Special Issue "Innovative Materials for Construction"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mariaenrica Frigione
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Innovation Engineering Department, University of Salento, Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: cold-cured adhesives and matrices for FRP employed in constructions; polymeric nanostructured adhesives and coatings; hydrophobic coatings for stone conservation and wood protection; durability of polymers, adhesives and coatings; eco-efficient materials for construction and cultural heritage
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. José Barroso de Aguiar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Interests: recycling and valorization of residues in concrete; ecoefficient materials for construction; durability of construction materials; FRP applied to constructions; polymeric materials in concrete; conservation and protection of construction materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most of the typical materials employed in today’s construction industry present limitations, especially with regard to their durability—in either common or severe environmental conditions—and their impact on the environment. In response to these issues, academic and industrial efforts around the world have been devoted to developing new smart materials that can provide efficient alternatives, improve energy efficiency in buildings, or upgrade, repair, and protect existing infrastructures. Different and wide technological innovations are, therefore, quickly fostering advancements in the field of construction materials. A new generation of materials (e.g., bricks, cement, coatings, concrete, FRP, glass, masonry, mortars, nanomaterials, PCM, polymers, steel, wood, etc.) is, in fact, gaining a prominent position in modern building technology, because such materials are able to overcome various limitations and flaws of the conventional materials employed in construction, without neglecting the smart applications of pioneering materials in ancient constructions and historic buildings.

Even though the adoption of innovative materials in the field of construction has been demonstrated to be a successful strategy to achieve enhanced performance or even new and unexpected characteristics, several issues are still not completely resolved. On top of those issues, the cost/performance ratio of the novel solutions is important, because such materials must be demonstrated to be convenient without compromising quality. Other concerns are related to their sustainability: whether they are eco-friendly options, exploiting recycled materials or byproducts from other productions—the most desirable solution. Finally, the use of materials or systems that are unconventional in this field creates the need to update or develop new specifications and standards.

This Special Issue aims to provide a platform for discussing open issues, challenges, and achievements related to innovative materials proposed for use in the construction industry.

Prof. Mariaenrica Frigione
Prof. José Barroso de Aguiar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. 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 2000 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

  • Auto-repairing features
  • Durability
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Increase in human comfort
  • Nanotechnology
  • New standards
  • Recycling
  • Reduction of natural resources
  • Renewability
  • Self-cleaning characteristics
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

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

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Innovative Materials for Construction
Materials 2020, 13(23), 5448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13235448 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Academic and industrial efforts around the world are continuously engaged to develop new smart materials that can provide efficient alternatives to conventional construction materials and improve the energy-efficiency in buildings or are able to upgrade, repair, and protect existing infrastructures [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Study of the Incorporation of Ladle Furnace Slag in the Manufacture of Cold In-Place Recycling with Bitumen Emulsion
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214765 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 426
Abstract
Cold in-place recycling with bitumen emulsion is a good environmental option for road conservation. The technique produces lower CO2 emissions because the product is manufactured and spread in the same location as the previous infrastructure, and its mixing with bitumen emulsion occurs [...] Read more.
Cold in-place recycling with bitumen emulsion is a good environmental option for road conservation. The technique produces lower CO2 emissions because the product is manufactured and spread in the same location as the previous infrastructure, and its mixing with bitumen emulsion occurs at room temperature. Adding materials with cementitious characteristics gives the final mixture greater resistance and durability, and incorporating an industrial by-product such as ladle furnace slag (of which cementitious characteristics have been corroborated by various authors) enables the creation of sustainable, resistant pavement. This paper describes the incorporation of ladle furnace slag in reclaimed asphalt pavements (RAP) to execute in-place asphalt pavement recycling with bitumen emulsion. Various test groups of samples with increasing percentages of emulsion were created to study both the density of the mixtures obtained, and their dry and post-immersion compressive strength. To determine these characteristics, the physical and chemical properties of the ladle furnace slag and the reclaimed asphalt pavements were analyzed, as well as compatibility with the bitumen emulsion. The aforementioned tests define an optimal combination of RAP (90%), ladle furnace slag (10%), water (2.6%), and emulsion (3.3%), which demonstrated maximum values for compressive strength of the dry and post-immersion bituminous mixture. These tests therefore demonstrate the suitability of ladle furnace slag for cold in-place recycling with bitumen emulsion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Influence of the Addition of Plant-Based Natural Fibers (Jute) on Biocemented Sand Using MICP Method
Materials 2020, 13(18), 4198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13184198 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
The microbial-induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) method has gained intense attention in recent years as a safe and sustainable alternative for soil improvement and for use in construction materials. In this study, the effects of the addition of plant-based natural jute fibers to MICP-treated [...] Read more.
The microbial-induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) method has gained intense attention in recent years as a safe and sustainable alternative for soil improvement and for use in construction materials. In this study, the effects of the addition of plant-based natural jute fibers to MICP-treated sand and the corresponding microstructures were measured to investigate their subsequent impacts on the MICP-treated biocemented sand. The fibers used were at 0%, 0.5%, 1.5%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% by weight of the sand, while the fiber lengths were 5, 15, and 25 mm. The microbial interactions with the fibers, the CaCO3 precipitation trend, and the biocemented specimen (microstructure) were also evaluated based on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and fluorescence microscopy. The results of this study showed that the added jute fibers improved the engineering properties (ductility, toughness, and brittleness behavior) of the biocemented sand using MICP method. Furthermore, the fiber content more significantly affected the engineering properties of the MICP-treated sand than the fiber length. In this study, the optimal fiber content was 3%, whereas the optimal fiber length was s 15 mm. The SEM results indicated that the fiber facilitated the MICP process by bridging the pores in the calcareous sand, reduced the brittleness of the treated samples, and increased the mechanical properties of the biocemented sand. The results of this study could significantly contribute to further improvement of fiber-reinforced biocemented sand in geotechnical engineering field applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Lime-Based Mortar Reinforced by Randomly Oriented Short Fibers for the Retrofitting of the Historical Masonry Structure
Materials 2020, 13(16), 3462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163462 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 661
Abstract
Recent seismic events prompted research to develop innovative materials for strengthening and repair of both modern and historic masonry constructions (buildings, bridges, towers) and structural components (walls, arches and vaults, pillars, and columns). Strengthening solutions based on composite materials, such as the Fiber [...] Read more.
Recent seismic events prompted research to develop innovative materials for strengthening and repair of both modern and historic masonry constructions (buildings, bridges, towers) and structural components (walls, arches and vaults, pillars, and columns). Strengthening solutions based on composite materials, such as the Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) or the Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM), have been increasingly considered in the last two decades. Despite reinforcement made of short-fibers being a topic that has been studied for several years from different researchers, it is not yet fully considered for the restoration of the masonry construction. This work aims to experimentally investigate the enhancement of the mechanical properties of lime-based mortar reinforced by introducing short glass fibers in the mortar matrix with several contents and aspect ratios. Beams with dimensions of 160 mm × 40 mm × 40 mm with a central notch were tested in three-point bending configuration aiming to evaluate both the flexural strength and energy fracture of the composite material. Then, the end pieces of the broken beams were tested in Brazilian and compressive tests. All the tests were performed by a hydraulic displacement-controlled testing machine. Results highlight that the new composite material ensures excellent ductility capacity and it can be considered a promising alternative to the classic fiber-reinforcing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of a New Type of Shrinkage-Reducing Agent on Concrete Properties
Materials 2020, 13(13), 3018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13133018 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 598
Abstract
Shrinkage-reducing agents have been developed to mitigate shrinkage and to control cracks in concrete. This study aims to evaluate the impact of a newly developed shrinkage-reducing agent (N-SRA) on concrete properties and to compare its properties with a conventional shrinkage-reducing agent (C-SRA). The [...] Read more.
Shrinkage-reducing agents have been developed to mitigate shrinkage and to control cracks in concrete. This study aims to evaluate the impact of a newly developed shrinkage-reducing agent (N-SRA) on concrete properties and to compare its properties with a conventional shrinkage-reducing agent (C-SRA). The hydration rate, compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, shrinkage, occurrence of cracking, and freezing and thawing were investigated. N-SRA showed higher surface tension than C-SRA and reduced shrinkage to the same degree as C-SRA with half the dosage of C-SRA. The addition of N-SRA or C-SRA did not influence the early compressive strength but slightly reduced splitting tensile strength at seven days. Concrete with N-SRA showed higher compressive strength at 28 days than those of concrete with C-SRA or without SRA. Furthermore, concrete with N-SRA extended the period for the occurrence of shrinkage cracking under restrained conditions. It was found that N-SRA provided excellent freezing and thawing resistance because of the formation of good air voids, while C-SRA demonstrated inefficient behaviour in such an environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Strontium Retention of Calcium Zirconium Aluminate Cement Paste Studied by NMR, XRD and SEM-EDS
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102366 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
This work concerns the hydration mechanism of calcium zirconium aluminate as a ternary compound appearing in the CaO-Al2O3-ZrO2 diagram besides the calcium aluminates commonly used as the main constitutes of calcium aluminate cements (CACs). Moreover, a state-of-the-art approach [...] Read more.
This work concerns the hydration mechanism of calcium zirconium aluminate as a ternary compound appearing in the CaO-Al2O3-ZrO2 diagram besides the calcium aluminates commonly used as the main constitutes of calcium aluminate cements (CACs). Moreover, a state-of-the-art approach towards significant changes in hydraulic properties was implemented for the first time in this work, where the effect of structural modification on the hydration behavior of calcium zirconium aluminate was proved by XRD, 27Al MAS NMR and SEM-EDS. The substitution of Sr2+ for Ca2+ in the Ca7ZrAl6O18 lattice decreases the reactivity of Sr-substituted Ca7ZrAl6O18 in the presence of water. Since the original cement grains remain unhydrated up to 3 h (Ca7ZrAl6O18) or 72 h (Sr1.25Ca5.75ZrAl6O18) of curing period in the hardened cement paste structures, strontium can be considered as an inhibition agent for cement hydration. The complete conversion from anhydrous 27AlIV to hydrated 27AlVI species was achieved during the first 24 h (Ca7ZrAl6O18) or 7 d(Sr1.25Ca5.75ZrAl6O18) of hydration. Simultaneously, the chemical shift in the range of octahedral aluminum from ca. 4 ppm to ca. 6 ppm was attributed to the transformation of the hexagonal calcium aluminate hydrates and Sr-rich (Sr,C)3AH6 hydrate into the cubic phase Ca-rich (Sr,C)3AH6 or pure C3AH6 in the hardened Sr-doped cement paste at the age of 7 d. The same 27Al NMR chemical shift was detected at the age of 24 h for the reference hardened undoped Ca7ZrAl6O18 cement paste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Thermal Performance of Mortars Based on Different Binders and Containing a Novel Sustainable Phase Change Material (PCM)
Materials 2020, 13(9), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13092055 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Increasing concerns about climate change and global warming bring about technical steps for the development of several energy-efficient technologies. Since the building sector is one of the largest energy users for cooling and heating necessities, the incorporation of a proper energy-efficient material into [...] Read more.
Increasing concerns about climate change and global warming bring about technical steps for the development of several energy-efficient technologies. Since the building sector is one of the largest energy users for cooling and heating necessities, the incorporation of a proper energy-efficient material into the building envelopes could be an interesting solution for saving energy. Phase change material (PCM)-based thermal energy storage (TES) seems suitable to provide efficient energy redistribution. This is possible because the PCM is able to store and release its latent heat during the phase change processes that occurs according to the environmental temperature. The purpose of this paper was the characterization of the thermal properties of a composite PCM (i.e., Lecce stone/poly-ethylene glycol, previously developed) incorporated into mortar compositions based on different binders (i.e., hydraulic lime and cement). The study was carried out using an experimental set up through which it was possible to simulate the different seasons of the years. It was observed that the addition of PCM in mortars leads to a decrease of the maximum temperatures and increase of the minimum temperatures. Furthermore, the results shown a reduction of the heating and cooling needs, thus confirming the capability of this material to save energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Analytic Hierarchy Process-Based Construction Material Selection for Performance Improvement of Building Construction: The Case of a Concrete System Form
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071738 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 733
Abstract
Selecting the best materials that ensure maximum performance is crucial in the construction engineering design of any construction project. However, this is challenging and usually not properly considered because of the lack of systematic and scientific evaluation methods for the performance of materials. [...] Read more.
Selecting the best materials that ensure maximum performance is crucial in the construction engineering design of any construction project. However, this is challenging and usually not properly considered because of the lack of systematic and scientific evaluation methods for the performance of materials. This paper proposes a new approach of selecting material to satisfy the performance goal of material designers in building constructions based on the analytic hierarchy process method. To validate the suggested model, a case study was conducted for a concrete system form, the performance of which is susceptible to its materials and has a strong effect on overall project productivity. The newly developed form comprising polymers and alloys showed that the proposed material selection model provided a better combination of materials, and the solution was technically more advanced and ensured better performance. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by expanding the understanding of how construction material properties affect project performance and provides a guideline for material engineers to select the best-performing building materials while considering a performance goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Flexural Behavior of a Precast Concrete Deck Connected with Headed GFRP Rebars and UHPC
Materials 2020, 13(3), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13030604 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Steel bent reinforcing bars (rebars) are widely used to provide adequate anchorage. Bent fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) rebars are rarely used because of the difficulty faced during the bending process of the FRP rebars at the construction site. Additionally, the bending process may cause [...] Read more.
Steel bent reinforcing bars (rebars) are widely used to provide adequate anchorage. Bent fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) rebars are rarely used because of the difficulty faced during the bending process of the FRP rebars at the construction site. Additionally, the bending process may cause a significant decrease in the structural performance of the FRP rebars. Therefore, to overcome these drawbacks, a headed glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar was developed in this study. The pull-out tests of the headed GFRP rebars with diameters of 16 and 19 mm were conducted to evaluate their bond properties in various cementitious materials. Moreover, structural flexural tests were conducted on seven precast concrete decks connected with the headed GFRP rebars and various cementitious fillers to estimate the flexural behavior of the connected decks. The results demonstrate that the concrete decks connected with the headed GFRP rebar and ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) exhibited improved flexural performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Applications of Sustainable Polymer-Based Phase Change Materials in Mortars Composed by Different Binders
Materials 2019, 12(21), 3502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12213502 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
Eco-sustainable, low toxic and low flammable poly-ethylene glycol (PEG) was forced into flakes of the porous Lecce stone (LS), collected as stone cutting wastes, employing a very simple cheap method, to produce a “form-stable” phase change material (PCM). The experimental PCM was included [...] Read more.
Eco-sustainable, low toxic and low flammable poly-ethylene glycol (PEG) was forced into flakes of the porous Lecce stone (LS), collected as stone cutting wastes, employing a very simple cheap method, to produce a “form-stable” phase change material (PCM). The experimental PCM was included in mortars based on different binders (hydraulic lime, gypsum and cement) in two compositions. The main thermal and mechanical characteristics of the produced mortars were evaluated in order to assess the effects due to the incorporation of the PEG-based PCM. The mortars containing the PEG-based PCM were found to be suitable as thermal energy storage systems, still displaying the characteristics melting and crystallization peaks of PEG polymer, even if the related enthalpies measured on the mortars were appreciably reduced respect to pure PEG. The general reduction in mechanical properties (in flexural and compressive mode) measured on all the mortars, brought about by the presence of PEG-based PCM, was overcome by producing mortars possessing a greater amount of binder. The proposed LS/PEG composite can be considered, therefore, as a promising PCM system for the different mortars analyzed, provided that an optimal composition is identified for each binder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a Composite Thin-Walled Cylindrical Structures with Different Variants of Stiffeners, Subjected to Torsion
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3230; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193230 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine the impact of the use of isogrid stiffeners on the stress and displacement distribution of a thin-walled cylindrical shell made of layered composites subjected to torsion. It also strives to define criteria for assessing the [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine the impact of the use of isogrid stiffeners on the stress and displacement distribution of a thin-walled cylindrical shell made of layered composites subjected to torsion. It also strives to define criteria for assessing the results of non-linear numerical analysis of models of the examined structures by comparing them with the results of the model experiment. The study contains the results of experimental research using models made of glass–epoxy composites and the results of numerical analyses in non-linear terms. The experiment was carried out using a special test stand. The research involved two types of considered structures. The results of the research allowed to create the concept of an adequate numerical model in terms of the finite element method, allowing to determine the distribution of stress and strain in the components of the studied structures. Simultaneously, the obtained conformity between the results of non-linear numerical analyses and the experiment allows to consider the results of analyses of the modified model in order to determine the properties of different stiffening variants as reliable. The presented research allows to determine the nature of the deformation of composite thin-walled structures in which local loss of stability of the covering is acceptable in the area of post-critical loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Insights into the Current Trends in the Utilization of Bacteria for Microbially Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214993 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 995
Abstract
Nowadays, microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) has received great attention for its potential in construction and geotechnical applications. This technique has been used in biocementation of sand, consolidation of soil, production of self-healing concrete or mortar, and removal of heavy metal ions [...] Read more.
Nowadays, microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) has received great attention for its potential in construction and geotechnical applications. This technique has been used in biocementation of sand, consolidation of soil, production of self-healing concrete or mortar, and removal of heavy metal ions from water. The products of MICP often have enhanced strength, durability, and self-healing ability. Utilization of the MICP technique can also increase sustainability, especially in the construction industry where a huge portion of the materials used is not sustainable. The presence of bacteria is essential for MICP to occur. Bacteria promote the conversion of suitable compounds into carbonate ions, change the microenvironment to favor precipitation of calcium carbonate, and act as precipitation sites for calcium carbonate crystals. Many bacteria have been discovered and tested for MICP potential. This paper reviews the bacteria used for MICP in some of the most recent studies. Bacteria that can cause MICP include ureolytic bacteria, non-ureolytic bacteria, cyanobacteria, nitrate reducing bacteria, and sulfate reducing bacteria. The most studied bacterium for MICP over the years is Sporosarcina pasteurii. Other bacteria from Bacillus species are also frequently investigated. Several factors that affect MICP performance are bacterial strain, bacterial concentration, nutrient concentration, calcium source concentration, addition of other substances, and methods to distribute bacteria. Several suggestions for future studies such as CO2 sequestration through MICP, cost reduction by using plant or animal wastes as media, and genetic modification of bacteria to enhance MICP have been put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Materials for Construction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop