SEACON: Redefining sustainable concrete

S. Khatibmasjedi, Francisco De Caso y Basalo, Antonio Nanni

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Concrete is the second most consumed material on earth, after freshwater. The World Meteorological Organization estimates insufficiency of drinking water for over half of the world's population by 2025. Yet, the construction industry uses several billion tons of freshwater annually to wash aggregates and produce concrete. Thus, a significant step to redefine sustainability in concrete is to substitute, when possible, the use of freshwater with saltwater for concrete production. Furthermore, accelerating sustainable concrete can be achieved by considering changes in the aggregates and cement; for example recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) even when contaminated with chlorides from years of exposures, represents an ideal replacement for natural fine and coarse aggregates. More importantly, the leap to redefine sustainable concrete can happen when reconsidering the chloride content levels in cement, which will result in the ability to burn solid wastes as fuel (co-generation) and utilize byproducts of clinker production such as cement kiln dust, which is hazardous waste. This paper presents partial results of a larger study aiming at demonstrating the safe utilization of SEACON: A concrete made from seawater and/or salt-contaminated aggregates (natural or recycled) to redefine sustainability in concrete production. Evidently, due to the high chloride content of seawater and salt-contaminated aggregates, its use in reinforced concrete (RC) is prohibited by building codes due to corrosion of the steel reinforcement. Redefining sustainable concrete with SEACON requires the use of alternative noncorrosive reinforcement material technologies, such as Glass-Fiber-Reinforced-Polymer (GFRP) bars or stainless steel. New findings validating the viability of SEACON for a sustainable concrete production when combined with noncorrosive reinforcement to construct durable and economical concrete infrastructures are presented herein. To this end, two SEACON mixes compared to a concrete mix made with traditional constituents were exposed to different environments for up to one year and evaluated through material mechanical characterization tests. Based on the initial findings, one of the SEACON mixes was selected for further validation tests, in which fresh and hardened concrete and durability properties are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSustainable Construction Materials and Technologies
Volume2016-August
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event4th International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies, SCMT 2016 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Aug 7 2016Aug 11 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)

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