Advances in Development and Characterization of Sustainable Structural Materials
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
University of California, Berkeley
Building sector is responsible for 39% of the global energy consumption. It also accounts for 40% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The annual worldwide CO2 emission from cement manufacturing, for instance, is nearly 7% of the global emissions. In addition, 85% of energy is consumed when the buildings are in use through cooling, heating, and lighting. This emphasizes the need for investment on the sustainable and energy-efficient structural materials. In this talk, I will discuss the promise of utilizing high-volume of basaltic ash pozzolan or fly ash and pulverized limestone as a replacement of Portland cement clinker to produce self-consolidating concrete instead of using high dosage of a plasticizer or viscosity-modifying admixtures. In particular, I will present the results of multi-scale experimental studies performed to better understand the influence of the basaltic ash pozzolan, Class-F fly ash and limestone powder in the binary and ternary Portland cement blends, while following the physicochemical changes such as crystalline transition, hydration kinetics, and mechanical property. At the end, I will discuss the using cenospheres as micro-aggregates to introduce a controlled void system in cement composites to achieve low thermal conductivity but also maintain a high compressive strength. In this ongoing work, ultra-lightweight cement composites (ULCC) have been characterized with synchrotron-high-resolution micro-tomography along with the other techniques. The optimized ULCC incorporating with optical fiber has been scaled up to comprise translucent large panels to be validated in the state-of-the art beds at SinBerBEST facility to develop building efficiency and sustainability.