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Special Issue "Mechanical, Thermal, and Hygric Properties of Lightweight Composites for Construction Use"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Zbyšek Pavlík

Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Thákurova 7, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic
Website | E-Mail
Interests: construction materials; building physics; materials testing; materials processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Undoubtedly, the thermal performance of construction products has become increasingly important, since it significantly influences the energy associated with buildings’ heating and cooling. Although the buildings share of the world total energy consumption is expected to decrease due to the long-time enhanced demands on quality thermal insulation of building structures, buildings will still account for at least 20% of the total energy demand in coming years, especially due to the increasing demands on the quality of indoor environments. To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, it is necessary to focus on advanced technical and material solutions of building systems, resulting in buildings possessing high thermal resistance and sufficient thermal stability. In this sense, the building envelope, most often constructed as multilayered systems comprising different types of materials, is one of the critical parameters affecting buildings energy performance. Functional properties of these inbuilt materials affect the hygrothermal performance of the building envelope as a whole. Moreover, as the building envelope is in direct contact with the exterior climate, it suffers from different chemical, mechanical, and physical loads, contributing, if inappropriately designed, to the loss of its functional properties.

Several methods for improving the thermal resistance of building materials have been adopted; most of them are based on the use of lightweight fillers, foaming agents, low-density plastics, organic and inorganic-based fibers, etc. Although many of the construction composites possessing high thermal resistance have been already developed, there is still an open field for the design and development of new advanced types of materials that are more effective, both from economic and environmental points of view. In this respect, the application of secondary raw materials looks like a promising solution.

Besides the effective thermal performance of construction materials, they must meet other functional requirements (service life, hygric performance, durability, mechanical resistance, aesthetic appearance, etc.), which makes their design and testing complex. This Special Issue of Materials welcomes papers from all areas of materials research aimed at the design, development, and assessment of new lightweight composites for construction use, in which papers of high quality and originality with regard to the studied topic will be accepted.

Prof. Dr. Zbyšek Pavlík
Guest 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 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 1800 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.


  • building energy performance
  • lightweight construction composites
  • hygrothermal performance
  • thermal properties
  • durability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Wood-Based Biomass Ash Admixing on the Structural, Mechanical, Hygric, and Thermal Properties of Air Lime Mortars
Materials 2019, 12(14), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12142227
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
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Mechanically-activated wood-based biomass ash (WBA) was studied as a potential active admixture for design of a novel lime-pozzolan-based mortar for renovation purposes. The replacement ratio of lime hydrate in a mortar mix composition was 5%, 10%, and 15% by mass. The water/binder ratio [...] Read more.
Mechanically-activated wood-based biomass ash (WBA) was studied as a potential active admixture for design of a novel lime-pozzolan-based mortar for renovation purposes. The replacement ratio of lime hydrate in a mortar mix composition was 5%, 10%, and 15% by mass. The water/binder ratio and the sand/binder ratio were kept constant for all examined mortar mixes. Both binder constituents were characterized by their powder density, specific density, BET (Brunauer–Emmett–Teller), and Blaine specific surfaces. Their chemical composition was measured by X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) and mineralogical analysis was performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). Morphology of WBA was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and element mapping was performed using an energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analyzer. The pozzolanic activity of WBA was tested by the Chapelle test and assessment of the Portlandite content used simultaneous thermal analysis (STA). For the hardened mortar samples, a complete set of structural, mechanical, hygric, and thermal parameters was experimentally determined. The mortars with WBA admixing yielded similar or better functional properties than those obtained for traditional pure lime-based plaster, pointing to their presumed application as rendering and walling renovation mortars. As the Chapelle test, STA, and mechanical test proved high pozzolanity of WBA, it was classified as an alternative eco-efficient low-cost pozzolan for use in lime blend-based building materials. The savings in CO2 emissions and energy by the use of WBA as a partial lime hydrate substitute in mortar composition were also highly appreciated with respect to the sustainability of the construction industry. Full article

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Materials EISSN 1996-1944 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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