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Ecological Design of New Efficient Energy-Performance Construction Materials with Rigid Polyurethane Foam Waste
Polymers. 2020, V. 12, n. 5, 1048
Fecha de publicación
An ecological mortar is designed from industrial sub-products, with the objective of utilizing both the slag residues, generated during steel manufacturing processes, and the waste from Polyurethane Foam (PF) panels, generated during refrigerator chamber manufacturing processes. The ecological mortar design involves the dosing of Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag, together with finely ground Polyurethane Foam, cement, and additives. An energy efficient prefabricated block is designed with the mortar, for use in construction, and its energy performance is assessed as a material inserted within the envelope of a service sector (hospital) building, either as an exterior skin, or as an enclosing component within the façade interior. The main contribution of this research is the characterization of the thermo-physical and mechanical properties of a new prefabricated panel made with recycled materials. The full characterization of the properties of these new materials is presented and discussed. The new prefabricated panel demonstrates adequate thermomechanical characteristics as a substitute for traditional materials, while improving the sustainability of the building. As a secondary objective, the energy behaviour of the new panels when integrated in a real building is presented by means of a case study simulation. The use of computational thermal simulation confirmed that the properties of the prefabricated block influenced the annual thermal demand of the building for heating and cooling. Improvements to the thermal inertia of the building envelope were also confirmed with the inclusion of PF waste, giving the mortar an energy performance that was similar to conventional materials, in such a way that its use in façade construction may be validated, in addition to its environmental benefits, due to it having been manufactured with critical recycled industrial waste such as EAF slag and PF, thereby contributing to both the circular economy and sustainable development.
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