSRC columns was proposed. The results of the ABAQUS simulation also showed that the addition of steel fibers could significantly improve the bearing capacity of Q690 HSSRC columns. The research results provide a reference for engineering practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Microstructure and Mechanical Property Evaluation of Dune Sand Reactive Powder Concrete Subjected to Hot Air Curing
Materials 2022, 15(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010041 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
The use of different sustainable materials in the manufacture of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is becoming increasingly common due to the unabating concerns over climate change and sustainability in the construction sector. Reactive powder concrete (RPC) is an UHPC in which traditional coarse aggregates [...] Read more.
The use of different sustainable materials in the manufacture of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is becoming increasingly common due to the unabating concerns over climate change and sustainability in the construction sector. Reactive powder concrete (RPC) is an UHPC in which traditional coarse aggregates are replaced by fine aggregates. The main purpose of this research is to produce RPC using dune sand and to study its microstructure and mechanical properties under different curing conditions of water curing and hot air curing. The effects of these factors are studied over a long-term period of 90 days. Quartz sand is completely replaced by a blend of crushed and dune sand, and cement is partially replaced by using binary blends of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and fly ash (FA), which are used alongside silica fume (SF) to make a ternary supplementary binder system. Microstructural analysis is conducted using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and engineering properties like compressive strength and flexural strength are studied to evaluate the performance of dune sand RPC. Overall, the results affirm that the production of UHPC is possible with the use of dune sand. The compressive strength of all mixes exceeded 120 MPa after 12 h only of hot air curing (HAC). The SEM results revealed the dense microstructure of RPC. However, goethite-like structures (corrosion products) were spotted at 90 days for all HAC specimens. Additionally, the use of FA accelerated the formation of such products as compared to GGBS. The effect of these products was insignificant from a mechanical point of view. However, additional research is required to determine their effect on the durability of RPC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Evaluation and Multi-Objective Optimization of Lightweight Mortars Parameters at Elevated Temperature via Box–Behnken Optimization Approach
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237405 - 02 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
In this research, the mechanical properties of lightweight mortars containing different percentages of additional powder materials has been investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). Box–Behnken design, one of the RSM techniques, was used to study the effects of silica fume content (5, 10, [...] Read more.
In this research, the mechanical properties of lightweight mortars containing different percentages of additional powder materials has been investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). Box–Behnken design, one of the RSM techniques, was used to study the effects of silica fume content (5, 10, and 15%), vermiculite/cement (V/C) ratio (4, 6, and 8), and temperature (300, 600, and 900 °C) on the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), bending strength, and compressive strength of lightweight mortars. Design expert statistical software was accustomed to determining and evaluating the mix-design of materials in mortar mixtures and temperature effect on mortars. After preliminary experimental research of the relationships between independent and response variables, regression models were built. During the selection of the model parameters, F value, p-value, and R2 values of the statistical models were taken into account by using the backward elimination technique. The results showed a high correlation between the variables and responses. Multi-objective optimization results showed that the critical temperatures for different levels of silica fume (5–10–15%) were obtained as 371.6 °C, 306.3 °C, and 436 °C, respectively, when the V/C ratio kept constant as 4. According to the results obtained at high desirability levels, it is found that the UPS values varied in the range of 2480–2737 m/s, flexural strength of 3.13–3.81 MPa, and compressive strength of 9.9–11.5 MPa at these critical temperatures. As a result of this research, RSM is highly recommended to evaluate mechanical properties where concrete includes some additional powder materials and was exposed to high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mechanical Properties and Durability Performance of Concrete Containing Calcium Carbide Residue and Nano Silica
Materials 2021, 14(22), 6960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14226960 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
Calcium carbide residue (CCR) is the end-product of production of acetylene gas for the applications such as welding, lighting, ripening of fruits, and cutting of metals. Due to its high pH value, disposing of CCR as a landfill increases the alkalinity of the [...] Read more.
Calcium carbide residue (CCR) is the end-product of production of acetylene gas for the applications such as welding, lighting, ripening of fruits, and cutting of metals. Due to its high pH value, disposing of CCR as a landfill increases the alkalinity of the environment. Therefore, due to its high calcium content, CCR is mostly blended with other pozzolanic materials, together with activators as binders in the cement matrix. In this study, cement was partially substituted using CCR at 0%, 7.5%, 15%, 22.5% and 30% by weight replacement, and nano silica (NS) was utilized as an additive by weight of binder materials at 0%, 1%, 2%, 3% and 4%. The properties considered were the slump, the compressive strength, the flexural strength, the splitting tensile strength, the modulus of elasticity, and the water absorption capacity. The microstructural properties of the concrete were also examined through FESEM and XRD analysis. The results showed that both CCR and NS increase the concrete’s water demand, hence reducing its workability. Mixes containing up to 15% CCR only showed improved mechanical properties. The combination of CCR and NS significantly improved the mechanical properties and decreased the concrete’s water absorption through improved pozzolanic reactivity as verified by the FESEM and XRD results. Furthermore, the microstructure of the concrete was explored, and the pores were refined by the pozzolanic reaction products. The optimum mix combination was obtained by replacing 15% cement using CCR and the addition of 2% NS by weight of cementitious materials. Therefore, using a hybrid of CCR and NS in concrete will result in reduction of cement utilization in concrete, leading to improved environmental sustainability and economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Influence of Gum Arabic Admixture on the Mechanical Properties of Lime-Metakaolin Paste Used as Binder in Hemp Concrete
Materials 2021, 14(22), 6775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14226775 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 580
Abstract
Organic admixtures based on polysaccharides are used in construction for modifying the properties of mortars and concretes. Gum arabic is an example of a polysaccharide-based biopolymer. The aim of the article was to investigate the possibilities of improving the strength parameters of a [...] Read more.
Organic admixtures based on polysaccharides are used in construction for modifying the properties of mortars and concretes. Gum arabic is an example of a polysaccharide-based biopolymer. The aim of the article was to investigate the possibilities of improving the strength parameters of a binder paste based on hydrated lime and metakaolin. The paste was modified with powdered gum arabic at 1%, 3% and 5% (by mass) as a partial replacement for the binder mix. The influence of the admixture on the pore size distribution as well as flexural and compressive strength was investigated. The admixture enhanced the total porosity of the paste, increasing the pore diameter compared with the reference formulation. The increase in porosity, in turn, did not reduce the mechanical strength. Conversely, the admixture in the amount of 3% and 5% caused a significant increase in the flexural (by about 300% in relation to reference paste) and compressive strengths (by 25% and 60%, respectively). The tested pastes were used as a binder in a composite based on hemp shives. The influence of binder modification on the water absorption and compressive strength of hemp concrete was tested. The strength of the composite soaked in water was also tested. The modification of the binder with gum arabic in the amount of 3% and 5% increased the compressive strength of hemp concrete (not soaked in water) by 53% and 92%, respectively and reduced the mass absorptivity by 6.6% and 10.4%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Laboratory Tests of Concrete Beams Reinforced with Recycled Steel Fibres and Steel Bars
Materials 2021, 14(22), 6752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14226752 - 09 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
This paper explores the possibility of the partial replacement of the longitudinal reinforcement in reinforced concrete (RC) beams with recycled steel fibres (RSF). Testing was focused on the contribution of two volume ratios of the RSF—0.5%, 1.0%. Basic compression and flexural tensile tests [...] Read more.
This paper explores the possibility of the partial replacement of the longitudinal reinforcement in reinforced concrete (RC) beams with recycled steel fibres (RSF). Testing was focused on the contribution of two volume ratios of the RSF—0.5%, 1.0%. Basic compression and flexural tensile tests were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the fibres following current standards. Additionally, the full-scale beams with and without conventional reinforcement were subjected to four-point bending tests. The results indicate that RSF improved the load-bearing capacity of the RC beams. Cooperation of RSF with the steel bars in carrying loads was proved. Findings from the Digital Image Correlation (DIC) revealed no impact on the cracking pattern of the RC beams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Efficient Use of Graphene Oxide and Silica Fume in Cement-Based Composites
Materials 2021, 14(21), 6541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14216541 - 30 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Incorporation of graphene oxide (GO) and silica fume (SF) to cement composites enhances their mechanical properties if suitable proportional amounts of GO and SF are used. This study presents a simplified approach to determine experimentally the optimum GO and SF contents that should [...] Read more.
Incorporation of graphene oxide (GO) and silica fume (SF) to cement composites enhances their mechanical properties if suitable proportional amounts of GO and SF are used. This study presents a simplified approach to determine experimentally the optimum GO and SF contents that should be added to the cementitious mixture to obtain a proper and stable dispersion of GO sheets within the cement matrix. Composite mortar specimens with different GO and SF contents were designed and tested under flexural and compression loading. The phase formation and the microstructure of selected samples were also investigated to give an in-depth interpretation of the test results. The main criterion to determine the GO and SF contents was the ultimate strength required of the GO–cement composite. It was found that there was a composite interaction between the SF and GO contents in the cementitious mixture, which an envelope surface could describe if all other mix design parameters are kept constant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influence of Firing Temperature on Phase Composition and Color Properties of Ceramic Tile Bodies
Materials 2021, 14(21), 6380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14216380 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 580
Abstract
This study is focused on the behavior of the cream-firing clays from Opoczno region (Poland). The ceramic masses on which tests were carried out consisted of cream-firingBorkowice clay and dolomite in two different grain sizes as an additive that changes the color of [...] Read more.
This study is focused on the behavior of the cream-firing clays from Opoczno region (Poland). The ceramic masses on which tests were carried out consisted of cream-firingBorkowice clay and dolomite in two different grain sizes as an additive that changes the color of ceramic materials. Test samples were prepared by plastic method and fired at range of 1100–1240 °C. Phase composition of theinvestigated materials was characterized by XRD method with quantitive analysis of the amorphous phase determined by the Retvield technique. Color properties of the surface of the obtained ceramic materials were determined in CIE-Lab color space. The phase composition of the obtained ceramics depends on the firing temperature. The color of the surface of the ceramic materials also depends on the firing temperature. There was a tendency to decrease the brightness, decrease the blue shade, and increase the yellow shade of the surface of materials with increasing the temperature. The conducted tests allowed to conclude that the color of ceramic materials depends on their phase composition. The most important role in the formation of color correspond to the amorphous phase, formed during the process. The lower content of the amorphous phase in the material allows to obtain brighter products with a lower proportion of yellow, and therefore closer to white. Moreover, following tests were carried out: total water absorption, total open porosity, linear shrinkage, and flexural strength. With increasing the temperature, total water absorption and total open porosity decrease, and total linear shrinkage increases due to the progressive sintering process. Flexural strength increases with the increase of the firing temperature for materials consisting of Borkowice clay. The addition of dolomite introduced new pores into the material, which resulted in an increase in flexural strength at lower firing temperatures and a decrease in flexural strength at higher firing temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Thermal Properties of Aggregates on the Mechanical Properties of High Strength Concrete under Loading and High Temperature Conditions
Materials 2021, 14(20), 6093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14206093 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
The effect of the thermal properties of aggregates on the mechanical properties of high-strength concrete was evaluated under loading and high-temperature conditions. For the concrete, granite was selected as a natural aggregate, and ash-clay and clay as lightweight aggregates. The mechanical properties of [...] Read more.
The effect of the thermal properties of aggregates on the mechanical properties of high-strength concrete was evaluated under loading and high-temperature conditions. For the concrete, granite was selected as a natural aggregate, and ash-clay and clay as lightweight aggregates. The mechanical properties of the concrete (stress–strain, compressive strength, elastic modulus, thermal strain, and transient creep) were evaluated experimentally under uniform heating from 20 to 700 °C while maintaining the load at 0, 20, and 40% of the compressive strength at room temperature. Experimental results showed that the concrete containing lightweight aggregates had better mechanical properties, such as compressive strength and elastic modulus, than that of the concrete with a granite aggregate at high temperature. In particular, the concrete containing lightweight aggregates exhibited high compressive strength (60–80% of that at room temperature) even at 700 °C. Moreover, the concrete containing granite exhibited a higher thermal strain than that containing lightweight aggregates. The influence of the binding force under loaded conditions, however, was found to be larger for the latter type. The transient creep caused by the loading was constant regardless of the aggregate type below 500 °C but increased more rapidly when the coefficient of the thermal expansion of the aggregate was above 500 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Durability Properties of Ultra-High Performance Lightweight Concrete (UHPLC) with Expanded Glass
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195817 - 05 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
It is important to ensure the durability and safety of structures. In the case of newly developed materials that are outside the current rules, it is important to investigate all aspects of structural safety. The material studied in the following is a structural [...] Read more.
It is important to ensure the durability and safety of structures. In the case of newly developed materials that are outside the current rules, it is important to investigate all aspects of structural safety. The material studied in the following is a structural lightweight concrete with an ultra-high-performance matrix and expanded glass as a lightweight aggregate. The material, with a compressive strength of 60–100 MPa and a bulk density of 1.5–1.9 kg/dm3, showed high capillary porosities of 12 vol% (ultra-high-performance concretes (UHPC) < 5 vol%). Since the capillary porosity basically enables transport processes into the concrete, the material had to be examined more closely from the aspect of durability. Freeze-thaw resistance (68 g/m2) and chemical attack with sulfate at pH 3.5 for 12 weeks (16 g/m2) showed no increase in concrete corrosion. Targeted carbonation (0.53 mm/year0.5) and chloride penetration resistance (6.0 × 10−13 to 12.6 × 10−13 m2/s) also showed good results against reinforcement corrosion. The results show that most of the measured capillary pores resulted from the lightweight aggregate and were not all present as a pore system. Thus, the durability was only slightly affected and the concrete can be compared to an UHPC. Only the abrasion resistance showed an increased value (22,000 mm3/5000 mm2), which, however, only matters if the material is used as a screed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Flexural Behavior of Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Beams after Exposure to High Temperatures
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185400 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
Due to the dense structure of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC), it is prone to explosive spalling at high temperatures. In this paper, flexural testing of UHPC and high-strength concrete (HSC) beams was carried out at room temperature and after being subjected to different levels [...] Read more.
Due to the dense structure of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC), it is prone to explosive spalling at high temperatures. In this paper, flexural testing of UHPC and high-strength concrete (HSC) beams was carried out at room temperature and after being subjected to different levels of thermal exposure (300–500 °C). The cross-section of the beam specimen was 150 (width) × 200 (depth) mm, and its length was 1500 mm. The flexural and shear design of the beam specimens were carried out in accordance with the ACI 318M-14 code. All of the beams were singly reinforced with two #4 rebars (minimum reinforcement ratio) as a longitudinal tensile reinforcement at the bottom of the specimen and at an effective depth of 165 mm. The flexural load was applied using the three-point load method. The results show that, at room temperature and after being subjected to different thermal exposures, compared with the HSC specimens, the stiffness of the UHPC specimens in the post-cracking stage was relatively larger and the deflection under a given load was smaller. Moreover, whether at room temperature or after exposure to different thermal exposures, the ductility of the UHPC specimens was better than that of the HSC specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Removal Effect of Basic Oxygen Furnace Slag Porous Asphalt Concrete on Copper and Zinc in Road Runoff
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185327 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
In order to improve the utilization efficiency of road runoff and the remove effects of heavy metals, porous asphalt pavements have been used as an effective measure to deal with heavy metals in road runoff. However, the removal effect on dissolved heavy metal [...] Read more.
In order to improve the utilization efficiency of road runoff and the remove effects of heavy metals, porous asphalt pavements have been used as an effective measure to deal with heavy metals in road runoff. However, the removal effect on dissolved heavy metal is weak. In this paper, basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag was used as aggregate in porous asphalt concrete to improve the removal capacity of heavy metal. Road runoff solution with a copper concentration of 0.533 mg/L and a zinc concentration of 0.865 mg/L was artificially synthesized. The removal effect of BOF slag porous asphalt concrete on cooper and zinc in runoff was evaluated by removal tests. The influence of rainfall intensity and time on the removal effect was discussed. The results obtained indicated that BOF slag porous asphalt concrete has a better removal effect on copper. The removal rate of copper is 57–79% at the rainfall intensity of 5–40 mm/h. The removal rate of zinc is more susceptible to the changes of rainfall intensity than copper. The removal rate of zinc in heavy rain conditions (40 mm/h) is only 25%. But in light rain conditions (5 mm/h), BOF slag porous asphalt concrete maintains favorable removal rates of both copper and zinc, which are more than 60%. The heavy metal content of runoff infiltrating through the BOF slag porous asphalt concrete meets the requirements for irrigation water and wastewater discharge. The results of this study provide evidence for the environmentally friendly reuse of BOF slag as a road material and the improvement of the removal of heavy metal by porous asphalt concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Precise Simulation of Heat-Flow Coupling of Pipe Cooling in Mass Concrete
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185142 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 703
Abstract
For a long time, temperature control and crack prevention of mass concrete is a difficult job in engineering. For temperature control and crack prevention, the most effective and common-used method is to embed cooling pipe in mass concrete. At present, there still exists [...] Read more.
For a long time, temperature control and crack prevention of mass concrete is a difficult job in engineering. For temperature control and crack prevention, the most effective and common-used method is to embed cooling pipe in mass concrete. At present, there still exists some challenges in the precise simulation of pipe cooling in mass concrete, which is a complex heat-flow coupling problem. Numerical simulation is faced with the problem of over-simplification and inaccuracy. In this study, precise simulation of heat-flow coupling of pipe cooling in mass concrete is carried out based on finite element software COMSOL Multiphysics 5.4. Simulation results are comprehensively verified with results from theoretical solutions and equivalent algorithms, which prove the correctness and feasibility of precise simulation. Compared with an equivalent algorithm, precise simulation of pipe cooling in mass concrete can characterize the sharp temperature gradient around cooling pipe and the temperature rise of cooling water along pipeline more realistically. In addition, the cooling effects and local temperature gradient under different water flow (0.60 m3/h, 1.20 m3/h, and 1.80 m3/h) and water temperature (5 °C, 10 °C, and 15 °C) are comprehensively studied and related engineering suggestions are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Investigation of Graphene Derivatives on Electrical Properties of Alkali Activated Slag Composites
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164374 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) has been widely used to modify the mechanical performance of alkali activated slag composites (AASC); however, the mechanism is still unclear and the electrical properties of rGO reinforced AASC are unknown. Here, the rheological, mechanical, and electrical properties of [...] Read more.
Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) has been widely used to modify the mechanical performance of alkali activated slag composites (AASC); however, the mechanism is still unclear and the electrical properties of rGO reinforced AASC are unknown. Here, the rheological, mechanical, and electrical properties of the AASC containing rGO nanosheets (0, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3% wt.) are investigated. Results showed that rGO nanosheets addition can significantly improve the yield stress, plastic viscosity, thixotropy, and compressive strength of the AASC. The addition of 0.3% wt. rGO nanosheets increased the stress, viscosity, thixotropy, and strength by 186.77 times, 3.68 times, 15.15 times, and 21.02%, respectively. As for electrical properties, the impedance of the AASC increased when the rGO content was less than 0.2% wt. but decreased with the increasing dosage. In contrast, the dielectric constant and electrical conductivity of the AASC containing rGO nanosheets decreased and then increased, which can be attributed to the abundant interlayer water and the increasing structural defects as the storage sites for charge carriers, respectively. In addition, the effect of graphene oxide (GO) on the AASC is also studied and the results indicated that the agglomeration of GO nanosheets largely inhibited the application of it in the AASC, even with a small dosage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Applying Mixture of Municipal Incinerator Bottom Ash and Sewage Sludge Ash for Ceramic Tile Manufacturing
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3863; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143863 - 10 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
Municipal incinerator bottom ash (MIBA) and sewage sludge ash (SSA) are secondary wastes produced from municipal incinerators. Landfills, disposal at sea, and agricultural use have been the major outlets for these secondary wastes. As global emphasis on sustainability arises, many have called for [...] Read more.
Municipal incinerator bottom ash (MIBA) and sewage sludge ash (SSA) are secondary wastes produced from municipal incinerators. Landfills, disposal at sea, and agricultural use have been the major outlets for these secondary wastes. As global emphasis on sustainability arises, many have called for an increasing reuse of waste materials as valuable resources. In this study, MIBA and SSA were mixed with clay for ceramic tile manufacturing in this study. Raw materials firstly went through TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) to ensure their feasibility for reuse. From scanning electron microscopy (SEM), clay’s smooth surface was contrasted with the porous surface of MIBA and SSA, which led to a higher water requirement for the mixing. Specimens with five MIBA mix percentages of 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% (wt) and three SSA mix percentages of 0%, 10%, and 20% (wt) were made to compare how the two waste materials affected the quality of the final product and to what extent. Shrinkage tests showed that MIBA and SSA contributed oppositely to tile shrinkage, as more MIBA reduced tile shrinkage, while more SSA encouraged tile shrinkage. However, as the kiln temperature reached 1150 °C, the SiO2-rich SSA adversely reduced the shrinkage due to the glass phase that formed to expand the tile instead. Both MIBA and SSA increased water tile absorption and reduced its bending strength and wear resistance. Increasing the kiln temperature could effectively improve the water absorption, bending strength, and wear resistance of high MIBA and SSA mixes, as SEM showed a more compact structure at higher temperatures. However, when the temperature reached 1100 °C, more pores appeared and seemingly exhausted the benefit brought by the higher temperature. Complex interactions between kiln temperature and MIBA/SSA mix percentage bring unpredictable performance of tile shrinkage, bending strength, and water absorption, which makes it very challenging to create a sample meeting all the specification requirements. We conclude that a mix with up to 20% of SSA and 5% of MIBA could result in quality tiles meeting the requirements for interior or exterior flooring applications when the kiln temperature is carefully controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Physicochemical, Mineralogical, and Mechanical Properties of Calcium Aluminate Cement Concrete Exposed to Elevated Temperatures
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143855 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
One commonly used cement type for thermal applications is CAC containing 38–40% alumina, although the postheated behavior of this cement subjected to elevated temperature has not been studied yet. Here, through extensive experimentation, the postheated mineralogical and physicochemical features of calcium aluminate cement [...] Read more.
One commonly used cement type for thermal applications is CAC containing 38–40% alumina, although the postheated behavior of this cement subjected to elevated temperature has not been studied yet. Here, through extensive experimentation, the postheated mineralogical and physicochemical features of calcium aluminate cement concrete (CACC) were examined via DTA/TGA, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging and the variation in the concrete physical features and the compressive strength deterioration with temperature rise were examined through ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) values. In addition, other mechanical features that were addressed were the residual tensile strength and elastic modulus. According to the XRD test results, with the temperature rise, the dehydration of the C3AH6 structure occurred, which, in turn, led to the crystallization of the monocalcium dialuminate (CA2) and alumina (Al2O3) structures. The SEM images indicated specific variations in morphology that corresponded to concrete deterioration due to heat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Reduced Order Multiscale Simulation of Diffuse Damage in Concrete
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143830 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Damage in concrete structures initiates as the growth of diffuse microcracks that is followed by damage localisation and eventually leads to structural failure. Weak changes such as diffuse microcracking processes are failure precursors. Identification and characterisation of these failure precursors at an early [...] Read more.
Damage in concrete structures initiates as the growth of diffuse microcracks that is followed by damage localisation and eventually leads to structural failure. Weak changes such as diffuse microcracking processes are failure precursors. Identification and characterisation of these failure precursors at an early stage of concrete degradation and application of suitable precautionary measures will considerably reduce the costs of repair and maintenance. To this end, a reduced order multiscale model for simulating microcracking-induced damage in concrete at the mesoscale level is proposed. The model simulates the propagation of microcracks in concrete using a two-scale computational methodology. First, a realistic concrete specimen that explicitly resolves the coarse aggregates in a mortar matrix was generated at the mesoscale. Microcrack growth in the mortar matrix is modelled using a synthesis of continuum micromechanics and fracture mechanics. Model order reduction of the two-scale model is achieved using a clustering technique. Model predictions are calibrated and validated using uniaxial compression tests performed in the laboratory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Computational Generation of Virtual Concrete Mesostructures
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143782 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Concrete is a heterogeneous material with a disordered material morphology that strongly governs the behaviour of the material. In this contribution, we present a computational tool called the Concrete Mesostructure Generator (CMG) for the generation of ultra-realistic virtual concrete morphologies for mesoscale and [...] Read more.
Concrete is a heterogeneous material with a disordered material morphology that strongly governs the behaviour of the material. In this contribution, we present a computational tool called the Concrete Mesostructure Generator (CMG) for the generation of ultra-realistic virtual concrete morphologies for mesoscale and multiscale computational modelling and the simulation of concrete. Given an aggregate size distribution, realistic generic concrete aggregates are generated by a sequential reduction of a cuboid to generate a polyhedron with multiple faces. Thereafter, concave depressions are introduced in the polyhedron using Gaussian surfaces. The generated aggregates are assembled into the mesostructure using a hierarchic random sequential adsorption algorithm. The virtual mesostructures are first calibrated using laboratory measurements of aggregate distributions. The model is validated by comparing the elastic properties obtained from laboratory testing of concrete specimens with the elastic properties obtained using computational homogenisation of virtual concrete mesostructures. Finally, a 3D-convolutional neural network is trained to directly generate elastic properties from voxel data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mechanical and Microstructural Characteristics of Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement Exposed to Early-Age Carbonation Curing
Materials 2021, 14(13), 3515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14133515 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
The early-age carbonation curing technique is an effective way to improve the performance of cement-based materials and reduce their carbon footprint. This work investigates the early mechanical properties and microstructure of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement specimens under early-age carbonation curing, considering five factors: [...] Read more.
The early-age carbonation curing technique is an effective way to improve the performance of cement-based materials and reduce their carbon footprint. This work investigates the early mechanical properties and microstructure of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement specimens under early-age carbonation curing, considering five factors: briquetting pressure, water–binder (w/b) ratio, starting point of carbonation curing, carbonation curing time, and carbonation curing pressure. The carbonization process and performance enhancement mechanism of CSA cement are analyzed by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), thermogravimetry and derivative thermogravimetry (TG-DTG) analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The results show that early-age carbonation curing can accelerate the hardening speed of CSA cement paste, reduce the cumulative porosity of the cement paste, refine the pore diameter distribution, and make the pore diameter distribution more uniform, thus greatly improving the early compressive strength of the paste. The most favorable w/b ratio for the carbonization reaction of CSA cement paste is between 0.15 and 0.2; the most suitable carbonation curing starting time point is 4 h after initial hydration; the carbonation curing pressure should be between 3 and 4 bar; and the most appropriate time for carbonation curing is between 6 and 12 h. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Prediction Model of Concrete Initial Setting Time Based on Stepwise Regression Analysis
Materials 2021, 14(12), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123201 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Mass concrete is usually poured in layers. To ensure the interlayer bonding quality of concrete, the lower layer should be kept in a plastic state before the upper layer is added. Ultimately, it will lead to the prediction of concrete setting time as [...] Read more.
Mass concrete is usually poured in layers. To ensure the interlayer bonding quality of concrete, the lower layer should be kept in a plastic state before the upper layer is added. Ultimately, it will lead to the prediction of concrete setting time as a critical task in concrete pouring. In this experiment, the setting time of concrete in laboratory and field environments was investigated. The equivalent age of concrete at the initial setting was also analyzed based on the maturity theory. Meanwhile, factors affecting the setting time in the field environment were studied by means of multiple stepwise regression analysis. Besides, the interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete subjected to different temperatures and wind speeds was determined. The results of laboratory tests show that both setting time and interlayer splitting tensile strength of concrete decrease significantly with the increase of air temperature and wind speed. In addition, the equivalent age of concrete at initial setting remains the same when subjected to different temperatures, while it decreases obviously with the increase of wind speed. In the field environment, the equivalent age of concrete at initial setting is greatly different, which is related to the variability of relative humidity and wind speed. The average air temperature and maximum wind speed are the main factors affecting the initial setting time of concrete. Furthermore, a prediction model is established based on the stepwise regression analysis results, which can predict the actual setting state in real-time, and hence controlling the interlayer bonding quality of dam concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Simulation of the Attrition of Recycled Concrete Aggregates during Concrete Mixing
Materials 2021, 14(11), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14113007 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Concrete mixing can lead to mechanical degradation of aggregates, particularly when dealing with recycled concrete aggregates. In this work, the attrition of such materials during mixing is studied by means of experiments and simulations. The effect of the presence of fines, water addition, [...] Read more.
Concrete mixing can lead to mechanical degradation of aggregates, particularly when dealing with recycled concrete aggregates. In this work, the attrition of such materials during mixing is studied by means of experiments and simulations. The effect of the presence of fines, water addition, flow configuration of the mixer (co- or counter-current) and impeller frequency is discussed. Experiments were performed in a laboratory Eirich mixer. Discrete element numerical simulations (DEM) were performed on the same geometry by mimicking the behaviour of the material and, in particular, the cohesion induced by water and the cement paste using either Hertz–Mindlin or Hertz–Mindlin with Johnson–Kendall–Roberts (JKR) contact laws. The combination of the collision energy spectra extracted from the DEM simulations and an attrition model allowed the prediction of the mass loss due to attrition in 1-min experiments. Semi-quantitative agreement was observed between experiments and simulations, with a mean relative error of 26.4%. These showed that higher mass losses resulted from operation at the highest impeller speeds, co-current operation, and also with the wet aggregate. Mixing of the agglomerate in the concrete mix resulted in a significant reduction in attrition when compared to mixing aggregates alone. With further validation, the proposed simulation approach can become a valuable tool in the optimization of mixing by allowing the effects of material, machine and process variables to be studied on the mass loss due to attrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Influence of the Type of Cement on the Action of the Admixture Containing Aluminum Powder
Materials 2021, 14(11), 2927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14112927 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
The study of the effect of cement type on the action of an admixture increasing the volume of concrete (containing aluminum powder), used in amounts of 0.5–1.5% of cement mass, was presented. The tests were carried out on cement mortars with Portland (CEM [...] Read more.
The study of the effect of cement type on the action of an admixture increasing the volume of concrete (containing aluminum powder), used in amounts of 0.5–1.5% of cement mass, was presented. The tests were carried out on cement mortars with Portland (CEM I) and ground granulated blast-furnace slag cement (CEM III). The following tests were carried out for the tested mortars: the air content in fresh mortars, compressive strength, flexural strength, increase in mortar volume, bulk density, pore structure evaluation (by the computer image analysis method) and changes in the concentration of OH ions during the hydration of used cements. Differences in the action of the tested admixture depending on the cement used were found. To induce the expansion of CEM III mortars, a smaller amount of admixture is required than in the case of CEM I cement. Using the admixture in amounts above 1% of the cement mass causes cracks of mortars with CEM III cement due to slow hydrogen evolution, which occurs after mortar plasticity is lost. The use of an aluminum-containing admixture reduces the strength properties of the cement mortars, the effect being stronger in the case of CEM III cement. The influence of the sample molding time on the admixture action was also found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Study on Preparation and Interfacial Transition Zone Microstructure of Red Mud-Yellow Phosphorus Slag-Cement Concrete
Materials 2021, 14(11), 2768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14112768 - 23 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
Open stockpiling and the continual production of industrial solid wastes such as red mud (RM) and yellow phosphorus slag (YPS) have caused serious environmental pollution issues. Additionally, concrete prepared easily and with high strength is a widely applied building material. Therefore, replacing part [...] Read more.
Open stockpiling and the continual production of industrial solid wastes such as red mud (RM) and yellow phosphorus slag (YPS) have caused serious environmental pollution issues. Additionally, concrete prepared easily and with high strength is a widely applied building material. Therefore, replacing part or all of the cement for preparing concrete with RM and YPS will greatly reduce this kind of solid waste and, thus, decrease environmental pressures. This study investigated the best ratio for the replacement of concrete with RM and YPS, testing the mechanical properties as well as the morphology, material composition, and microporous structure of the interface transition zone (ITZ). The results showed for the concrete prepared with ordinary Portland cement replaced by 10.00 wt.% RM and 18 wt.% YPS, compared to ordinary Portland cement concrete, the compressive strength of concrete with basalt aggregate and dolomite aggregate increased by 25.04% and 27.27%, respectively, when the concrete was cured with steam for 28 days. Furthermore, it had a smaller average pore diameter and crystal size in the ITZ. The aggregate and matrix were more closely intertwined. This was because RM had a low cementitious activity and mainly had a filling effect when added to concrete, while the highly active silica in YPS could react with the Ca(OH)2 crystal (CH) produced from cement hydration to form calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) gel, improving the mechanical properties and microstructure of the concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Prediction and Analysis of Ultimate Bearing Capacity of Square CFST Long Column under Eccentric Compression after Acid Rain Corrosion
Materials 2021, 14(10), 2568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14102568 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
This paper adopts the method of steel tube wall thickness and strength reduction to simulate corrosion damage. The numerical model of the square concrete-filled steel tube long column (SCFST-LC) under eccentric compression after acid rain corrosion is established in the finite element software, [...] Read more.
This paper adopts the method of steel tube wall thickness and strength reduction to simulate corrosion damage. The numerical model of the square concrete-filled steel tube long column (SCFST-LC) under eccentric compression after acid rain corrosion is established in the finite element software, ABAQUS. The reliability and accuracy of the model are verified by comparing it with published relevant experimental results. The failure mode, load-deformation curve, and ultimate compressive load were analysed. Following that, the impacts of section size, yield strength of the steel tube, axial compressive strength of concrete, steel ratio, slenderness ratio, and load eccentricity on its ultimate compressive load are comprehensively investigated. The results demonstrate that the ultimate compressive load of the SCFST-LC decreases significantly with the increase in corrosion rate. The corrosion rate increases from 10 to 40%, and the ultimate bearing capacity decreases by 37.6%. Its ultimate bearing capacity can be enhanced due to the increase in section size, material strength, and steel ratio. In contrast, the ascending slenderness ratio and load eccentricity has harmful effects on the ultimate compressive load of the specimens. Finally, a simplified formula for the axial compressive load of the SCFST-LC under eccentric compression after acid rain corrosion is proposed. The calculation accuracy is high and the deviation of the results is basically within 15%, which is in good agreement with the numerical simulation results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Correlation between the Compressive Strength and Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity of Cement Mortars Blended with Silica Fume: An Analysis of Microstructure and Hydration Kinetics
Materials 2021, 14(10), 2476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14102476 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
The effect of the replacement rate of silica fume (SF) on the correlation between the compressive strength and ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) of cement mortar was experimentally analyzed. Specimens were fabricated with different replacement rates of SF, the compressive strength and UPV were [...] Read more.
The effect of the replacement rate of silica fume (SF) on the correlation between the compressive strength and ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) of cement mortar was experimentally analyzed. Specimens were fabricated with different replacement rates of SF, the compressive strength and UPV were measured, and isothermal calorimetry and mercury intrusion porosimetry tests were conducted to analyze the effects of replacement on the hydration kinetics and microstructures on these properties. Field emission scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed to observe SF particles and microstructure. The substitution of SF changed the cement mortar’s hydration kinetics and microstructures, resulting in different strengths and UPVs depending on the replacement rate. The compressive strength and UPV for cement mortars blended with SF also showed a different exponential relationship depending on the SF replacement rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Petrographic and Geotechnical Characteristics of Carbonate Aggregates from Poland and Their Correlation with the Design of Road Surface Structures
Materials 2021, 14(8), 2034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14082034 - 18 Apr 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The paper presents the basic problem related with practical application of carbonate rocks in construction: are carbonate aggregates produced from such rocks favorable for building engineering, particularly for road design and construction? To resolve this problem, (1) the geological-engineering properties of aggregates are [...] Read more.
The paper presents the basic problem related with practical application of carbonate rocks in construction: are carbonate aggregates produced from such rocks favorable for building engineering, particularly for road design and construction? To resolve this problem, (1) the geological-engineering properties of aggregates are presented, (2) the correlation between petrographic and engineering parameters is shown, and (3) a strict correlation between the geological-engineering properties and the freezing-thawing and crushing resistance is recognized. This knowledge has allowed to assess the usefulness of asphalt concrete (AC) made from dolomite and limestone aggregates in the design and construction of road surface structures. The petrography was characterized using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS). Engineering properties were determined in accordance with European and Polish norms and guidelines. Statistical and design calculations were performed using dedicated software. The petrographic properties, and selected physical and mechanical parameters of the aggregates, were tested to show their influence on the freezing–thawing and crushing resistance. Strong functional relationships between the water adsorption, and the freezing–thawing and crushing resistance have been observed. Aggregate strength decreased after saturation with increasing concentrations of salt solutions. Calculations of AC fatigue durability and deformation allow for reducing the thickness of the road surface structure by about 20% in comparison to normative solutions. This conclusion has impact on the economy of road design and construction, and allows for a rational utilization of rock resources, which contributes to sustainable development of the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Static and Dynamic Stiffness of Reinforced Concrete Beams Strengthened with Externally Bonded CFRP Strips
Materials 2021, 14(4), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14040910 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
This paper presents experimental investigations of reinforced concrete (RC) beams flexurally strengthened with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips. Seven 3300 mm × 250 mm × 150 mm beams of the same design, with the tension reinforcement ratio of 1.01%, were tested. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental investigations of reinforced concrete (RC) beams flexurally strengthened with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips. Seven 3300 mm × 250 mm × 150 mm beams of the same design, with the tension reinforcement ratio of 1.01%, were tested. The beams differed in the way they were strengthened: one of the beams was the reference, two beams were passively strengthened as precracked (series B-I), two beams were passively strengthened as unprecracked (series B-II) and two beams were actively strengthened as unprecracked (series B-III). Moreover, the strengthening parameters differed between the particular series. The parameters were: CFRP strip cross-sectional areas (series B-I, B-II) or prestressing forces (series B-III). The beams were statically loaded, up to the assumed force value, in the three-point bending test and deflections at midspan were registered. After unloading the beams were suspended on flexible ropes (the free-free beam system) and their eigenfrequencies were measured using operational modal analysis (OMA). The static measurements (deflections) and the dynamic measurements (eigenfrequencies) were conducted for the adopted loading steps until failure. Static stiffnesses and dynamic stiffnesses were calculated on the basis of respectively the deflections and the eigenfrequencies. The qualitative and quantitative differences between the parameters are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sensitivity Analysis of Determining the Material Parameters of an Asphalt Pavement to Measurement Errors in Backcalculations
Materials 2021, 14(4), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14040873 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
Nondestructive tests of road pavements are among the most widely used methods of pavement condition diagnostics. Deflections of road pavement under a known load are most commonly measured in such tests, e.g., with the use of falling weight deflectometer (FWD). Measured values allow [...] Read more.
Nondestructive tests of road pavements are among the most widely used methods of pavement condition diagnostics. Deflections of road pavement under a known load are most commonly measured in such tests, e.g., with the use of falling weight deflectometer (FWD). Measured values allow to determine the material parameters of the road structure, corresponding to the obtained results, by means of backcalculations. Among the factors that impact on the quality of results is the accuracy of deflection measurement. Deflection basins with small differences of displacement values may correspond to significantly different combinations of material parameters. Taking advantage of them for mechanistic calculations of road pavement may eventually lead to incorrect estimation of the remaining fatigue life and then inadequate selection of pavement reinforcement. This study investigated the impact of measurement errors on the change of the obtained values of stiffness moduli of flexible road pavement layers. Additionally, the influence of obtained material parameters on the values of key pavement strain, and consequently on its design fatigue life was presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Laboratory Test to Evaluate the Resistance of Cementitious Materials to Biodeterioration in Sewer Network Conditions
Materials 2021, 14(3), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14030686 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
The biodeterioration of cementitious materials in sewer networks has become a major economic, ecological, and public health issue. Establishing a suitable standardized test is essential if sustainable construction materials are to be developed and qualified for sewerage environments. Since purely chemical tests are [...] Read more.
The biodeterioration of cementitious materials in sewer networks has become a major economic, ecological, and public health issue. Establishing a suitable standardized test is essential if sustainable construction materials are to be developed and qualified for sewerage environments. Since purely chemical tests are proven to not be representative of the actual deterioration phenomena in real sewer conditions, a biological test–named the Biogenic Acid Concrete (BAC) test–was developed at the University of Toulouse to reproduce the biological reactions involved in the process of concrete biodeterioration in sewers. The test consists in trickling a solution containing a safe reduced sulfur source onto the surface of cementitious substrates previously covered with a high diversity microbial consortium. In these conditions, a sulfur-oxidizing metabolism naturally develops in the biofilm and leads to the production of biogenic sulfuric acid on the surface of the material. The representativeness of the test in terms of deterioration mechanisms has been validated in previous studies. A wide range of cementitious materials have been exposed to the biodeterioration test during half a decade. On the basis of this large database and the expertise gained, the purpose of this paper is (i) to propose a simple and robust performance criterion for the test (standardized leached calcium as a function of sulfate produced by the biofilm), and (ii) to demonstrate the repeatability, reproducibility, and discriminability of the test method. In only a 3-month period, the test was able to highlight the differences in the performances of common cement-based materials (CEM I, CEM III, and CEM V) and special calcium aluminate cement (CAC) binders with different nature of aggregates (natural silica and synthetic calcium aluminate). The proposed performance indicator (relative standardized leached calcium) allowed the materials to be classified according to their resistance to biogenic acid attack in sewer conditions. The repeatability of the test was confirmed using three different specimens of the same material within the same experiment and the reproducibility of the results was demonstrated by standardizing the results using a reference material from 5 different test campaigns. Furthermore, developing post-testing processing and calculation methods constituted a first step toward a standardized test protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of the Notch-to-Depth Ratio on the Post-Cracking Behavior of Steel-Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
Materials 2021, 14(2), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14020445 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
Concrete barely possesses tensile strength, and it is susceptible to cracking, which leads to a reduction of its service life. Consequently, it is significant to find a complementary material that helps alleviate these drawbacks. The aim of this research was to determine analytically [...] Read more.
Concrete barely possesses tensile strength, and it is susceptible to cracking, which leads to a reduction of its service life. Consequently, it is significant to find a complementary material that helps alleviate these drawbacks. The aim of this research was to determine analytically and experimentally the effect of the addition of the steel fibers on the performance of the post-cracking stage on fiber-reinforced concrete, by studying four notch-to-depth ratios of 0, 0.08, 0.16, and 0.33. This was evaluated through 72 bending tests, using plain concrete (control) and fiber-reinforced concrete with volume fibers of 0.25% and 0.50%. Results showed that the specimens with a notch-to-depth ratio up to 0.33 are capable of attaining a hardening behavior. The study concludes that the increase in the dosage leads to an improvement in the residual performance, even though an increase in the notch-to-depth ratio has also occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Long-Term Strength Development of Steel Fiber Shotcrete with Cast Concrete Based on Accelerator Type
Materials 2020, 13(24), 5599; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13245599 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 856
Abstract
This study analyzed the effect of accelerating agents, such as aluminate, cement mineral, and alkali-free accelerators, on the long-term performance of steel-fiber-reinforced shotcrete. The shotcrete performance was studied based on the type and amount of steel fiber added. Performance tests were performed to [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the effect of accelerating agents, such as aluminate, cement mineral, and alkali-free accelerators, on the long-term performance of steel-fiber-reinforced shotcrete. The shotcrete performance was studied based on the type and amount of steel fiber added. Performance tests were performed to identify the accelerator providing better long-term performance to the steel-fiber-reinforced shotcrete. Changes in strength and flexural performance over time were investigated. The compressive strength and flexural strength tests on 1-, 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month-old test specimens were performed, wherein 37 kg of steel fiber was added to the cement mineral and aluminate mixes, and 40 kg of steel fiber was added to the alkali-free mix. The 1-month compressive strength result of all the test variables satisfied the Korea Expressway Corporation standard. The compressive strength of the cast concrete and shotcrete specimens increased with age, demonstrating a strength reduction, particularly in the 24-month-old shotcrete specimens. Thus, the shotcrete performance may deteriorate in the long-term. In the 24-month-old specimen, substantial flexural strength reduction was observed, particularly in the aluminate and alkali-free specimens. The relative strength of the specimens was compared with that of the cast concrete mold specimens. The results suggest the use of alkali-free accelerators, considering the long-term performance of tunnels and safety of workers. Moreover, increasing the steel fiber performance rather than the amount of low-performance steel fiber must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Strengthening of Concrete Column by Using the Wrapper Layer of Fibre Reinforced Concrete
Materials 2020, 13(23), 5432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13235432 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
Structures and bridges are being designed on the proposed and requested design lifetime of 50 to 100 years. In practice, one can see that the real lifetime of structures and bridges is shorter in many cases, in some special cases extremely shorter. The [...] Read more.
Structures and bridges are being designed on the proposed and requested design lifetime of 50 to 100 years. In practice, one can see that the real lifetime of structures and bridges is shorter in many cases, in some special cases extremely shorter. The reasons for the lifetime shortening can be increased of the load cases (e.g., due to traffic on bridges, or due to other uses of a structure), using the material of lower quality, implementation of new standards and codes according to Eurocode replacing older ones. During the whole lifetime the structures must be maintained to fulfil the code requests. If the constructions are not able to fulfil the Ultimate Limit States (ULS) and the Serviceability Limit State (SLS), the structures or bridges have to be strengthened (whole or its elements). The purpose of the paper is the presentation of using a layer of the fibre concrete for a columns’ strengthening. Using the fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) of higher tensile strength makes it possible to increase the load-bearing capacity of the cross-section the column. The contact between the old concrete (core of column) and newly added layer (around column) is very important for using that method of strengthening. In the article, there is also a comparison of the surface modification methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Hydrophobic Treatments on Improving the Salt Frost Resistance of Concrete
Materials 2020, 13(23), 5361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13235361 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 752
Abstract
Hydrophobic treatment is an important method to improve the waterproof properties of concrete. To evaluate the effectiveness of hydrophobic treatments on improving the salt frost resistance of concrete, two representative commercial ordinary water repellent agents of silane and organosilicone emulsion were selected, and [...] Read more.
Hydrophobic treatment is an important method to improve the waterproof properties of concrete. To evaluate the effectiveness of hydrophobic treatments on improving the salt frost resistance of concrete, two representative commercial ordinary water repellent agents of silane and organosilicone emulsion were selected, and concrete specimens with three water/cement ratios were fabricated. After the application of repellent agents on concrete surfaces, accelerated saline (5% MgCl2) freeze-thaw cycles were conducted on the specimens. The mass losses and relative dynamic modulus of elasticity (RDME) of concrete were tested periodically. The contact angles and water absorption ratios of concrete with and without hydrophobic treatments were also tested. Results showed that the repellent agents could substantially enhance the hydrophobicity of concrete and greatly reduce its water absorption. Different repellent agents exerted diverse improvements on concrete hydrophobicity. Meanwhile, the repellent agents could improve concrete resistance against salt scaling and RDME losses to a certain degree, and concrete with strong hydrophobicity showed relatively high salt frost resistance. However, the ordinary water repellent agents cannot achieve the same enhancement on salt frost resistance of concrete as that on the water hydrophobicity of concrete. With saline freezing and thawing cycles, the hydrophobic layer formed by the repellent agents on superficial concrete was destroyed gradually. As a result, the salt frost resistance of concrete from the hydrophobic treatments was ultimately lost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Cementitious Composites with High Compaction Potential: Modeling and Calibration
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214989 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
There is an increasing need for the development of novel technologies for tunnel construction in difficult geological conditions to protect segmental linings from unexpected large deformations. In the context of mechanized tunneling, one method to increase the damage tolerance of tunnel linings in [...] Read more.
There is an increasing need for the development of novel technologies for tunnel construction in difficult geological conditions to protect segmental linings from unexpected large deformations. In the context of mechanized tunneling, one method to increase the damage tolerance of tunnel linings in such conditions is the integration of a compressible two-component grout for the annular gap between the segmental linings and the deformable ground. In this regard, expanded polystyrene (EPS) lightweight concrete/mortar has received increasing interest as a potential “candidate material” for the aforementioned application. In particular, the behavior of the EPS lightweight composites can be customized by modifying their pore structure to accommodate deformations due to specific geological conditions such as squeezing rocks. To this end, novel compressible cementitious EPS-based composite materials with high compaction potential have been developed. Specimens prepared from these composites have been subjected to compressive loads with and without lateral confinement. Based on these experimental data a computational model based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM) has been calibrated and validated. The proposed calibration procedure allows for modeling and prognosis of a wide variety of composite materials with a high compaction potential. The calibration procedure is characterized by the identification of physically quantifiable parameters and the use of phenomenological submodels. Model prognoses show excellent agreement with new experimental measurements that were not incorporated in the calibration procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Permeabilities and Mechanical Properties of Hardened Cement Pastes Modified with Sodium Laurate and Nano Silica
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214867 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
In this work, a method of imparting hydrophobicity and high strength to hardened cement paste (HCP) is proposed. Sodium laurate (SL) was used as a hydrophobic modifier and nano silica (NS) as a pozzolan. The HCP was modified by SL and NS simultaneously. [...] Read more.
In this work, a method of imparting hydrophobicity and high strength to hardened cement paste (HCP) is proposed. Sodium laurate (SL) was used as a hydrophobic modifier and nano silica (NS) as a pozzolan. The HCP was modified by SL and NS simultaneously. HCP modified with different contents of SL and NS was prepared. Surface wettability, micro-structures, chemical composition, and organic structure were systematically studied using contact angle (CA) measurement, scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), respectively. The surface CA of the sample is 138.5° and has high hydrophobicity. Compared with the reference sample, the water absorption of the modified sample reduced by 96.55%, while the compressive strength only reduced by 6.91%. Therefore, using hydrophobic modifier and reinforcing agent as cement admixture is an effective method to endow concrete with hydrophobicity and high strength at the same time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Study of Mechanical Properties of an Eco-Friendly Concrete Containing Recycled Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer and Recycled Aggregate
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4592; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204592 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
This study investigates the feasibility of collaborative use of recycled carbon fiber reinforced polymer (RCFRP) fibers and recycled aggregate (RA) in concrete, which is called RCFRP fiber reinforced RA concrete (RFRAC). The mechanical properties of the composite were studied through experimental investigation, considering [...] Read more.
This study investigates the feasibility of collaborative use of recycled carbon fiber reinforced polymer (RCFRP) fibers and recycled aggregate (RA) in concrete, which is called RCFRP fiber reinforced RA concrete (RFRAC). The mechanical properties of the composite were studied through experimental investigation, considering different RCFRP fiber contents (0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% by volume) and different RA replacement rates (0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% by volume). Specifically, ten different mixes were designed to explore the flowability and compressive and flexural strengths of the proposed composite. Experimental results indicated that the addition of RCFRP fibers and RA had a relatively small influence on the compressive strength of concrete (less than 5%). Moreover, the addition of RA slightly decreased the flexural strength of concrete, while the addition of RCFRP fibers could significantly improve the flexural performance. For example, the flexural strength of RA concrete with 1.5% RCFRP fiber addition increased by 32.7%. Considering the good flexural properties of the composite and its potential in reducing waste CFRP and construction solid waste, the proposed RFRAC is promising for use in civil concrete structures with high flexural performance requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Long-Term Bonding and Tensile Strengths of Carbon Textile Reinforced Mortar
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204485 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1046
Abstract
This paper deals with the long-term bonding and tensile strengths of textile reinforced mortar (TRM) exposed to harsh environments. The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term bonding and tensile strengths of carbon TRM by an accelerated aging method. Moisture, high [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the long-term bonding and tensile strengths of textile reinforced mortar (TRM) exposed to harsh environments. The objective of this study was to investigate the long-term bonding and tensile strengths of carbon TRM by an accelerated aging method. Moisture, high temperature, and freezing–thaw cycles were considered to simulate harsh environmental conditions. Grid-type textiles were surface coated to improve the bond strength with the mortar matrix. A total of 130 TRM specimens for the bonding test were fabricated and conditioned for a prolonged time up to 180 days at varying moisture conditions and temperatures. The long-term bonding strength of TRM was evaluated by a series of bonding tests. On the other hand, a total of 96 TRM specimens were fabricated and conditioned at freezing–thaw conditions and elevated temperature. The long-term tensile strength of TRM was evaluated by a series of direct tensile tests. The results of the bonding test indicated that TRM was significantly degraded by moisture. On the other hand, the influence of the freezing–thaw conditions and high temperature on the tensile strength of the TRM was insignificant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Interface Shear Strength at Various Joint Types in High-Strength Precast Concrete Structures
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194364 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
More precast concrete structures have recently been constructed due to their many advantages when compared to conventional cast-in-place construction. Structural behavior at the joints between the precast segments can significantly affect the overall integrity, safety, and serviceability of the structure. In this study, [...] Read more.
More precast concrete structures have recently been constructed due to their many advantages when compared to conventional cast-in-place construction. Structural behavior at the joints between the precast segments can significantly affect the overall integrity, safety, and serviceability of the structure. In this study, therefore, the interface shear strength of high-strength precast members was investigated by performing push-off tests with the following variables: compressive strength of precast members, dry or wet joint, number and height of shear keys, joint width, filler type, curing temperature, and lateral compressive stress. The test results were analyzed to reveal the effect of each test variable on the joint shear strengths of the specimens. For instance, the failure loads were increased by 14–140%, depending on the lateral compressive stress, as the specified compressive strength of the precast members was increased from 80 to 150 MPa in the dry joints. The failure loads of the wet joints strongly depended on the strength of the filler rather than on that of the precast members and, as a result, the specimen with ultra-high-strength concrete filler was 46–48% stronger than those with high-strength mortar filler. The shear strengths of various joint types obtained from the test were further analyzed in comparison with the predictive equations of Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) with the aim of validating the appropriateness of these design provisions. In particular, an improved value of a coefficient in the JSCE equation is proposed to cover a range of compressive strengths in various precast members and filling materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1