Special Issue "Novel and Sustainable Civil Engineering Materials: Eco-Design, Properties and New Processing"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. César Medina Martínez
Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de Extremadura, Instituto Universitario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Territorial Sostenible (INTERRA), Cáceres, Spain
Interests: recycling and waste materials in material-based cements; recycled concretes; alternative binders; durability; civil engineering; service life design; new interfacial transition zone in recycled concretes; life cycle assessment; real applications
Prof. Holmer Savastano Junior
Website
Guest Editor
Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interests: nonconventional materials; innovative construction; alternative binders; fiber cement composites; vegetable fiber; bamboo for construction; sustainability; durability; rural construction; residue recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, investigations focusing on nonconventional materials have been gaining attention in research, development and innovation. Aiming to bring together contributions from the more active international groups in this field, we are organizing this Special Issue on "Novel and Sustainable Civil Engineering Materials: Eco-Design, Properties and New Processing”. The main envisaged topics for the Special Issue are as follows: engineered vegetable and other natural fibers as reinforcing elements; alternative inorganic binders based on agricultural and industrial wastes; new secondary materials from waste in the manufacture of eco-concretes; processing and characterization of nonconventional cementitious composites; durable and robust housing solutions; low-embodied-energy constructive components and systems.

The main envisaged audience includes academic and industrial fellows interested in research, development and innovation in inorganic/organic bonded composites, efficient processing and eco-design of constructive solutions, contributing to the implementation of circular economy concepts in the construction sector. This Special Issue can be used in graduate and undergraduate courses in subjects such as civil engineering, environmental engineering, material science, biosystems engineering and architecture.

Many innovative solutions (such as bamboo-based components, additive manufacturing and the development of constructive systems for the optimization of construction/deconstruction operations) are increasingly being used both in developing and industrialized regions of the planet. There are key aspects to be understood for the correct preparation of residual or recycled materials before they are put into real-scale utilization. Binders and concretes are considered an important source of research for this kind of application as they can be designed for partial or even total substitution of conventional ones such as ordinary Portland cement or natural aggregates. The other important topics involve processing, characterization, durability studies and proper utilization of those new categories of materials. The papers will bring a complete overview of the main concepts and information needed for the development of innovative construction and the design of building components based on alternative materials and techniques.

Prof. César Medina Martínez
Prof. Holmer Savastano Junior
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

  • Mineral additions for cement-based materials
  • New secondary materials from waste for eco-concretes
  • Phase-change materials and fiber-reinforced composites
  • Vegetable fibers for civil construction applications
  • Durability assessment of nonconventional materials
  • Engineered bamboo-, particleboard- and wood-related materials
  • Life cycle assessment applied to civil construction
  • Eco-design approach and 3D-printing-related technologies
  • New processes for construction and deconstruction
  • Earth-based construction materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Drying Method of Pine and Beech Wood on Fracture Toughness and Shear Yield Stress
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204692 - 21 Oct 2020
Abstract
The modern wood converting processes consists of several stages and material drying belongs to the most influencing future performances of products. The procedure of drying wood is usually realized between subsequent sawing operations, affecting significantly cutting conditions and general properties of material. An [...] Read more.
The modern wood converting processes consists of several stages and material drying belongs to the most influencing future performances of products. The procedure of drying wood is usually realized between subsequent sawing operations, affecting significantly cutting conditions and general properties of material. An alternative methodology for determination of mechanical properties (fracture toughness and shear yield stress) based on cutting process analysis is presented here. Two wood species (pine and beech) representing soft and hard woods were investigated with respect to four diverse drying methods used in industry. Fracture toughness and shear yield stress were determined directly from the cutting power signal that was recorded while frame sawing. An original procedure for compensation of the wood density variation is proposed to generalize mechanical properties of wood and allow direct comparison between species and drying methods. Noticeable differences of fracture toughness and shear yield stress values were found among all drying techniques and for both species, but only for beech wood the differences were statistically significant. These observations provide a new highlight on the understanding of the effect of thermo-hydro modification of wood on mechanical performance of structures. It can be also highly useful to optimize woodworking machines by properly adjusting cutting power requirements. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Concrete for Precast Blocks: Binary and Ternary Combination of Sewage Sludge Ash with Diverse Mineral Residue
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4634; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204634 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
This paper proposes binary and ternary combinations of sewage sludge ash (SSA) with fly ash (FA), marble dust (MD) and rice husk ash (RHA) as partial replacements of Portland cement in concretes with a similar dosage to that used in precast blocks, with [...] Read more.
This paper proposes binary and ternary combinations of sewage sludge ash (SSA) with fly ash (FA), marble dust (MD) and rice husk ash (RHA) as partial replacements of Portland cement in concretes with a similar dosage to that used in precast blocks, with very dry consistency. Several physical-mechanical tests were carried out on concrete specimens with curing ages of 28 and 90 days: density, water absorption, capillary water absorption, ultrasonic pulse velocity and compressive strength. The combinations of residues significantly improve the properties of the cementitious systems: 30% replacement of Portland cement provides strength values similar to the reference sample, showing the synergetic effects of the combination of the mineral additions. The significance of this research relies on the combined use of the mineral additions as well as the use of them for the precast block industry. The results show synergies among the additions and even that some of them showed relevant improvements when they are used in combination, performing better than when used individually. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Control of Cracking in Textile Reinforced Concrete with Unresin Carbon Fibers
Materials 2020, 13(14), 3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13143209 - 18 Jul 2020
Abstract
Textile reinforced concrete (TRC) is an emerging construction material with interesting potential concerning sustainability, providing corrosion-free and lightweight solutions. Ordinarily, fiber bundles, impregnated with resin, are used. In this research the performance of reinforcement with unresin fibers is investigated. Control of cracking is [...] Read more.
Textile reinforced concrete (TRC) is an emerging construction material with interesting potential concerning sustainability, providing corrosion-free and lightweight solutions. Ordinarily, fiber bundles, impregnated with resin, are used. In this research the performance of reinforcement with unresin fibers is investigated. Control of cracking is considered the key performance factor and is assessed through tensile testing. However, economic and environmental aspects are addressed as well. Then, four different mixes/matrices were considered, without the addition of special/expensive admixtures. TRC ties were subject to direct tension tests, with load and deformation monitoring to assess the influence of mechanical reinforcement ratio on the cracking, failure and toughness of these composites, as well as of the matrix properties on the maximum load. It was observed that at a macro-level TRC behaves like conventional reinforced concrete, concerning crack control. Based on the maximum loads attained at the different composites, it was found that this particular TRC is economically viable. It is suggested that matrix workability may influence the maximum load. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Densification of Bamboo: State of the Art
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194346 - 29 Sep 2020
Abstract
Densification processes are used to improve the mechanical and physical properties of lignocellulose materials by either collapsing the cell cavities or by filling up the pores, consequently reducing the void volume fraction. This paper focuses on an extensive review of bamboo densification process, [...] Read more.
Densification processes are used to improve the mechanical and physical properties of lignocellulose materials by either collapsing the cell cavities or by filling up the pores, consequently reducing the void volume fraction. This paper focuses on an extensive review of bamboo densification process, which is achieved by compressing the material in the direction perpendicular to the fibers using mainly two different techniques: an open system, thermo-mechanical (TM), or a closed system, viscoelastic-thermal-compression (VTC). The main aim of bamboo densification is to decrease its heterogeneity, as well as to improve its mechanical and physical performance. In addition, densification may occur during the manufacturing of bamboo products in which hot-pressing processes are used to mold bamboo panels. There are over 1600 publications about bamboo, concentrated in the recent decade, mainly about engineered materials. Although several papers regarding bamboo and wood densification are available, very few studies have comprehensively investigated the densification process solely through compression of natural bamboo culms. According to the literature, applying a combination of compression of 6–12 MPa at temperatures between 120–170 °C for 8–20 min can produce materials with higher strength in comparison to the mechanical properties of natural bamboo. The majority of research on bamboo densification indicates that the modified material results in improved properties in terms of density, hardness, bending strength, stiffness, and durability. This paper provides a review that consolidates knowledge on the concept of bamboo culm densification, discusses the roles of parameters that control the process, ascertains the best practice, and finally determines gaps in this field of knowledge. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Wool-Reinforced Cement Based Composites
Materials 2020, 13(16), 3590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163590 - 14 Aug 2020
Abstract
In this paper, an overview of the latest research activities in the field of cement-based composites incorporating sheep wool reinforcement is presented. First, the characteristics of this type of natural fibre are described. Then, the current use of sheep wool fibres in cement-based [...] Read more.
In this paper, an overview of the latest research activities in the field of cement-based composites incorporating sheep wool reinforcement is presented. First, the characteristics of this type of natural fibre are described. Then, the current use of sheep wool fibres in cement-based composites is discussed. The research problems regarding the properties of cement matrix composites reinforced with sheep wool are divided into four groups: thermal and acoustic properties, mechanical behavior, durability issues, and microstructure aspects. The latter two groups are analysed separately, because both durability and microstructure are of particular importance for future applications of wool reinforcement. Finally, the main directions of future researches are presented. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Magnesia (MgO) Production and Characterization and Its Influence on the Performance of Cementitious Materials: A Review
Authors: Jorge de Brito et al
Affiliation: University of Lisbon

Title: Sustainable approaches to develop green composites reinforced with textile waste for construction and building applications
Authors: Bijoy Behera et al
Affiliation: Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Title: Industrial Low-Clinker Precast Elements using Recycled Aggregates
Authors: Carlos Thomas et al
Affiliation: Université de Lyon

Title: Review-Thermal Energy Storage by the Encapsulation of Phase-Change Materials in Building Elements
Authors: Alejandro Manzano-Ramírez et al
Affiliation: Cinvestav, México

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