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The project aims at developing new technology routes to integrate waste materials in the production cycle of concrete, for both ready-mixed and pre-cast applications, resulting in an innovative light-weight, eco-compatible and cost-effective construction material, made by all-waste raw materials and characterized by low embodied energy and CO2 and by improved ductility and thermal insulation performances. The target of low embodied energy and CO2 will be mainly achieved through working on the binders' side, while the target of energy efficiency (heat insulation) will be mainly achieved through working on the aggregates side.

The use of lightweight recycled aggregates will allow making the target material lightweight and heat-insulating. The focus will be on waste materials that, for quantity, distribution and characteristics are also a social problem but, on the other hand, are available in quantities enough for feeding the concrete industry. On the binder side the aim is the complete replacement of cement by waste materials of high silicon dioxide content, e.g., municipal incinerator ash, ash disposed from coal-fired thermal power plants, and/or in combination with by-products such as ferronickel slag and natural or man-made pozzolans like -silica and metakaolin. Properties regulators will be studied, consisting of highly active products that will regulate the performance of the binder, taking into account the waste raw materials variability, in order to achieve and stabilize the required properties of final products. The innovative solutions set-up at material level will then be employed to develop innovative concepts of modular building components.

The project results, while setting-up a novel low-cost material for producing energy-efficient buildings components, will also contribute to solving the issue of "waste pressure" on towns and to reducing the consumption of not-renewable natural raw materials.

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Materials for new energy efficent building components with reduced embodied energy

 

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