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Seawater-Mixed Lightweight Aggregate Concretes with Dune Sand, Waste Glass and Nanosilica: Experimental and Life Cycle Analysis

Sikora, Pawel; Afsar, Levent; Rathnarajan, Sundar; Nikravan, Morteza; Chung, Sang-Yeop; Stephan, Dietmar; Abd Elrahman, Mohamed; Springer (Contributor)

The use of alternative and locally available materials is encouraged in the construction industry to improve its sustainability. Desert regions with shortages in freshwater and river sand as fine aggregates in concrete have to search for alternative materials such as seawater, dune sand, and waste glass powder to produce lightweight concretes. The potential negative effects of adding these alternative materials can be reduced by adding nanosilica to the cementitious system at very low quantities. This study evaluates the feasibility of using these alternative materials and nanosilica (NS) in producing lightweight aggregate concretes (LWACs). A systematic study was carried out to understand the synergistic effect of nanosilica and seawater in improving the hydration characteristics of the developed cementitious systems. Also, the effect of these alternative materials on the fresh properties of the cementitious system was assessed by slump flow tests. The evolution of compressive strength at early ages was investigated after 2, 7, and 28 days of moist curing and an improvement in the strength development in concretes with seawater was observed. Furthermore, the integrity of the developed LWACs was analyzed using oven-dry density, thermal conductivity, water porosity and shrinkage measurements. Moreover, the capillary porosity and sorptivity measurements revealed the denser microstructure in the nano-modified seawater lightweight concretes. In the end, the life-cycle assessment study calculated the benefit of alternative materials in terms of carbon footprint and water consumption. As an outcome, a sustainable solution for producing LWACs containing seawater, dune sand or glass powder was proposed.
Published in: International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials, 10.1186/s40069-023-00613-4, Springer Nature