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Special Issue "Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ángel Rodríguez Saiz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Group of Building Engineering-(GIIE), Department of Architectural and Engineering Building and Land, University of Burgos C/ Villadiego /n, 09001 Burgos, Spain
Interests: design of new sustainable building materials (waste, reuse, mortar, concrete, circular economy)
Dr. Sara Gutiérrez González
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Group of Building Engineering-(GIIE), Department of Architectural and Engineering Building and Land, University of Burgos C/ Villadiego /n, 09001 Burgos, Spain
Dr. Verónica Calderón Carpintero
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Group of Building Engineering-(GIIE), Department of Architectural and Engineering Building and Land, University of Burgos C/ Villadiego /n, 09001 Burgos, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Construction Sector has not been indifferent to of both scientific and technological progress in our society, incorporating new materials in constructions that are designed with raw materials from the reuse of industrial waste. Researchers are directing their efforts towards the reuse of waste products that have in the past been left to accumulate in dumping sites with no specific applications, but with potential value as raw materials for use in new building materials.

There are various reasons that have justified this social change and the commitment towards sustainable development, working towards equitable societies that can achieve a delicate balance between both the natural and the built environment.

On the one hand, the significant impact of industrial waste on the natural environment affects people’s quality of life and compromises the future of humanity. Today, the commitment is to achieve a built environment in harmony with human development, in which human and ecological values are respected. In that sense, balancing environmental concerns and ecological construction methods is a key factor for the built environment that can be addressed through the reuse of waste products.

On the other hand, the scarcity of natural resources is also forcing a change in industrial strategy, increasingly in favor of exploiting the waste products from industry and valuing their reuse, in the context of new economic trends linked to the circular economy.

Finally, the scarcity of energetic resources also justifies the exploitation of industrial waste, thereby avoiding the consumption of significant amounts of energy for the production of conventional raw materials, which are replaced by recycled waste.

It has all implied significant investigative activity, to which the Construction Sector is an active contributor. These lines of investigation aim to design new, innovative, and ecological construction materials, using industrial waste products as raw materials that would otherwise be dumped in landfill sites. This investigative strategy implies a competitive advantage when new technologies and new materials, respectful of the environment, show equivalent performance levels to the conventional materials that are currently in use.

The purpose of this call for papers is to communicate new investigative areas that study the reuse of industrial waste products as raw materials for the Design of Sustainable and Ecological Construction Materials

Researchers are therefore invited to share their proposals for the design of new, sustainable, and ecological construction materials that can be integrated in the circular economy.

Dr. Ángel Rodríguez Saiz
Dr. Sara Gutiérrez González
Dr. Verónica Calderón Carpintero
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

  • sustainable
  • building materials
  • wastes
  • circular economy

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Study of an Ecological Cement-Based Composite with a Sustainable Raw Material, Sunflower Stalk Ash
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237177 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 182
Abstract
The use of plant ash as a sustainable cementitious material in concrete composition is a widely researched subject in the construction domain. A plant studied so far more for its thermal insulation properties, sunflower, was analyzed in this study with regard to its [...] Read more.
The use of plant ash as a sustainable cementitious material in concrete composition is a widely researched subject in the construction domain. A plant studied so far more for its thermal insulation properties, sunflower, was analyzed in this study with regard to its ash effects on the concrete composition. The present research aimed to analyze the effects of a 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 30% volume replacement of cement by sunflower stalk ash (SA), a sustainable cementitious material, on the concrete compressive strength at 28 days and three months, the flexural and splitting tensile strengths, the resistance to repeated freeze–thaw cycles, and the resistance to chemical attack of hydrochloric acid. The elementary chemical composition of the SA and the composites was included also. According to the experimental results, SA decreased the values of the compressive and tensile strength of the concrete, but it improved the concrete behavior under repeated freeze–thaw cycles and under the action of hydrochloric acid. A percent of 10% of SA led to a much more pronounced development of compressive strength over time than conventional concrete (26.6% versus 12%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Influence of Silica Modulus and Curing Temperature on the Strength of Alkali-Activated Volcanic Ash and Limestone Powder Mortar
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185204 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 337
Abstract
This present study evaluates the effect of silica modulus (Ms) and curing temperature on strengths and the microstructures of binary blended alkali-activated volcanic ash and limestone powder mortar. Mortar samples were prepared using mass ratio of combined Na2SiO3(aq) [...] Read more.
This present study evaluates the effect of silica modulus (Ms) and curing temperature on strengths and the microstructures of binary blended alkali-activated volcanic ash and limestone powder mortar. Mortar samples were prepared using mass ratio of combined Na2SiO3(aq)/10 M NaOH(aq) of 0.5 to 1.5 at an interval of 0.25, corresponding to Ms of 0.52, 0.72, 0.89, 1.05 and 1.18, respectively, and sole 10 M NaOH(aq). Samples were then subjected to ambient room temperature, and the oven-cured temperature was maintained from 45 to 90 °C at an interval of 15 °C for 24 h. The maximum achievable 28-day strength was 27 MPa at Ms value of 0.89 cured at 75 °C. Samples synthesised with the sole 10 M NaOH(aq) activator resulted in a binder with a low 28-day compressive strength (15 MPa) compared to combined usage of Na2SiO3(aq)/10 M NaOH(aq) activators. Results further revealed that curing at low temperatures (25 °C to 45 °C) does not favour strength development, whereas higher curing temperature positively enhanced strength development. More than 70% of the 28-day compressive strength could be achieved within 12 h of curing with the usage of combined Na2SiO3(aq)/10 M NaOH(aq). XRD, FTIR and SEM + EDX characterisations revealed that activation with combined Na2SiO3(aq)/10 M NaOH(aq) leads to the formation of anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8), gehlenite (CaO.Al2O3.SiO2) and albite (NaAlSi3O8) that improve the amorphosity, homogeneity and microstructural density of the binder compared to that of samples synthesised with sole 10 M NaOH(aq). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Sustainable Development of Innovative Green Construction Materials: A Study for Economical Eco-Friendly Recycled Aggregate Based Geopolymer Concrete
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4881; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214881 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Green revolution and high carbon footprint concepts have attracted the development of a green and sustainable environment. This work endeavors to investigate the behavior of recycled aggregate geopolymer concrete (RAGC) developed with four different types of effluents to develop sustainability in the construction [...] Read more.
Green revolution and high carbon footprint concepts have attracted the development of a green and sustainable environment. This work endeavors to investigate the behavior of recycled aggregate geopolymer concrete (RAGC) developed with four different types of effluents to develop sustainability in the construction industry and to produce an eco-friendly environment. Each of the types of effluents was used by completely replacing the freshwater in RAGC to examine its influence on compressive strength (CS), chloride ion migration (CIM), split tensile strength (STS), and resistance to the sulfuric acid attack of RAGC at various testing ages. The test outputs portray that the effluent obtained from the textile mill performed well for the CS (25% higher than the control mix) and STS (17% higher than the control mix) of RAGC. Similarly, the highest mass loss of RAGC due to the acid attack (41% higher than control mix) and the highest CIM (29% higher than control mix) were represented by the RAGC mix made with effluent obtained from fertilizer mill. The statistical analysis indicated no significant influence of using textile mill effluent (TE), fertilizer mill effluent (FE), and sugar mill effluent (SE) on the STS, CIM, and mass loss due to acid attack while it presented a significant influence on the CS of various mixes. Therefore, this investigation solidly substantiates the acceptability of studied types of effluents for the fabrication of eco-friendly green materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Mechanical Behavior of a Composite Lightweight Slab, Consisting of a Laminated Wooden Joist and Ecological Mortar
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112575 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
The investigation reported in this paper is an evaluation of the mechanical behavior of full-scale ecological mortar slabs manufactured with a mixture of expanded clay and recycled concrete aggregates. The composite mortars form a compressive layer over laminated wooden joists to form a [...] Read more.
The investigation reported in this paper is an evaluation of the mechanical behavior of full-scale ecological mortar slabs manufactured with a mixture of expanded clay and recycled concrete aggregates. The composite mortars form a compressive layer over laminated wooden joists to form a single construction unit. To do so, full-scale flexural tests are conducted of the composite laminated wood-ecological mortar slabs with different types of mortar designs: reference mortar (MR), lightweight mortar dosed with recycled concrete aggregates (MLC), and lightweight mortar dosed with recycled mixed aggregates (MLM). The test results showed that the mortar forming the compression layer and the laminated wooden joists worked in unison and withstood a higher maximum failure load under flexion than the failure load of the wooden joists in isolation. Moreover, the laboratory test results were compared with the simulated values of the theoretical model, generated in accordance with the technical specifications for structural calculations contained in the Spanish building code, and with the results calculated by a computer software package. From the analysis of the results of the calculation methods and the full-scale laboratory test results, it was concluded that the safety margin yielded by the calculations validated the use of those methods on this type of composite slab. In this way, a strong mixed wood–mortar slab was designed, contributing little dead-load to the building structure and its manufacture with recycled aggregate, also contributes to the circular economy of construction materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Design and Characterization of Gypsum Mortars Dosed with Polyurethane Foam Waste PFW
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071497 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
The properties and the behaviour of plaster mortars designed with Polyurethane Foam Waste (PFW) are studied in this investigation. A characterization of the mixtures is completed, in accordance with the technical specifications of European Norms. The incorporation of polyurethane waste foam can yield [...] Read more.
The properties and the behaviour of plaster mortars designed with Polyurethane Foam Waste (PFW) are studied in this investigation. A characterization of the mixtures is completed, in accordance with the technical specifications of European Norms. The incorporation of polyurethane waste foam can yield porous and lighter mortars, with better resistance to water-vapour permeability, although with weaker mechanical strength and higher levels of absorbency. Nevertheless, suitable mechanical strengths were achieved, resulting in a new material that is compliant with the requirements of the construction industry. The use of PFW in the the manufacture of gypsum mortars for construction reduces the consumption of natural resources and, at the same time, recovers an industrial waste that is otherwise difficult to recycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Reuse of CD and DVD Wastes as Reinforcement in Gypsum Plaster Plates
Materials 2020, 13(4), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040989 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
The continuous and rapid evolution in the field of computing, and in particular in the field of storage devices, has led to the obsolescence of optical discs in favour of mass storage devices. In that sense, a large number of CDs and DVDs [...] Read more.
The continuous and rapid evolution in the field of computing, and in particular in the field of storage devices, has led to the obsolescence of optical discs in favour of mass storage devices. In that sense, a large number of CDs and DVDs become obsolete each day in the world. In trying to create a recovery solution for those pieces, research in which polycarbonate (PC) waste from recycled discs have been used to develop new gypsum coating materials and products has been conducted. In a previous study, the physical and mechanical properties of new gypsum plasters, with PC waste as aggregate, were studied. Following that study, this article aims at creating new gypsum plaster false ceiling plates, using CD and DVD residues in different scenarios: as crushed aggregate in the gypsum matrix, as full reinforcement pieces of the plates and as a combination of both. The mechanical behaviour and the thermal conductivity of the new pieces have been analysed in this paper. The results showed an important improvement in the mechanical and thermal properties of the plates when the PC waste was used in many scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Mechanical Characterization of Gypsum Composites Containing Inert and Insulation Materials from Construction and Demolition Waste and Further Application as A Gypsum Block
Materials 2020, 13(1), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010193 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
This article analyzes the feasibility of using construction and demolition waste (expanded polystyrene, ceramic, and concrete waste) in a gypsum matrix to manufacture plaster for interior coatings or for prefabricated elements for interior partitions. To do this, several gypsum specimens were prepared (4 [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the feasibility of using construction and demolition waste (expanded polystyrene, ceramic, and concrete waste) in a gypsum matrix to manufacture plaster for interior coatings or for prefabricated elements for interior partitions. To do this, several gypsum specimens were prepared (4 × 4 × 16 cm) incorporating different percentages of waste based on the weight of the gypsum (25%, 50%, and 75% of ceramic, concrete, and a mixture of both). Reference samples were also produced (without additions) to compare the results obtained. The compounds with the best performance were selected and lightened by preparing other samples in which 1/3 and 2/3 of the volume of ceramic, concrete, and mixed waste were replaced with expanded polystyrene (EPS). All samples were tested in the laboratory and the following physical and mechanical characteristics were determined: density, surface hardness, flexural strength, compressive strength, capillary water absorption, and thermal conductivity. Several applications were proposed for the selected compounds. A gypsum block with a sandwich configuration was obtained (40 × 20 × 10 cm) using the optimum compound. The block was further tested regarding its density and compression strength. A comparative analysis showed that it is possible to produce materials with a gypsum matrix by adding ceramic, concrete, and EPS waste, improving the behavior of the traditional gypsum and enabling them to be applied in various construction applications. These applications have a lower environmental impact than ordinary ones because they use less primary raw material, due to the reuse of waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Influence of Temperature and Moisture Content on Pavement Bearing Capacity with Improved Subgrade
Materials 2019, 12(23), 3826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12233826 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
Environmental conditions (temperature, moisture and the intensity of the sun) influence variation in asphalt pavement strength during the year. Lithuania is situated in a zone by average warm summers and average cold winters, and the most important climatic factor is the variation of [...] Read more.
Environmental conditions (temperature, moisture and the intensity of the sun) influence variation in asphalt pavement strength during the year. Lithuania is situated in a zone by average warm summers and average cold winters, and the most important climatic factor is the variation of the air temperature. This study presents the influence of temperature (of asphalt concrete (AC) and subgrade layers) and moisture content (of subgrade layers) to the pavement bearing capacity. The experimental research was obtained in five pavement sections of the experimental road. This experimental road was constructed in 2007 in Lithuania and is operated for more than 12 years. This paper presents a statistical analysis between the bearing capacity and the thickness of the asphalt concrete layers, the temperature and moisture content of different pavement layers, among sections, loaded and unloaded lanes (right and left wheel paths and tracks). The bearing capacity was evaluated by a falling weight deflectometer (FWD), temperature and moisture content by electronic sensors and thickness of AC layers by Georadar. Analysis of overall E0 and E0,h9 (bearing capacity at a depth of 9 cm from asphalt surface) data declares that seasonal impact on pavement structural strength due to a change of subgrade bearing capacity remains after correction of asphalt stiffness dependent on the temperature in the layer. However, it was detected that neither E0 nor E0,h9 are related to moisture content at a depths of 100 cm, 130 cm and 150 cm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Performance and Durability of Porous Asphalt Mixtures Manufactured Exclusively with Electric Steel Slags
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203306 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
Electric arc furnace slag (EAFS) and ladle furnace slag (LFS) are by-products of the electric steelmaking sector with suitable properties for use in bituminous mixtures as both coarse and fine aggregates, respectively. In this research, the production of a porous asphalt mixture with [...] Read more.
Electric arc furnace slag (EAFS) and ladle furnace slag (LFS) are by-products of the electric steelmaking sector with suitable properties for use in bituminous mixtures as both coarse and fine aggregates, respectively. In this research, the production of a porous asphalt mixture with an aggregate skeleton consisting exclusively of electric steelmaking slags (using neither natural aggregates nor fillers) is explored. The test program examines the asphalt mixtures in terms of their mechanical performance (abrasion loss and indirect tensile strength), durability (cold abrasion loss, aging, and long-term behavior), water sensitivity, skid and rutting resistance, and permeability. The results of the slag-mixes are compared with a standard mix, manufactured with siliceous aggregates and cement as filler. The porous mixes manufactured with the slags provided similar results to the conventional standard mixtures. Some issues were noted in relation to compaction difficulties and the higher void contents of the slag mixtures, which reduced their resistance to raveling. Other features linked to permeability and skid resistance were largely improved, suggesting that these mixtures are especially suitable for permeable pavements in rainy regions. In conclusion, a porous asphalt mixture was produced with 100% slag aggregates that met current standards for long-lasting and environmentally friendly mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
Impact of Wetting–Drying Cycles on the Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Wood Waste–Gypsum Composites
Materials 2019, 12(11), 1829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12111829 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Large amounts of wood waste are generated each year in the world. In an attempt to identify a good recovery option for those residues, wood waste from construction and demolition works were used as raw materials in gypsum plasters. However, wood is a [...] Read more.
Large amounts of wood waste are generated each year in the world. In an attempt to identify a good recovery option for those residues, wood waste from construction and demolition works were used as raw materials in gypsum plasters. However, wood is a biodegradable material which implies that the products or materials that contain it are susceptible to suffering an important deterioration, due to exposure in certain environments. For that reason, the aim of this work was to simulate the effects that, in the long term, the atmospheric exposure of wood waste–gypsum composites would have. To do that, the plasters were subjected to 5, 10, and 15 wetting–drying cycles in a climatic chamber. In this study, the density, flexural and compressive strength, and ultrasonic velocity of these composites were determined by the influence of the aging process on their mechanical properties. Furthermore, in order to detect changes on their internal structure, scanning electron microscopy tests (SEM) were used. The results showed that they were suitable to be used as indoor coverings of buildings. However, a treatment to reduce the moisture absorption of the wood waste must be studied if mixtures with high percentages of wood shavings (WS20) are used in wet rooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Review

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Review
Circular Economy on Construction and Demolition Waste: A Literature Review on Material Recovery and Production
Materials 2020, 13(13), 2970; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13132970 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3221
Abstract
Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for at least 30% of the total solid waste produced around the world. At around 924 million tons in the European Union in 2016 and 2.36 billion tons in China in 2018, the amount is expected to [...] Read more.
Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for at least 30% of the total solid waste produced around the world. At around 924 million tons in the European Union in 2016 and 2.36 billion tons in China in 2018, the amount is expected to increase over the next few years. Dumping these wastes in sanitary landfills has always been the traditional approach to waste management but this will not be feasible in the years to come. To significantly reduce or eliminate the amount of CDW being dumped, circular economy is a possible solution to the increasing amounts of CDW. Circular economy is an economic system based on business models which replaces the end-of-life concept with reducing, reusing, recycling, and recovering materials. This paper discusses circular economy (CE) frameworks—specifically material recovery and production highlighting the reuse and recycling of CDW and reprocessing into new construction applications. Likewise, a literature review into recent studies of reuse and recycling of CDW and its feasibility is also discussed to possibly prove the effectivity of CE in reducing CDW. Findings such as effectivity of recycling CDW into new construction applications and its limitations in effective usage are discussed and research gaps such as reuse of construction materials are also undertaken. CE and recycling were also found to be emerging topics. Observed trends in published articles as well as the use of latent Dirichlet allocation in creating topic models have shown a rising awareness and increasing research in CE which focuses on recycling and reusing CDW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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