Special Issue "Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Danutė Vaičiukynienė
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kaunas University of Technology, LT-51367 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: synthetic zeolites; special building blends; the use of waste in cement system geopolymer material; alkali-activated materials
Dr. Vitoldas Vaitkevičius
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Kaunas University of Technology, LT-51367 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: ultrahigh-strength concrete; 3D concrete printing technologies; secondary raw materials; concrete admixtures; non-destructive testing methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, sustainability and sustainable building materials have become a priority of the construction industry. Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is a main component of building concrete. The production of Portland cement emits about 0.8 tons of carbon dioxide per ton. Possible replacement of the OPC with alternative binders is on the agenda around the world; therefore, new cementitious materials are created aimed at decreasing the levels of industrial pollution, CO2 emissions from the binder production, as well as use of the unrenewable natural resources.

Binders with high levels of supplementary cementing materials (SCM) have been an object of studies for many years. Therefore, it is possible to lower the amount of Portland cement in binder composition, in this way decreasing the negative impact of cement production on natural environment. In order to avoid environmental problems and waste, it is important to scale down the consumption of Portland cement along with recycling of byproduct materials at the same time.

More attention is given to alkali-activated materials (AAM) as an ecological alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) in the concrete industry. Numerous studies have shown AAM concrete leaves a smaller carbon footprint; additionally, various industry byproducts can be utilized in production.

This Special Issue invites you to submit original papers on sustainable binders, concretes, and composites in the following areas:

  • Novel sustainable binding materials;
  • New green concrete materials;
  • New CO2 emission-reduction technologies for cement, concrete, and geopolymer concrete production;
  • New biomass and municipal solid waste fly ash for concrete technology.

Dr. Danutė Vaičiukynienė
Dr. Vitoldas Vaitkevičius
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 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

  • Eco-friendly construction materials
  • Green concrete materials
  • Alkali activated materials
  • Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs)
  • Recycled concrete aggregate
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • CO2 emission

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Strength and Microstructure Characteristics of Blended Fly Ash and Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag Geopolymer Mortars with Na and K Silicate Solution
Materials 2022, 15(1), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010211 - 28 Dec 2021
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Mineral geopolymer binders can be an attractive and more sustainable alternative to traditional Portland cement materials for special applications. In geopolymer technology the precursor is a source of silicon and aluminium oxides, the second component is an alkaline solution. In the synthesis of [...] Read more.
Mineral geopolymer binders can be an attractive and more sustainable alternative to traditional Portland cement materials for special applications. In geopolymer technology the precursor is a source of silicon and aluminium oxides, the second component is an alkaline solution. In the synthesis of geopolymer binders the most commonly used alkaline solution is a mixture of sodium or potassium water glass with sodium or potassium hydroxide or silicate solution with a low molar ratio, which is more convenient and much safer in use. In this paper, we present the influence of sodium or potassium silicate solution on the physical and mechanical properties of fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag-based geopolymer mortars. Mercury intrusion porosimetry and microstructural observation allowed for comparing the structure of materials with a different type of alkaline solution. The evolution of compressive and flexural tensile strength with time determined for composites using 10%, 30% and 50% slag contents (referring to fly ash mass) was analysed. The tests were performed after 3, 7, 14 and 28 days. It was observed that, as the amount of slag used increases in the precursor, the strength of the material grows. Mortars with the sodium alkaline solution were characterised by a higher strength at a young age. However, the values of strength 28 days were higher for geopolymers with potassium alkaline solution reaching 75 MPa in compression. Geopolymer mortar microstructure observation indicates a high matrix heterogeneity with numerous microcracks. Matrix defects may be caused by the rapid kinetics of the material binding reaction or shrinkage associated with the drying of the material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
Implementation of Alternative Mineral Additives in Low-Emission Sustainable Cement Composites
Materials 2021, 14(21), 6423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14216423 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
The influence of four naturally occurring mineral additives (zeolite, diatomite, trass and bentonite) on the hydration and properties of cement pastes and mortars was investigated. The materials change the phase composition, heat of hydration (determined by calorimetry) and mechanical properties of composites. After [...] Read more.
The influence of four naturally occurring mineral additives (zeolite, diatomite, trass and bentonite) on the hydration and properties of cement pastes and mortars was investigated. The materials change the phase composition, heat of hydration (determined by calorimetry) and mechanical properties of composites. After 28 days, the amount of Ca(OH)2 was reduced by up to 23% and up to 35% more C-S-H was formed, as proved by TG measurements. Differences were observed in the kinetics of heat release, especially for 25% of the addition. In the calorimetric curves, an additional exothermic effect is observed, related to the alteration in the hydration of C3A in cement. From the point of view of beneficial influence on mechanical properties of mortars, the additives could be ranked as follows: bentonite < diatomite, zeolite < trass after 2 days and bentonite < diatomite < trass < zeolite after 28 days of curing. The highest compressive strength (58.5 MPa) was observed for the sample with a 10% addition of zeolite. Zeolite, trass, bentonite and diatomite are all pozzolanic materials; however, their activity varies to an extent due to the differences in their specific surface area and the content of the amorphous phase, responsible for the pozzolanic reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
Calorimetric Studies of Alkali-Activated Blast-Furnace Slag Cements at Early Hydration Processes in the Temperature Range of 20–80 °C
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195872 - 07 Oct 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
In the hydration process of inorganic cements, the analysis of calorimetric measurements is one of the possible ways to better understand hydration processes and to keep these processes under control. This study contains data from the study of thermokinetic processes in alkali-activated blast-furnace [...] Read more.
In the hydration process of inorganic cements, the analysis of calorimetric measurements is one of the possible ways to better understand hydration processes and to keep these processes under control. This study contains data from the study of thermokinetic processes in alkali-activated blast-furnace slag cements compared to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). The obtained results show that, in contrast to OPC, the heat release values cannot be considered as a characteristic of the activity of alkali-activated blast-furnace slag cements. In addition, it is concluded that in the case of OPC cements, cumulative heat release is a criterion for the selection of effective curing parameters, while in the case of alkali-activated blast-furnace slag cements, a higher heat rate (which increases sharply with increasing temperature from 20 to 40 °C) is a criterion. From the point of views of thermokinetics, the rate of heat release at temperatures up to 40 °C can be a qualitative criterion that allows to choose the parameters of heat curing of alkali-activated cement concretes. By introducing a crystallo-chemical hardening accelerator, such as Portland cement clinker, into the composition of alkali-activated blast-furnace slag cements, it is possible to accelerate the processes not only in the condensation-crystallization structure formation stage, but also in the dispersion-coagulation structure formation stage. Portland cement clinker increased the efficiency of thermal curing at relatively non-high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
Durability of Cement and Ash Mortars with Fluidized and Siliceous Fly Ashes Exposed to HCl Acid Environment over a Period of 2 Years
Materials 2021, 14(12), 3229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14123229 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 720
Abstract
The paper presents results of research on the impact of fly ash from fluidized bed combustion (FBC) of lignite, used in quantities of 30 and 45% by mass, and the mixture of FBC and silicious fly ash in amount of 45% by mass, [...] Read more.
The paper presents results of research on the impact of fly ash from fluidized bed combustion (FBC) of lignite, used in quantities of 30 and 45% by mass, and the mixture of FBC and silicious fly ash in amount of 45% by mass, on properties of cement–ash mortars. Mortars were exposed to aggressive environment of 1, 3, and 5% HCl solutions for 2 years. Mortars containing 45% FBC exposed to 1% HCl solution (pH = 2) showed the highest durability from among other mortars. The growth of their strength observed after 90 days of testing in 1% HCl environment, as well as the lowest drop of strength after 730 days of exposure to this environment, resulted from the reduced amount of large pores from 20 to 200 nm in mortars containing fly ash, with simultaneous growth of smaller pores of <20 nm during testing. A beneficial effect has been demonstrated of FBC addition to cement on properties of cement–ash mortars exposed to the aggressive impact of the HCl. Mortars with FBC fly-ash content increased to 45% by mass showed higher strength values, smaller differences in linear and mass changes, and increased durability in an aggressive environment observed during 730 days of testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
The Using of Concrete Wash Water from Ready Mixed Concrete Plants in Cement Systems
Materials 2021, 14(10), 2483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14102483 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Concrete plants accumulate large amounts of concrete wash water. This water, which pH is highly alkaline, has a negative impact on the environment. Its reuse in fresh concrete slightly reduces its mechanical properties. The combination of concrete wash water and zeolitic by-product led [...] Read more.
Concrete plants accumulate large amounts of concrete wash water. This water, which pH is highly alkaline, has a negative impact on the environment. Its reuse in fresh concrete slightly reduces its mechanical properties. The combination of concrete wash water and zeolitic by-product led to an increase of 4.6% in the compressive strength at 7 days hydration and up to 30% at 28 days hydration. The same combination led to the denser microstructure compared to the samples made with concrete wash water. This could be explained by the pozzolanic reaction of the zeolitic by-product. The complex chemical reactions of cement, zeolitic by-product, and fines presented in the concrete wash water occurred. Therefore, it was suggested the reusing method of concrete wash water together with zeolitic by-product in the fresh concrete mixtures by substituting some amount of tap water with concrete wash water. In this way, the consumption of tap water is possible to reduce in cement systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
Impact of Fly Ashes from Combustion in Fluidized Bed Boilers and Siliceous Fly Ashes on Durability of Mortars Exposed to Seawater and Carbonation Process
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2345; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092345 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
This article presents test results of aggressive environment impact, i.e., seawater, acid solutions and carbonation, on the durability of cement–ash mortars. Tests were conducted on CEM I 42.5R-based mortars containing 35 to 70% by mass of FBC fly ash from brown and black [...] Read more.
This article presents test results of aggressive environment impact, i.e., seawater, acid solutions and carbonation, on the durability of cement–ash mortars. Tests were conducted on CEM I 42.5R-based mortars containing 35 to 70% by mass of FBC fly ash from brown and black coal combustion in a homogeneous form and mixtures of 35% by mass of siliceous fly ashes (CFA) and 35% by mass of FBC fly ash. It was demonstrated that in normal conditions (20 °C), FBC ashes showed higher pozzolanic activity than CFA, except when their curing temperature was increased to 50 °C. FBC ashes increased mortars’ water demands, which led to an accelerated carbonation process. In an environment of Cl- ions, cement–ash mortars showed more Ca2+ ions leached and no expansive linear and mass changes, which, with their increased strength, might be an argument in favour for their future use in construction of coastal structures resistant to seawater. FBC ash content may be increased to 35% by mass, maintaining mortars’ resistance to seawater, acid rain and carbonation. A favourable solution turned out to be a FBC and CFA mixed addition to cement of 35% by mass each, in contrast to mortars containing 70% of FBC fly ash in homogeneous form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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Article
Mechanical Properties and Durability of Rubberized and Glass Powder Modified Rubberized Concrete for Whitetopping Structures
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092321 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
This paper analyzes concrete fine aggregate (sand) modification by scrap tire rubber particles-fine crumb rubber (FCR) and coarse crumb rubber (CCR) of fraction 0/1 mm. Such rubberized concrete to get better bonding properties were modified by car-boxylated styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex and [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes concrete fine aggregate (sand) modification by scrap tire rubber particles-fine crumb rubber (FCR) and coarse crumb rubber (CCR) of fraction 0/1 mm. Such rubberized concrete to get better bonding properties were modified by car-boxylated styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) latex and to gain the strength were modified by glass waste. The following tests—slump test, fresh concrete density, fresh concrete air content, compressive strength, flexural strength, fracture energy, freezing-thawing, porosity parameter, and scanning electron microscope—were conducted for rubberized concretes. From experiments, we can see that fresh concrete properties decreased when crumb rubber content has increased. Mostly it is related to crumb rubber (CR) lower specific gravity nature and higher fineness compared with changed fine aggregate-sand. In this research, we obtained a slight loss of compressive strength when CR was used in concrete However, these rubberized concretes with a small amount of rubber provided sufficient compressive strength results (greater than 50 MPa). Due to the pozzolanic reaction, we see that compressive strength results after 56 days in glass powder modified samples increased by 11–13% than 28 days com-pressive strengths, while at the same period control samples increased its compressive strength about 2.5%. Experiments have shown that the flexural strength of rubberized concrete with small amounts of CR increased by 3.4–15.8% compared to control mix, due the fact that rubber is an elastic material and it will absorb high energy and perform positive bending toughness. The test results indicated that CR can intercept the tensile stress in concrete and make the deformation more plastic. Fracturing of such conglomerate concrete is not brittle, there is no abrupt post-peak load drop and gradually continues after the maximum load is exceeded. Such concrete requires much higher fracture energy. It was obtained that FCR particles (lower than A300) will entrap more micropores content than coarse rubbers because due to their high specific area. Freezing-thawing results have confirmed that Kf values can be conveniently used to predict freeze-thaw resistance and durability of concrete. The test has shown that modification of concrete with 10 kg fine rubber waste will lead to similar mechanical and durability properties of concrete as was obtained in control concrete with 2 kg of prefabricated air bubbles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Novel Sustainable Binders, Concretes and Composites)
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