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Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 20711

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Special Issue Editors

Department of Built Environment, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
Interests: sustainable concrete; durability; corrosion; concrete technology; reinforced concrete structures; remaining service life of concrete structures; structural engineering; finite element analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Interests: finite element method (FEM); static and dynamic analysis of structures with FEM; earthquake engineering; optimum design of structures; reliability and probabilistic analysis of structures; neural networks and their applications in engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Concrete is a continuously developing material, and even the definitions of durable and sustainable concrete have changed over time. The sustainability of cementitious construction materials has become one of the most important topics in concrete science today. The desirable characteristics of concrete structures imply several requirements for advanced concrete materials.

Recently, new types of “advanced concretes” have been developed by improving the microstructure using alternative binders to traditional Portland cement as well as advanced ad-hoc materials and activators in terms of durability, safety, and overall environmental impact. New sustainable cementitious materials, such as alkali-activated binders (AABs) and calcium sulphoaluminate cement, have been investigated and developed to mitigate the environmental impact during the service life of structures. However, further studies are still required related to the optimization and standardization of mix designs for advanced cementitious composites, based on their specifications.

Among the main aims of this Special Issue are the modification, characterization, modeling, and recycling of concrete to improve sustainability, mechanical properties, durability, as well as the development of new concretes and the study of their properties and features. It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue, gathering original research contributions and critical reviews that go beyond current knowledge in advanced concrete construction materials. Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Advanced modeling and simulation of cementitious composites;
  • Sustainability and environmental impact of concrete materials;
  • Characterization of sustainable cementitious materials;
  • Sustainable concrete and alternative cementitious binders;
  • Durability of concrete;
  • High-performance fiber-reinforced cementitious composites;
  • Self-healing and self-sensing concrete;
  • Precast concrete.

Prof. Dr. Mahdi Kioumarsi
Prof. Dr. Vagelis Plevris
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • advanced concrete
  • construction materials
  • alkali-activated binders
  • hybrid binders
  • green concrete
  • durability
  • high-strength concrete

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

6 pages, 179 KiB  
Editorial
Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials for Sustainable Structures
by Mahdi Kioumarsi and Vagelis Plevris
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041427 - 8 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Innovation in structural engineering has sparked remarkable advancements in the building materials sector and the construction industry in general [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)

Research

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19 pages, 11810 KiB  
Article
Impact of Fracture–Seepage–Stress Coupling on the Sustainability and Durability of Concrete: A Triaxial Seepage and Mechanical Strength Analysis
by Zhuolin Shi, Chengle Wu, Furong Wang, Xuehua Li, Changhao Shan and Yingnan Xu
Sustainability 2024, 16(3), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16031187 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
As an indispensable material in construction and engineering, concrete’s mechanical properties and permeability are crucial for structures’ stability and durability. In order to reasonably assess and improve the durability of fracture-containing concrete structures and to enhance the sustainable working life of concrete structures, [...] Read more.
As an indispensable material in construction and engineering, concrete’s mechanical properties and permeability are crucial for structures’ stability and durability. In order to reasonably assess and improve the durability of fracture-containing concrete structures and to enhance the sustainable working life of concrete structures, this research investigated the seepage characteristics of fracture-containing concrete and its mechanical property deterioration under fracture–seepage coupling by testing the permeability and strength of concrete samples before and after water penetration using triaxial seepage test and mechanical strength test. The results show that the fracture–seepage coupling action significantly affects the permeability characteristics and mechanical strength of fracture-containing concrete. In particular, the strength of concrete samples containing a single fracture decreased with increased fracture angle, with a maximum decrease of 32.8%. The fracture–seepage–stress coupling significantly reduced the strength of the fracture-containing concrete samples, which was about twice as much as the strength of the no-fracture concrete samples. Different fracture angles affect the mode of fracture expansion and damage (The fracture angle varies from small to large, and the damage form of concrete changes from tensile damage to tensile–shear composite damage). Moreover, the coupling effect of fracture–seepage–stress will further increase fracture-containing concrete’s fragmentation in the damage process. Therefore, improving the seepage and fracture resistance of concrete plays a vital role in improving the sustainable working life of concrete structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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18 pages, 5262 KiB  
Article
Effect of Nanosilica on the Strength and Durability of Cold-Bonded Fly Ash Aggregate Concrete
by Xiuzhong Peng, Qinghua Wang and Jing Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15413; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115413 - 30 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Cold-bonded Fly Ash Aggregate (CFAA), as an alternative to natural coarse aggregates, can prepare more lightweight, economical, and sustainable concrete. However, CFAA concrete has insufficient durability, which hinders its application in a salt-corrosion environment. Nanosilica (NS) has an advantage of high activity and [...] Read more.
Cold-bonded Fly Ash Aggregate (CFAA), as an alternative to natural coarse aggregates, can prepare more lightweight, economical, and sustainable concrete. However, CFAA concrete has insufficient durability, which hinders its application in a salt-corrosion environment. Nanosilica (NS) has an advantage of high activity and is generally used as an efficient mineral admixture in engineering. This study aims to improve the strength and durability of CFAA concrete by incorporating NS. To this end, compression tests, splitting tensile tests, and microscopic analyses were performed to investigate the mechanical properties of the concrete containing different NS dosages. Subsequently, the dry–wet and freeze–thaw durability tests were conducted to evaluate the salt-corrosion resistance and the frost resistance in the water, Na2SO4 solution, and Na2CO3 solution. The results show the compressive and splitting tensile strength peak at 2 wt% NS dosage. In this instance, the concrete has an optimum microstructure and exhibits desirable salt-corrosion resistance in the late stage of dry–wet cycles. During freeze–thaw cycles, NS could improve the frost resistance of the concrete but scarcely diminished internal damage under sulfate attack. The study explores the long-term performance of NS-modified CFAA concrete, providing a simple and effective method to mitigate the concrete deterioration in a harsh environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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19 pages, 7889 KiB  
Article
Influence of Blast Furnace Slag on Pore Structure and Transport Characteristics in Low-Calcium Fly-Ash-Based Geopolymer Concrete
by Zahir Azimi and Vahab Toufigh
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13348; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813348 - 6 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Alkali-activated fly ash slag (AAFS) has emerged as a novel and environmentally sustainable construction material, garnering substantial attention due to its commendable mechanical attributes and minimal ecological footprint. This investigation delves into the influence of slag incorporation on the strength, pore structure, and [...] Read more.
Alkali-activated fly ash slag (AAFS) has emerged as a novel and environmentally sustainable construction material, garnering substantial attention due to its commendable mechanical attributes and minimal ecological footprint. This investigation delves into the influence of slag incorporation on the strength, pore structure, and transport characteristics of AAFS, encompassing various levels of fly ash replacement with slag. To assess the mechanical properties of AAFS concrete, unconfined compression and ultrasonic pulse velocity tests were conducted. Meanwhile, microstructural and mineralogical alterations were scrutinized through porosity, N2-adsorption/desorption, and SEM/EDX assessments. In addition, transport properties were gauged using electrical surface resistivity, water permeability, and water vapor permeability tests. According to the results, a remarkable refinement in the pore volume was found by increasing the slag content. The volume of the gel pores and surface area increased significantly associated with the increase in tortuosity. Accordingly, Ca inclusion in the cross-linked sodium aluminosilicate hydrate gel remarkably reduced the transport properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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21 pages, 12676 KiB  
Article
Use of Waste Tires as Transverse Reinforcement and External Confinement in Concrete Columns Subjected to Axial Loads
by Mahesh Mahat, Mahesh Acharya, Manish Acharya and Mustafa Mashal
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11620; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511620 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2161
Abstract
Approximately 246 million waste tires are generated annually in the United States. That is roughly three tires per four individuals in the country. Most tires end up in landfills, adversely affecting the environment. In the last two decades, researchers have explored using tire [...] Read more.
Approximately 246 million waste tires are generated annually in the United States. That is roughly three tires per four individuals in the country. Most tires end up in landfills, adversely affecting the environment. In the last two decades, researchers have explored using tire chips in concrete to replace a portion of coarse aggregates. Past studies have indicated that up to 50% of coarse aggregates in concrete can be replaced with tire chips. This research proposes using recycled rubber tires and rubber chips in concrete columns. The tires are used as external transverse reinforcement in plain concrete columns. The tires function as formwork during the pour while providing confinement after curing. The concepts in this research can be used for retrofitting structures with inadequate foundations and constructing new structures. After analyzing the data from this research, the axial compressive test of confined columns was 50% greater on average than unconfined columns. The confinement effectiveness ratio for all confined specimens was greater than one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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16 pages, 4042 KiB  
Article
Numerical Modeling and Design Method for Reinforced Polyvinyl-Alcohol-Engineered Cementitious Composite Beams in Bending
by Qiao-Ling Fu, Shao-Bo Kang and Dan-Dan Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310130 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
The polyvinyl-alcohol-engineered cementitious composite (PVA-ECC) is a superior cementitious material when used for tension and flexural loading. The utilization of PVA-ECC in the tension zone can prevent the development of wide cracks and increase the flexural resistance of reinforced PVA-ECC members. In this [...] Read more.
The polyvinyl-alcohol-engineered cementitious composite (PVA-ECC) is a superior cementitious material when used for tension and flexural loading. The utilization of PVA-ECC in the tension zone can prevent the development of wide cracks and increase the flexural resistance of reinforced PVA-ECC members. In this paper, a nonlinear finite element model is established to simulate the behavior of PVA-ECC beams in bending. In the model, the constitutive models for PVA-ECC in compression and tension are employed by simplifying them as piece-wise linear models, and the bond between the reinforcing bar and PVA-ECC is also considered. The load–deflection curve and failure mode of beams can be obtained from the finite element model. Comparisons between numerical and experimental results show that the developed numerical model can estimate the ultimate load and failure mode of beams with reasonably good accuracy. After evaluating the accuracy of the finite element model, parameter analysis is conducted to investigate the effects of the reinforcement ratio, steel strength grade, and mechanical properties of PVA-ECC on the flexural behavior of reinforced PVA-ECC beams. The numerical results conclude that the effects of reinforcement ratio on the peak load, stiffness, and deflection are obvious while the influence of steel grade is mainly on the peak load. The tensile localization strain of PVA-ECC mainly affects the ductility of the beam. Furthermore, a design method is proposed based on the plane-section assumption to calculate the ultimate load of reinforced PVA-ECC beams, in which the contribution of PVA-ECC to the moment resistance of beam sections is considered. Comparisons between existing design methods and the proposed method indicate that the ultimate load of beams can be predicted more accurately by considering the tensile strength of PVA-ECC in the tension zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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13 pages, 3619 KiB  
Article
Potential Use of Water Treatment Sludge as Partial Replacement for Clay in Eco-Friendly Fired Clay Bricks
by Masoud Ahmadi, Babak Hakimi, Ahmadreza Mazaheri and Mahdi Kioumarsi
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129389 - 11 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
The traditional production process of clay bricks involves the extraction of significant amounts of raw materials and consumes considerable energy, leading to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Using environmentally friendly materials in the construction industry has become an attractive alternative for [...] Read more.
The traditional production process of clay bricks involves the extraction of significant amounts of raw materials and consumes considerable energy, leading to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Using environmentally friendly materials in the construction industry has become an attractive alternative for mitigating sustainability issues. One such alternative is incorporating waste materials, such as water treatment sludge (WTS), into clay brick production. This research aims to assess the viability of using WTS as a replacement for conventional clay in fired clay brick production, thereby mitigating environmental pollution. Five distinct mixtures were created, with WTS replacing clay at 0, 20, 40, 60, and 80% ratios. The mechanical properties and durability of the produced bricks were analyzed through various tests, such as Atterberg limits, optimum water content, unconfined compression, apparent porosity, compressive strength, flexural strength, density, water absorption, and efflorescence. The results demonstrated that as WTS content increased, Atterberg limits and apparent porosity increased. The bulk density, compressive strength, and bending capacity of the specimens were found to decrease as the WTS replacement ratio increased. Additionally, moderate efflorescence was observed in samples with higher sludge ratios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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14 pages, 2495 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Concrete Strength and Classes of Resistance against Corrosion Induced by Carbonation: A Proposal for the Design of Extremely Durable Structures in Accordance with Eurocode 2
by Luisa María Gil-Martín, Luisa Hdz-Gil, Emilio Molero and Enrique Hernández-Montes
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7976; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15107976 - 13 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
The new Eurocode 2 provides valuable information on the required concrete cover to protect reinforcement against corrosion induced by carbonation, for two design service life values of 50 and 100 years. However, to design structures with an even longer service life and assess [...] Read more.
The new Eurocode 2 provides valuable information on the required concrete cover to protect reinforcement against corrosion induced by carbonation, for two design service life values of 50 and 100 years. However, to design structures with an even longer service life and assess existing ones, additional tools are necessary. The ‘square root of time’ relationship is a well-established method for estimating the penetration of the carbonation front, making it useful for long-term design and assessment purposes. In this article, we propose a new function that adjusts the evolution of the carbonation front to the Eurocode 2 values. This function is a powerful tool for designing extremely durable structures and assessing existing ones. To demonstrate its effectiveness, we provide two examples of its application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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18 pages, 11950 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Proposal for Plant-Based Cementitious Composites, Evaluation of Their Mechanical, Durability and Comfort Properties
by César A. Juárez-Alvarado, Camille Magniont, Gilles Escadeillas, Bernardo T. Terán-Torres, Felipe Rosas-Diaz and Pedro L. Valdez-Tamez
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14397; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114397 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
This research evaluates four sustainable cementitious composites with sustainable plant fibers and bio-aggregates: (1) cementitious matrix composite with lechuguilla fibers (LFC) and (2) with flax fibers (FFC); and (3) cementitious matrix composite with wood shavings (WSC) and (4) with hemp shavings (HSC). The [...] Read more.
This research evaluates four sustainable cementitious composites with sustainable plant fibers and bio-aggregates: (1) cementitious matrix composite with lechuguilla fibers (LFC) and (2) with flax fibers (FFC); and (3) cementitious matrix composite with wood shavings (WSC) and (4) with hemp shavings (HSC). The fibers are for reinforcement and the shavings act as bio-aggregates as a total replacement for limestone aggregates. The lechuguilla (LF) and flax (FF) fibers were treated; wood (WS) and hemp (HS) bio-aggregates were also processed. Nineteen mixtures were manufactured, and five were used as controls, and the hygrothermal, mechanical, and durability properties were evaluated. The results for LFC and FFC showed that fiber treatment negatively affected flexural–compressive strength; untreated LFC with accelerated deterioration had better mechanical behavior, higher density, and lower porosity than FFC. Strength and density decreased, but porosity increased with increasing fiber volume (Vf). Regarding WSC and HSC, the microstructure of WS and HS had a significant effect on the physical and mechanical properties. The high porosity influenced the results obtained, since it decreased compressive strength and bulk density; however, thermal conductivity, hygroscopicity, and vapor resistance showed better behavior in most cases than the control specimens, i.e., without bio-aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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15 pages, 3097 KiB  
Article
Mix Design Effects on the Durability of Alkali-Activated Slag Concrete in a Hydrochloric Acid Environment
by Mohammad Teymouri, Kiachehr Behfarnia and Amirhosein Shabani
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13148096 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3678
Abstract
Because of its high strength, energy reduction, and low environmental impact, researchers have encouraged considering alkali-activated slag concrete (AASC) as a potential alternative to conventional concrete. In this study, the impact of mix design parameters on the durability of AASC, made with ground [...] Read more.
Because of its high strength, energy reduction, and low environmental impact, researchers have encouraged considering alkali-activated slag concrete (AASC) as a potential alternative to conventional concrete. In this study, the impact of mix design parameters on the durability of AASC, made with ground granulated blast furnace slag and activated with different alkaline solutions (NaOH, KOH, and Na2SiO3) immersed up to six months in a hydrochloric acid bath with pH = 3, has been investigated. A total of 13 mix designs were made in a way that, in addition to the type of alkaline solution, considered three other parameters, namely the molarity of alkaline solutions, the weight ratio of alkaline solutions to slag, and the weight ratio of alkaline solutions to sodium silicate. Visual inspections displayed that the AASC samples almost remained intact after exposure to an HCl acid solution with pH = 3 for up to 6 months, while the OPC sample experienced deleterious deterioration. The results clearly show that AASC outperformed OPC concrete when it comes to durability in an HCl acid solution. The strength reduction and weight loss of AASC compared with OPC concrete were approximately one-tenth and one-fifth, respectively. The AASC samples containing potassium hydroxide showed a higher strength reduction and weight loss in the HCl acid solution than the samples made with sodium hydroxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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Review

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23 pages, 6250 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Exploiting Sporosarcina pasteurii as Sustainable Construction Material: A Review
by Shiva Khoshtinat
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813869 - 18 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
With the development of bioinspired green solutions for sustainable construction over the past two decades, bio-cementation, which exploits the naturally occurring phenomenon of calcium carbonate precipitation in different environments, has drawn a lot of attention in both building construction and soil stabilization. Various [...] Read more.
With the development of bioinspired green solutions for sustainable construction over the past two decades, bio-cementation, which exploits the naturally occurring phenomenon of calcium carbonate precipitation in different environments, has drawn a lot of attention in both building construction and soil stabilization. Various types of microorganisms, along with specific enzymes derived from these microorganisms, have been utilized to harness the benefits of bio-cementation. Different application methods for incorporating this mechanism into the production process of the construction material, as well as a variety of experimental techniques for characterizing the outcomes of bio-cementation, have been developed and tested. Despite the fact that the success of bio-cementation as a sustainable method for construction has been demonstrated in a significant body of scientific literature at the laboratory scale, the expansion of this strategy to construction sites and field application remains a pending subject. The issue may be attributed to two primary challenges. Firstly, the complexity of the bio-cementation phenomenon is influenced by a variety of factors. Secondly, the extensive body of scientific literature examines various types of microorganisms under different conditions, leading to a wide range of outcomes. Hence, this study aims to examine the recent advancements in utilizing the most commonly employed microorganism, Sporosarcina pasteurii, to emphasize the significance of influential factors identified in the literature, discuss the findings that have been brought to light, and outline future research directions toward scaling up the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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