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Proceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials

image of Proceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials
ISSN: 1747-650X
E-ISSN: 1747-6518

Construction Materials seeks to publish original research and practice papers of the highest quality on procurement, specification, application, development, performance and evaluation of materials used in construction and civil engineering. Papers are particularly sought on metals, timbers, glass, ceramics, bricks, terracotta, stone, rubber, finishes, plastics, sealants, adhesives, bitumen and fabrics. Papers on innovative and recycled materials and novel applications of other materials such as concrete and cement are also encouraged. All aspects of a material’s life are addressed including embodied energy, environmental impact, service life, refurbishment, recycling and reuse. 

  • - To submit a paper to this journal is free. Papers appear Ahead of Print (below) as soon as they are ready to be published. Ahead of print articles are fully citable using the DOI system.



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  • Self-healing cementitious materials: a review of recent work
    Author(s): Christopher Joseph; Diane Gardner; Tony Jefferson; Ben Isaacs ; Bob Lark
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  • Historically construction materials have been designed to meet a fixed specification and material degradation has been viewed as inevitable and mitigated for through expensive maintenance regimes. Material scientists have recently begun developing materials which have the ability to adapt and respond to their environment, drawing on their knowledge and familiarity of biological systems. This fundamental change in material design philosophy has resulted in the creation of a whole host of ‘smart’ materials, including self-healing materials. The development of self-healing materials is reviewed in this paper, together with definitions of common terminology. A brief summary of the construction industry is given, together with a synopsis of the main issues of durability relating specifically to cementitious materials. Specific focus is then given to both autogenic (natural) and autonomic (manufactured) healing processes within cementitious materials. The paper concludes with a summary of self-healing materials, an overview of their potential use within the construction sector, and recommendations to this sector for future uptake of these new and innovative materials.

  • Building limes in the United Kingdom
    Author(s): Paul Livesey
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  • This paper traces the development of lime as a building material, from ancient times to classical Roman technology, its loss in the Dark Ages, its restoration in the technical revolution until superseded by cement and its re-emergence in recent times. It follows the developing product with evolving production technology and its classification with increased understanding of materials science. The modern understanding of microstructure is used to explain the benefits of porosity and plasticity, and examples are given of mixes for exposure conditions. The environmental benefits are compared with those of alternative binders.
  • The engineering properties of Victorian structural wrought iron
    Author(s): S. S. J. Moy; H. W. J. Clarke; S. R. Bright
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  • This paper presents results, which are of general interest and relevance to the structural engineering community, from a comprehensive investigation of the mechanical properties of the wrought iron from a bridge in mid-Wales, together with data from tests over the last 125 years on wrought iron from various locations. The paper discusses the variability of wrought iron in terms of material from a single source and from different sources throughout the UK. It is shown that wrought iron is a very variable material and that assessment of wrought-iron structures needs to take account of that variability and the condition of the wrought iron. The results reported were obtained as part of a research project into the strengthening of wrought-iron structures using carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer composites.
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  • Development and testing of a prototype straw bale house
    Author(s): Katharine Wall; Peter Walker; Christopher Gross; Craig White; Tim Mander
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  • This paper describes the research, development, construction and initial testing of an innovative low-carbon prototype house built using novel prefabricated straw bale panels. The use of straw as insulation provides an opportunity for value-added use of a widely available low-carbon co-product of farming. The research reported in the paper seeks to enhance the understanding and develop the modern mainstream acceptance and use of straw as a construction material in housing and other applications. The paper initially summarises development and construction of the panels and the house. Tests conducted on the panels and house reported in the paper include on-going durability assessment, fire resistance testing, acoustic transmittance testing, air permeability tests and thermal surveys.
  • UK contractors’ views on self-compacting concrete in construction
    Author(s): David Rich; Jacqui Glass; Alistair G. F. Gibb; Chris Goodier
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  • Self-compacting concrete (SCC) is claimed to offer faster construction, safer sites and more consistent concrete quality,
    but little corroborative research data exist on performance advantages, particularly in comparison with traditional
    construction. Industry opinions also appear to be divided. For these reasons, an extensive interview programme was
    undertaken with UK contractors – from large national concrete frame contractors to small, locally based housebuilders
    – to assess whether benefits were being achieved and to try to understand the reasons why SCC is, or is not, being
    used. The 48 participants reported that decisions on the suitability of SCC were inherently complex and, if selected,
    there were challenges in understanding ‘how’ construction should be planned and managed to accommodate the use
    of SCC and to fully utilise its advantages. The findings identify the need for a step change in the industry’s perception of SCC, such that it should be considered as a construction method, not simply as a material.
  • Durability of light steel framing in residential applications
    Author(s): R. M. Lawson; S. O. Popo-Ola; A. Way; T. Heatley; R. Pedreschi
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  • This paper presents a summary and analysis of research findings on the durability of galvanised cold-formed steel sections used in housing in order to deduce their design life. These cold-formed sections are produced from pre-galvanised strip steel. It reviews reports and publications from research projects carried out by Corus and the Steel Construction Institute on zinc-coated, cold-formed steel products. New data have also been gathered from measurements on houses and similar buildings that have used galvanised steel components. The data also extend to over-cladding applications in building renovation. The performance of galvanised (zinc-coated) steel components within warm-frame applications is very good. The research leading to this paper shows that the predicted design life of the standard G275 coating, based on the measured loss of zinc from the strip steel, is over 200 years, provided that the building envelope is well insulated and properly maintained. The evidence for this conclusion is based on measurement of zinc loss on light steel frames in various applications and locations. A formula for the loss of zinc over time in areas subject to low condensation risk is presented.
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