Special Issue "Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Alessandro P. Fantilli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Structural, Torino, Italy
Interests: building materials; construction materials; sustainable construction; concrete; reinforced concrete; concrete structures; structural design; high performance concrete
Dr. Daria Jóźwiak-Niedźwiedzka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Fundamental Technological Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Interests: building materials; concrete technologies; multicomponent materials for sustainable construction; microstructure and durability of cement-based composites; supplementary cementitious materials; high performance materials exposed to combined action of environmental loads and nuclear radiation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The environmental impact of the Portland cement production and the large use of cement-based building materials are a growing concern. The substitution strategy, consisting of the partial replacement of Portland cement with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) or the more common application of blended cements, is an effective way to improve the sustainability of the cement and concrete industries. The development of new combustion technologies and the introduction of new materials affect the physical and chemical properties of SCMs, which further results in enhancing some concrete properties (performance strategy).  

The forthcoming Special Issue of Materials aims to recognize the current state of knowledge and development in the use of SCMs within the substitution and performance strategies. It is our pleasure to invite you to submit your research article, communication, or review in which the following aspects of SCMs are investigated:

  • Measuring the chemical, physical and mineralogical properties of SCMs, before and after hydration;
  • Defining the amounts and the types of SCMs in accordance with the desired effects on fresh and hardened concrete performances;
  • Designing structural elements made with normal and high-performance concretes containing SCMs;
  • Assessing the durability and environmental impact of cement-based materials and structures, when SCMs are used to substitute, or in conjuction with, hydraulic cements.

Prof. Alessandro P. Fantilli
Dr. Daria Jóźwiak-Niedźwiedzka
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 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.

Keywords

  • Material design and optimization of the structure of materials
  • Structural performances
  • Models of new materials and prediction of their properties
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Durability and sustainability assessment

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Study of Strain-Hardening Behaviour of Fibre-Reinforced Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Cement
Materials 2019, 12(23), 4015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12234015 - 03 Dec 2019
Abstract
This paper presents a study of parameters affecting the fibre pull out capacity and strain-hardening behaviour of fibre-reinforced alkali-activated cement composite (AAC). Fly ash is a common aluminosilicate source in AAC and was used in this study to create fly ash based AAC. [...] Read more.
This paper presents a study of parameters affecting the fibre pull out capacity and strain-hardening behaviour of fibre-reinforced alkali-activated cement composite (AAC). Fly ash is a common aluminosilicate source in AAC and was used in this study to create fly ash based AAC. Based on a numerical study using Taguchi’s design of experiment (DOE) approach, the effect of parameters on the fibre pull out capacity was identified. The fibre pull out force between the AAC matrix and the fibre depends greatly on the fibre diameter and embedded length. The fibre pull out test was conducted on alkali-activated cement with a capacity in a range of 0.8 to 1.0 MPa. The strain-hardening behaviour of alkali-activated cement was determined based on its compressive and flexural strengths. While achieving the strain-hardening behaviour of the AAC composite, the compressive strength decreases, and fine materials in the composite contribute to decreasing in the flexural strength and strain capacity. The composite critical energy release rate in AAC matrix was determined to be approximately 0.01 kJ/m 2 based on a nanoindentation approach. The results of the flexural performance indicate that the critical energy release rate of alkali-activated cement matrix should be less than 0.01 kJ/m 2 to achieve the strain-hardening behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Tailoring Confining Jacket for Concrete Column Using Ultra High Performance-Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composites (UHP-FRCC) with High Volume Fly Ash (HVFA)
Materials 2019, 12(23), 4010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12234010 - 03 Dec 2019
Abstract
Ultra-High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Cementitious Composites (UHP-FRCC) show excellent mechanical performances in terms of strength, ductility, and durability. Therefore, these cementitious materials have been successfully used for repairing, strengthening, and seismic retrofitting of old structures. However, UHP-FRCCs are not always environmental friendly products, especially [...] Read more.
Ultra-High Performance Fibre-Reinforced Cementitious Composites (UHP-FRCC) show excellent mechanical performances in terms of strength, ductility, and durability. Therefore, these cementitious materials have been successfully used for repairing, strengthening, and seismic retrofitting of old structures. However, UHP-FRCCs are not always environmental friendly products, especially in terms of the initial cost, due to the large quantity of cement that is contained in the mixture. Different rates of fly ash substitute herein part of the cement, and the new UHP-FRCCs are used to retrofit concrete columns to overcome this problem. To simulate the mechanical response of these columns, cylindrical specimens, which are made of normal concrete and reinforced with different UHP-FRCC jackets, are tested in uniaxial compression. Relationships between the size of the jacket, the percentage of cement replaced by fly ash, and the strength of the columns are measured and analyzed by means of the eco-mechanical approach. As a result, a replacement of approximately 50% of cement with fly ash, and a suitable thickness of the UHP-FRCC jacket, might ensure the lowest environmental impact without compromising the mechanical performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Fly Ash Geopolymer Concrete Incorporating Bamboo Ash at Elevated Temperature
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3404; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203404 - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
This paper presents the experimental results on the behavior of fly ash geopolymer concrete incorporating bamboo ash on the desired temperature (200 °C to 800 °C). Different amounts of bamboo ash were investigated and fly ash geopolymer concrete was considered as the control [...] Read more.
This paper presents the experimental results on the behavior of fly ash geopolymer concrete incorporating bamboo ash on the desired temperature (200 °C to 800 °C). Different amounts of bamboo ash were investigated and fly ash geopolymer concrete was considered as the control sample. The geopolymer was synthesized with sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions. Ultrasonic pulse velocity, weight loss, and residual compressive strength were determined, and all samples were tested with two different cooling approaches i.e., an air-cooling (AC) and water-cooling (WC) regime. Results from these tests show that with the addition of 5% bamboo ash in fly ash, geopolymer exhibited a 5 MPa (53%) and 5.65 MPa (66%) improvement in residual strength, as well as 940 m/s (76%) and 727 m/s (53%) greater ultrasonic pulse velocity in AC and WC, respectively, at 800 °C when compared with control samples. Thus, bamboo ash can be one of the alternatives to geopolymer concrete when it faces exposure to high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Experimental Tests on Fiber-Reinforced Alkali-Activated Concrete Beams Under Flexure: Some Considerations on the Behavior at Ultimate and Serviceability Conditions
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3356; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203356 - 15 Oct 2019
Abstract
Alkali-activated concrete (AAC) is an alternative concrete typology whose innovative feature, compared to ordinary concrete, is represented by the use of fly ash as a total replacement of Portland cement. Fly ash combined with an alkaline solution and cured at high temperature reacts [...] Read more.
Alkali-activated concrete (AAC) is an alternative concrete typology whose innovative feature, compared to ordinary concrete, is represented by the use of fly ash as a total replacement of Portland cement. Fly ash combined with an alkaline solution and cured at high temperature reacts to form a geopolymeric binder. The growing interest in using AACs for structural applications comes from the need of reducing the global demand of Portland cement, whose production is responsible for about 9% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Some research studies carried out in the last few years have proved the ability of AAC to replace ordinary Portland cement concrete in different structural applications including the construction of beams and panels. On the contrary, few experimental results concerning the structural effectiveness of fiber-reinforced AAC are currently available. The present paper presents the results of an experimental program carried out to investigate the flexural behavior of full-scale AAC beams reinforced with conventional steel rebars, in combination with fibers uniformly spread within the concrete matrix. The experimental study included two beams containing 25 kg/m3 (0.3% in volume) of high-strength steel fibers and two beams reinforced with 3 kg/m3 (0.3% in volume) of synthetic fibers. A reference beam not containing fibers was also tested. The discussion of the experimental results focuses on some aspects significant for the structural behavior at ultimate limit states (ULS) and serviceability limit states (SLS). The discussion includes considerations on the flexural capacity and ductility of the test specimens. About the behavior at the SLS, the influence of fiber addition on the tension stiffening mechanism is discussed, together with the evolution of post-cracking stiffness and of the mean crack spacing. The latter is compared with the analytical predictions provided by different formulations developed over the past 40 years and adopted by European standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effect of Cement Type on the Mechanical Behavior and Permeability of Concrete Subjected to High Temperatures
Materials 2019, 12(18), 3021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12183021 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The paper presents experimental investigations concerning the influence of the cement type (CEMI 42.5 R Portland cement and CEMIII/A 42.5 N slag cement—with 53% granulated blast furnace slag) on the mechanical and transport properties of heated concretes. The evolution of properties due to [...] Read more.
The paper presents experimental investigations concerning the influence of the cement type (CEMI 42.5 R Portland cement and CEMIII/A 42.5 N slag cement—with 53% granulated blast furnace slag) on the mechanical and transport properties of heated concretes. The evolution of properties due to high temperature exposure occurring during a fire was investigated. High temperature exposure produces changes in the transport and mechanical properties of concrete, but the effect of cement type has not been widely studied in the literature. In this paper, concretes were made with two cement types: CEMI and CEMIII, using basalt (B) and riverbed aggregates (RB). The compressive and tensile strength, as well as the static modulus of elasticity and Cembureau permeability, were tested after high temperature exposure to 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 °C. The evaluation of damage to the concrete and crack development due to high temperature effects was performed on the basis of the change in the static modulus of elasticity. The test results clearly demonstrated that permeability increases with damage, and it follows an exponential type formula for both types of cement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
The Alternatives to Traditional Materials for Subsoil Stabilization and Embankments
Materials 2019, 12(18), 3018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12183018 - 18 Sep 2019
Abstract
Major infrastructure projects require significant amount of natural materials, often followed by the soft soil stabilization using hydraulic binders. This paper presents the results of a laboratory study of alternative waste materials (fly ash and slag) that can be used for earthworks. Results [...] Read more.
Major infrastructure projects require significant amount of natural materials, often followed by the soft soil stabilization using hydraulic binders. This paper presents the results of a laboratory study of alternative waste materials (fly ash and slag) that can be used for earthworks. Results of high plasticity clay stabilization using fly ash from Serbian power plants are presented in the first part. In the second part of the paper, engineering properties of ash and ash-slag mixtures are discussed with the emphasis on the application in road subgrade and embankment construction. Physical and mechanical properties were determined via following laboratory tests: Specific gravity, grain size distribution, the moisture–density relationship (Proctor compaction test), unconfined compressive strength (UCS), oedometer and swell tests, direct shear and the California bearing ratio (CBR). The results indicate the positive effects of the clay stabilization using fly ash, in terms of increasing strength and stiffness and reducing expansivity. Fly ashes and ash-slag mixtures have also comparable mechanical properties with sands, which in combination with multiple other benefits (lower energy consumption and CO2 emission, saving of natural materials and smaller waste landfill areas), make them suitable fill materials for embankments, especially considering the necessity for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Fluidized Bed Combustion Fly Ash on the Phase Composition and Microstructure of Cement Paste
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172838 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
Fly ashes from coal combustion in circulating fluidized bed boilers in three power plants were tested as a potential additive to cement binder in concrete. The phase composition and microstructure of cement pastes containing fluidized bed fly ash was studied. The fractions of [...] Read more.
Fly ashes from coal combustion in circulating fluidized bed boilers in three power plants were tested as a potential additive to cement binder in concrete. The phase composition and microstructure of cement pastes containing fluidized bed fly ash was studied. The fractions of cement substitution with fluidized bed fly ash were 20% and 30% by weight. X-ray diffraction (XRD) tests and thermal analyses (derivative thermogravimetry (DTG), differential thermal analysis (DTA) and thermogravimetry (TG)) were performed on ash specimens and on hardened cement paste specimens matured in water for up to 400 days. Quantitative evaluation of the phase composition as a function of fluidized bed fly ash content revealed significant changes in portlandite content and only moderate changes in the content of ettringite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Wood Ash as a Partial Cement Replacement Material for Making Wood-Cement Panels
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172766 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to consider the use of biomass wood ash as a partial replacement for cement material in wood-cement particleboards. Wood-cement-ash particleboards (WCAP) were made with 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% of wood ash as a partial replacement [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to consider the use of biomass wood ash as a partial replacement for cement material in wood-cement particleboards. Wood-cement-ash particleboards (WCAP) were made with 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% of wood ash as a partial replacement for cement with wood particles and tested for bending strength, stiffness, water absorption, and thermal properties. Test results indicate that water demand increases as the ash content increases, and the mechanical properties decrease slightly with an increase of the ash content until 30% of replacement. On the other hand, the heat capacity increases with the wood ash content. The WCAP can contribute to reducing the heat loss rate of building walls given their relatively low thermal conductivity compared to gypsum boards. The replacement of cement to the extent of approximately 30% by weight was found to give the optimum results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Carbonation Progress in Concrete Containing Calcareous Fly Ash Co-Binder
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172665 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
According to the European Standards (EN 450-1, EN 206), it is not permissible to use calcareous fly ash as an additive to concrete. However, other standards (for example, the American and Canadian ones) allow the use of high-calcium fly ash (type C) in [...] Read more.
According to the European Standards (EN 450-1, EN 206), it is not permissible to use calcareous fly ash as an additive to concrete. However, other standards (for example, the American and Canadian ones) allow the use of high-calcium fly ash (type C) in concrete. As a result of brown coal combustion, a large amount of this type of fly ash is produced, and considerations on their use in concrete are in progress. Research into the influence of high-calcium fly ash on concrete durability is fundamental for dealing with that issue. The aim of the present research was to develop a new model of carbonation over time, also including calcareous fly ash content in the binder. The self-terminating model of carbonation is new, and not developed by other authors. In the current research, the former simplest model (a function of w/c ratio and time) is expanded with the calcareous fly ash to cement ratio. The basis is a statistically planned experiment with a large scope of two material variables (w/c ratio and fly ash to cement ratio). The main measured property is the carbonation depth after exposure to 4% of CO2 concentration (according to CEN/TS 12390-12). The model of carbonation obtained from this experiment is an output of the paper. Also, the idea of developing similar models for concrete families as a tool for designing concrete cover thickness for reinforced elements is described in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Designing Reinforced Concrete Beams Containing Supplementary Cementitious Materials
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12081248 - 16 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
If supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) are used as binders, the environmental impact produced by cement-based composites can be reduced. Following the substitution strategy to increase sustainability, several studies have been carried out with the aim of measuring the mechanical properties of different concrete [...] Read more.
If supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) are used as binders, the environmental impact produced by cement-based composites can be reduced. Following the substitution strategy to increase sustainability, several studies have been carried out with the aim of measuring the mechanical properties of different concrete systems, in which a portion of Portland cement was substituted with SCMs, such as fly ashes. On the other hand, studies on the structural behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) elements made with SCMs are very scarce. For this reason, in this paper, a new procedure is introduced with the aim of fulfil a new limit state of sustainability, in accordance with the serviceability and ultimate limit states required by building codes. Although the environmental impact of concrete decreases with the reduction of cement content, the proposed approach shows that the carbon dioxide emission of an RC beam is not a monotonic function of the substitution rate of cement with SCMs. On the contrary, there are favorable values of such substitution rates, which fall within a well-defined range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Crystalline Admixtures on the Short-Term Behaviour of Mortars Exposed to Sulphuric Acid
Materials 2019, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12010082 - 27 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Using durable materials is a sustainable solution for extending the lifetime of constructions. The use of crystalline admixtures makes cementitious materials more durable. They plug pores, capillary tracts and microcracks, blocking the entrance of water due to the formation of crystals that prevent [...] Read more.
Using durable materials is a sustainable solution for extending the lifetime of constructions. The use of crystalline admixtures makes cementitious materials more durable. They plug pores, capillary tracts and microcracks, blocking the entrance of water due to the formation of crystals that prevent the penetration of liquids. The literature has covered the performance of these admixtures on concrete, but studies on mortars are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of an aggressive environment (sulphuric acid solution—3 wt%) on mortars produced with different percentages of a crystalline admixture (1%, 1.5% and 2% by weight of cement content). Physical and mechanical properties were studied after immersing the mortars in a H2SO4 solution for 90 days. It was found that, after a 90-day sulphuric acid exposure, mortars with the crystalline admixture showed greater compressive strength than the control mortar, besides exhibiting lower mass loss. However, the crystalline admixture did not produce any significant effect on the capillary water absorption coefficient. In a nonaggressive environment, and in the short term, the crystalline admixture did not have a significant effect on the compressive strength, the capillary water absorption coefficient or the ultrasonic pulse velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supplementary Cementitious Materials in Concrete)
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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.

Planned paper 1

Type: Article
Title: Alkali-activated materials from recycling as a mechanically efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative to Portland cement
Authors: Paola Antonaci; Alessandra Formia; Paola Palmero; Jean-Marc C. Tulliani
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Abstract: The production of concrete is constantly growing all over the world, on one hand because of the increasing demand for new infrastructures, urban space and public service buildings in emerging countries, on the other because of the need for maintenance, replacement and upgrading of the existing ones in developed nations. Such a growth poses serious sustainability issues, since the production of cement is known to be responsible for approximately 5-10% of the overall anthropogenic CO2 emissions, more than a half of which resulting from the production of clinker. Therefore, the main challenge for the construction sector in next years will be the implementation of proper strategies to reduce the CO2 emissions related to cement and concrete production. In this research, a total substitution strategy was investigated, and novel conglomerate formulations were studied in which the ordinary cement component was entirely replaced by an alkali-activated binder. Specifically, an alumino-silicate mud obtained as a waste product from the granite extraction and processing industry was used as an active raw material. Thanks to an alkali-activation mechanism promoted by a short-duration, low-temperature curing process, such a mineral powder was transformed into an effective binder, allowing to produce dense or cellular samples with very good mechanical characteristics and thermal conductivity properties. These promising results demonstrate that alumino-silicate wastes can be successfully reused in the construction sector, allowing to achieve a twofold goal by simultaneously providing an effective alternative to the use of ordinary cement and to the disposal of the stone mud.

Planned paper 2

Title: Flexural behavior of fiber reinforced alkali activated beams
Authors: Linda Monfardini, Fausto Minelli and Luca Facconi
Abstract: Alkali Activated Concrete (AAC) is an alternative kind of concrete that uses fly ash as a total replacement of Portland cement. Fly ash combined with alkaline solution and cured at high temperature reacts to form a binder. In the experimental program herein described, the plain mixture of AAC was reinforced with either steel or polymeric fibers, resulting in a volume fraction of 0.3%. Five full-scale beams entirely made by AAC, four of which reinforced with fibers; were tested undergoing flexure with the aim to evaluate the structural behaviour and the effect of fibers on the overall response. Companion small specimen were also casted with the double aim to define the mechanical properties and to bridging the gap between material and structural level. Beam deflection, crack patterns and tension stiffening effects are critically discussed. The evolution of the mean crack spacing and the number of developed cracks are also studied and compared with analytical formulas initially meant for ordinary concrete.

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