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Sustainable materials, recycling and environment

Keywords: industrial waste, waste, eco-cements, durability
Fig. 1. Construction and demolition waste and agricultural waste (picture by S. Manzi).
Fig. 2. Concrete samples with innovative mixdesign (picture by M.C. Bignozzi).
Fig. 3. Concrete samples with innovative mixdesign (picture by M.C. Bignozzi).

With the aim to obtain materials with high durability and good performances for civil engineering, the research is focused on the mix-design and characterization of sustainable materials (i.e. concrete with eco-cements, sulphur concrete, concrete where natural aggregates are replaced with construction and demolition waste and/or end-use tyre rubber, fiber reinforced composites, etc.). Innovative and sustainable materials are designed combining high durability features with the introduction of waste materials in the mix design. Mix-design, physical and mechanical properties, microstructure, alkali-silica reaction (ASR), durability in aggressive environment, and protection against corrosion are studied to design composite materials with tailored properties. Porosity and its distribution are investigated by means of mercury intrusion porosimetry and microscopy techniques. Tailoring the porosity through the optimization of the mix-design allows tuning the mechanical properties and the density of the final product.

As to what concerns sustainable fiber reinforced composite materials the use of natural fibers (hemp or straw) in hybrid organic-inorganic matrixes is investigated.

The research on recycling of waste and byproducts for the development of building materials is often supported by industrial partners in view of the application of the circular economy fundaments. Recycling contributes to the valorization of waste and reduction of environmental impact, thus avoiding waste landfill disposal and use of non-renewable resources. The treatment and use of construction and demolition waste, and the recycling of waste wash water coming from ready-mix concrete plants, of ceramic industry by-products, of end-used tyre, of glass waste from separate collection, of ashes from incineration of municipal solid waste, of polymeric and agricultural waste, etc., are investigated. These by-products have been successfully used as new constituents for ecocements, fiber reinforcement, aggregates and filler for ordinary and selfcompacting concrete. In the field of materials for architecture, new methodologies have been set up. They concern the evaluation of construction materials sustainability and new systems of integrated design for the reduction of environmental impact related to the construction and building service life (energy saving, renewable energy sources available on-site, etc.).

Main publications

Sassoni E., S. Manzi S., Motori A., Montecchi M. and Canti M. (2015). Experimental study on the physical-mechanical durability of innovative hemp-based composites for the building industry. Energy and Buildings 104, 316-322.

Manzi S., Mazzotti C. and Bignozzi M.C. (2015). Preliminary studies on the effect of C&DW on the long-term properties of sustainable selfcompacting concrete. In: CONCREEP 2015. 21- 23 September 2015. Vienna, Austria.1554-1560.

Manzi S., Mazzotti C. and Bignozzi M.C. (2015). Self-consolidating concrete with C&DW: microstructure and long-term behavior. In Durability and Sustainability of Concrete Structures – Workshop Proceedings. DSCS 2015. 1-3 October 2015. Bologna, Italy. 17.1-17.8.

Sassoni E., Manzi S., Motori A., Montecchi M. and Canti M. (2014). Novel sustainable hempbased composites for application in the building industry: physical, thermal and mechanical characterization. Energy and Buildings 77, 219-226.

Manzi S., Mazzotti C. and Bignozzi M.C. (2013). Short and long-term behavior of structural concrete with recycled concrete aggregate. Cement and Concrete Composites 37, 312-318.

Bignozzi M.C. and Saccani A. (2012). Ceramic waste as aggregate and supplementary cementing material: A combined action to contrast alkali silica reaction (ASR). Cement and Concrete Composites 34, No.10, 1141-1148.

Motori A., Manzi S., Montecchi M. and Canti M. (2012). A preliminary study of physical and mechanical properties of sustainable hemp fibers based composite materials for building insulated walls. ECCM15 - 15th European Conference On Composite Materials. Venice - Italy. June 24-28, 2012, 1-7.

Ferretti E. and Bignozzi M.C. (2012). Stress and Strain Profiles along the Cross-Section of Waste Tire Rubberized Concrete Plates for Airport Pavements. Computers, Materials & Continua 27, 231-274.

Manzi S. (2011). An investigation on sulfur based composite materials containing C&D waste. Proceedings of XIII International Congress on Chemistry of Cement, XIII ICCC, Cementing a sustainable future, Madrid, 3-8 July 2011, 1-7.

Manzi S., C. Mazzotti C. and Bignozzi M.C. (2011). Concrete demolition waste: sustainable source for structural concrete. 2nd Workshop on The new boundaries of structural concrete, Università Politecnica delle Marche – ACI Italy Chapter, Ancona, Italy, September 15-16, 2011. 39-46.

Bignozzi M.C. (2011). Sustainable cements for green buildings construction. Procedia Engineering 21, 915-921.

Franzoni E. (2011). Materials selection for green buildings: which tools for engineers and architects? Procedia Engineering 21, 883-890.

Saccani A. and Bignozzi M.C. (2010). ASR expansion behavior of recycled glass fine aggregates in concrete. Cement and Concrete Research 40, 531-536.

Bignozzi M.C., Saccani A. and Sandrolini F. (2010). Chemical-Physical behavoiur of matt waste in cement mixture. Construction and Building Materials 24, 2194-2199.

Andreola F., Barbieri L., Bignozzi M.C., Lancellotti I. and Sandrolini F. (2010). New Blended Cement from Polishing and Glazing Ceramic Sludge. International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology 7, No. 4, 546-555.

Bignozzi M.C., Saccani A. and Sandrolini F. (2009). Matt waste from glass separated collection: an ecosustainable addition for new building materials. Waste Management 29, 329-334.

Sandrolini F., Manzi S. and Andrucci A. (2006). Sulfur-polymer matrix composites from particulate wastes: a sustainable route to advanced materials. Composites, Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 37, 695-702.

Sandrolini F. and Franzoni E. (2001). Waste wash water recycling in ready-mixed concrete plants. Cement and Concrete Research 31, 485-489.