Concrete-The Sustainable 21st Century Greening Infrastructure Material


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Title: Concrete-The Sustainable 21st Century Greening Infrastructure Material

Author(s): E.G. Nawy

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 265


Appears on pages(s): 553-578

Keywords: constructibility; creep; durability; geopolymer; glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP); green building; high performance; high strength; hybrid; latex-modified; polymer; self-consolidating; shrinkage; sustainability.

Date: 10/1/2009

Revolutionary developments relating to novel materials of construction and improvements in the behavior of traditional materials have been taking place throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. These developments have been considerably facilitated by increased knowledge of the atomic and nano structure of materials, studies of long-term failures, development of more powerful instrumentation and monitoring techniques, decrease in cost-effectiveness of traditional materials have necessitated stronger and better performing materials suitable for larger structures, longer spans, more ductility, and extended durability. The last few decades of the 20th century can be described as the decades of concrete admixtures and composite innovation. The 21st century will be the millenium of high-strength, high-performance concrete for the greening of structures. Population growth has magnified the infrastructure demands for new compatible materials and composites for sustainable green structural systems compatible with the needs of the environment. Increased industrialization has resulted in mineral byproduct wastes that are detrimental to the environment. For example, the world’s production of fly ash was over half a trillion tons in 1989. Currently, it exceeds one and a half trillion tons. Some of these environmentally unfriendly by-products, however, can particularly be used in new concrete to the benefit of the environment. The versatility of concrete and its high-performance derivatives will satisfy many future needs and impact on the structural performance of concrete systems in flexure, shear, torsion and their long-term behavior. The present century can become the golden age of environmentally friendly supplementary cementing materials for high-performance concrete. This paper gives a summary of some of the major developments in the art and science of concrete structures and materials technology through the 20th and into the present decade of the 21st century as the greening material for the environmental needs of the infrastructure.