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Title: Sustainable 3D-Printed Concrete Sidewalks with Low Heat Storage

Author(s): Taha

Publication: Web Session

Volume: ws_S22_Taha.pdf


Appears on pages(s):



Date: 3/28/2022

Walking is how most trips start and end. Pedestrian mobility has also long been associated with improved personal health, transportation affordability, development of bonds between people in neighborhoods (i.e., social capital), and a more sustainable alterative to motorized transportation. Sidewalks are a critical but overlooked part of the transportation system in most communities. Concrete is a key material used worldwide for producing sidewalks, but concrete is carbon intensive to produce and concrete sidewalk slabs can store heat long into the evening contributing to the urban heat island effect. This research aims to explore new materials and automated methods for creating more sustainable concrete sidewalks with lower heat storage than conventional concrete. To reach the above goal, we have focused on substituting carbon-intensive cementing materials with recycled materials such as granulated blast furnace slag, recycled carbon tire particles, and carbon black. The rheological characteristics of the new concrete mixtures were investigated to identify a 3D-printable concrete mix. We demonstrate the printability of the new concrete mixtures with a low carbon footprint. We also report on the mechanical and thermal characterization of the 3D-printed concrete sidewalks. The new concrete sidewalks are cost-effective, with a low carbon footprint and relatively low heat storage, representing an excellent sustainable solution for concretes to be used in sidewalks.