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Projects funded in national and international competitive calls (2020-2024)

CSTO2NE - Biomimicry and carbon adsorbent eco-materials for a climate-neutral economy

Cities are major contributors to the accumulation of waste and carbon dioxide, which makes it imperative to alter their ecological footprint. The European Green Deal outlines this necessity, and the New European Bauhaus initiative from the European Commission encourages progressive partnerships that promote sustainability and inclusivity in our places of residence, as well as innovative green transformation. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the CSTO2NE project will extract carbon dioxide using natural processes, constructing materials to absorb atmospheric carbon for recycling with a net-positive effect. The project aims to promote interdisciplinary scientific collaboration, shared culture, and co-creation of ideas and entrepreneurship in developing new ecological technologies and materials for sustainable cities. CSTO2NE aims to provide the European community with innovative solutions for recycling and valorising biowaste (biomass) and industrial waste into new eco-engineered materials through industrial symbiosis waste co-utilisation, mineral carbonation, and biomimicry approach; namely, nature-inspired solutions and technologies for improving carbon uptake and waste incorporation and design eco-engineered materials and, transference of the emergent technologies through eco-innovation business models. In this context, CSTO2NE intends to (1) promote international and inter-disciplinary collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges, leading to extended networks and opportunities; (2) Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase the project’s impact, (3) foster a shared culture of open access research an co-creation, that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship, inspired by the New European Bauhaus concept, fostering ideas into innovative prototypes and technologies for the eco-materials circular economy. Project acronym and number: CSTO2NE Grant agreement ID: 101086302. MSCA Staff Exchanges (SE) Horizon Europe (HORIZON) Project. Period: 2023-2027. Eu Funding: €1030400,00. Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Project No: EP/X04145X/1. UK Funding: £285,430. Project coordinator: University of Beira Interior (PT). Participantes: BIOXEGY SAS (FR), Danmarks Teknishke Universitet (DK), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (SP), Universidad de Lleida (SP), Associação CBPBI Centro de Biotecnoloia de Plantas da Beira Interior (PT), Politechnika Alaska (PL), Brunel University London (UK), CARBON8 Systems (UK), PHYONA LTD (UK) and Henan Polytechnic University (CN). Project Coordinator: João Castro Gomes UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael, Marisa Dinis-Almeida, Clemente Pinto.


Eco+RCEB – Eco-efficient recycled cement compressed earth blocks

A promising approach to earth building materials is the compressed stabilised earth blocks (CSEB), increasing the processing speed and improving mechanical strength and durability when stabilised with cementitious materials, such as ordinary Portland cement or hydraulic lime. Therefore, the main objective of this project is the innovative production and characterisation of more eco-friendly CSEB by using low embody energy recycled cement from waste concrete as a more sustainable stabiliser. The idea is to also explore incorporating construction and demolition waste as partial earth replacement, further increasing the CSEB sustainability. The new CSEB will be characterised in terms of their main physical, mechanical, thermal and durability properties using laboratory tests and in-situ tests involving the long-term exposure of various CSEB walls to different natural environments. In addition, the project also aims the development and characterisation of new, more eco-efficient masonry earth mortars for CSEB joints using recycled cement. Finally, the best compromise between the technical performance and eco-efficiency of this new CSEB product is assessed by economic and environmental life-cycle analysis. This project is expected to contribute to the development of a new generation of low embodied energy building materials. The project is coordinated by Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa and developed in partnership with Universidad de Alicante (UA, Spain), Universidade de Beira Interior (UBI) and a national earth block producer (“Oficinas do convento”, Montemor). Project acronym: Eco+RCEB PTDC/ECI-CON/0704/2021. The project is financed by FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal. Project Coordinator: José Alexandre Bogas (CERIS-IST); C-MADE/UBI Team: João Castro-Gomes. Project period: March 2022 – March 2025


MED-WET - Improving MEDiterranean irrigation and Water supply for smallholder farmers by providing Efficient, low-cost and nature-based Technologies and practices (PRIMA_S2_2020), Framework Programme Horizon 2020, through PRIMA Foundation (2021-2024), Consortium: Hochschule Wismar (HSW, Germany); Heliopolis University For Sustainable Development (Egyp); Alchemia-nova Greece IKE; Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology; Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights (Malta); Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (Marocco); Sultan Moulay Slimane University (Marocco); Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal); Município do Fundão (Portugal). Summary: The MED-WET project is geared towards the overall objective to introduce and improve the irrigation efficiency of small farmers in the Mediterranean region and to make optimal use of scarce water resources for lasting food and water security. The project-specific objectives are to: O1: Develop new irrigation technologies and solutions; O2: Spread knowledge and skills to adapt, install and operate project solutions for irrigation efficiency and irrigation water production; O3: Involve multiple stakeholders to tackle policy-associated barriers to take up; O4: Increase irrigation water availability by harvesting salinized and secondary sources; O5: Enhance farm profitability and environmental footprints. Project Coordinator: Harald Hansmann (HSW); UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael, Isabel Falorca.


eCO2CRETE - Environment-friendly concrete for the capture of CO2 in the built environment – QNRF Qatar National Research Fund. (2021-2024). Project number NPRP13S- 0123- 200158. Total Funding: 700k Euros. Summary: The project aims to encourage changes in the construction industry to provide innovative solutions for carbon sequestration within the built environment. With concrete being the second consumed materials on earth, after water, converting it from carbon-intensive material into carbon-absorbent material would greatly contribute to meeting targets of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sustainable construction. The proposed technology is an environmental-friendly concrete eCO2CRETE” that of made of carbonated waste materials with the ability to capture more CO2 from the surrounding environment during its service life. The project will be led by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), with key investigators from the University of Beira Interior-Portugal (UBI), and Infrastructure Research & Development (IRD) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, with key stakeholders from government and industry. Combining local and international experience and working in collaboration with the industry will provide a route to lead the developed and the practical implementation of carbon-sequestering construction products in Qatar and the region. The CO2 absorbent concrete technology have enormous potential for the greenhouse gas removal in the built environment. The project will accomplish the production of innovative eCO2CRETE for the capture and storage of CO2 in stable construction products. The newly developed products will be purely made of local materials with various blends to maximize the carbon capture, and with different properties for use in different applications. Comparison will be made with conventional construction materials, made with imported materials. Full-scale site trials will be constructed with eCO2CRETE products to assess practicality of implementation and monitor performance in service and quantify the amount of captured carbon in service. The cost and environment benefits of eCO2CRETE, due to the use of recycled materials, speed of production, and carbon sequestration will be determined. Project Coordinator: Dr. Mohammed ben Said Al-Kuawri (Ministry of Municipality and Environment); UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro Gomes (Principal Investigator.






ALTO-C-MADE “Ecossistema e eco inovação industrial com resíduos de minas e industriais”. Financed by the European Social Fund (PI 8.5 — FSE). Project nº. CENTRO-04-3559-FSE-000209. Summary: This project finances the hiring of two Highly Qualified Human Resources for a period of two years. Summary: With this project, it is intended to solve large-scale problems, promote eco-innovation and implement an industrial ecosystem, with a holistic and symbiotic approach, in the industrial sectors of prefabricated building materials, mining, biomass, energy and steelmaking for climate resilience, allowing the reduction of CO2 emissions, with the development of industrial ecology of building materials production, by upcycling and combining waste from various industries and CO2, adopting environmentally safe technologies, in a circular economy framework (eco-efficient), with significant socio-economic and environmental benefits. The ALTO-C-MADE project aims to: - Develop the whole concept, with greater detail and participation of the different promoters, to apply for national and European "structuring" funding; - To start the implementation of the industrial ecosystem, with a holistic and symbiotic approach, in the industrial sectors of prefabricated building materials, mining, biomass, energy and steel, located in Covilhã; - To mobilise local communities, as a critical success factor for this initiative, including consumers, industrial producers, associations, local government authorities, R&D institutions and different national and international universities, as well as other technology and service providers, entrepreneurs and investors. Project manager: João Castro Gomes.


ASHES -Advection and diffusion of suspended sediments from wildfires in rough open channel flows – Financed by FCT 2018-2022. Project nº PTDC/ECI-EGS/29835/2017. Funding: 239.950,75 Euros. Summary: ASHES addresses the hydrodynamics of suspended sediment (SS) transport in rough open channels with vegetated areas. Our motivation arises from the strong pressure to mitigate problems related with diffuse pollution from wildfires responsible of generating extensive transport of ash and soil, possibly contaminated (metal and PAHs), into aquatic systems. Riparian vegetation has been pointed out as playing a crucial role in controlling the effects of diffuse pollution. Despite of the advances on hydrodynamics of vegetated flows, effect of vegetation on suspended loads has not received enough attention and the knowledge on the flow-vegetation-sediments interaction is still limited. A thoroughly understanding of the dynamics of sediment transport and retention processes in wetlands is, thus, of paramount importance for water quality (WQ) management. The main goals of ASHES consist in: i) scientific advances on the advection and diffusion processes of SS within vegetated areas; ii) a novel and cost-effective simulation tool to model hydrodynamics and WQ processes in rivers with vegetated areas; iii) mitigation measures for water pollution driven by wildfires, meeting the societal need of complying with the Water Framework Directive requirements. Project Coordinator: Cristina Fael. UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael, Cátia Taborda, Isabel Falorca.


EcoSET - Ecology, Science, Education and Technology – Financed by Polish National Agency for Academic exchange (2019-2022). Project nº PPI/APM/2019/1/00003. Summary: The aim of the project "EcoSET - Ecology, Science, Education and Technology. Ways to Internationalise the University of Science and Technology in Areas of Research and Education” is to increase the level of internationalization in research and education at UTP in Bydgoszcz. The project is carried out between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2022 by two faculties of the Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology: Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology within the International Academic Partnerships Programme of the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange. Project manager: Professor Marek Bednarczyk. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes.


ENMAT – E-mobility and sustainable materials and technologies - This project is financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange as part of the Academic International Partnerships Program (2019-2022). Project no. PPI/APM/2018/1/00027. Summary: The aim of the EMMAT E-mobility project and sustainable materials and technologies is to develop lasting solutions in the field of scientific cooperation, implemented as part of international academic partnerships between the Cracow University of Technology. Tadeusz Kościuszko and foreign research centers. The results of the project will form the basis for the development of long-term cooperation of the Cracow University of Technology (PK) with 22 units from France, Italy, Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Malta, Iceland, Latvia, Ukraine, Portugal, Canada, Chile, Lebanon, Uruguay, Taiwan and India. The works of both the PK and C-MADE/UBI teams will concern the determination of the possibilities of mine waste, thermal processing waste: municipal waste and sludge after water treatment waste management. These activities are in line with the general theme of the EMMAT project concerning sustainable solutions in the field of industrial waste management and its possible use in the production of building materials. Research on the possibility of activating this waste, which is mainly aluminosilicates, will be the main axis of work of the PK-UBI team. Looking for alternatives to cement binders based mainly on post-process waste and aiming at effective management of this type of waste and its use in the production of new, environmentally safe building materials, scientists are developing mineral polymers based on active alkaline-activated aluminosilicates, commonly called geopolymers. Project manager: Izabela Hager; UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes.



PMAM (waste +CO2=mat) – Financed by Universidade da Beira Interior (2019-2021). Project nº PMAM/UBI/2019. Funding: Manuel António da Motta Prize. 50k Euros. Summary: Develop a pilot production of building blocks obtained with industrial waste, carbon dioxide and non-potable water. In an industrial environment, Pavicer/Blocozêzere (manufacturing plant located in Fundão, Portugal) demonstrated the viability of producing building blocks made with 100% slag (EAF furnace), which Harsco Metals, Portugal supplied. The slags were previously milled in different grades to replace the Portland cement, sand and brittle, respectively, and mixed with a small amount of water to allow moulding the blocks. The blocks (i.e., prototypes) were produced by Vibro-compaction (in an industrial block-making machine). They were hardened in an autoclave environment (experimental, for accelerated carbonation) in a saturated atmosphere with industrial CO2 for 24 hours. This technology has enormous potential for the prefabrication of building materials and can be applied to all prefabricated building materials (e.g. blocks, tiles, lanyards, veneers and panels, among many others). The use of slag rather than Portland cement has enormous advantages, such as a ten times faster production rate, reuse of 100% waste (slag and other types of waste that can be agglomerated with slag), CO2 capture and a lower cost of production than Portland cement products. Furthermore, in the accelerated carbonation process, it is unnecessary to use drinking water, as in the case of products with Portland cement (where hydration occurs). The water to be used can be reused in the manufacturing process. Project coordinator UBI/C-MADE: João Castro-Gomes.



EdGeWIsE - Energy and Water Systems Integration and Management – Financed by FCT (2016-2020) Project nº RANETMED/0004/2014. Funding: 130,00 Euros. Consortium: Universidade da Beira Interior; Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology; University of Cyprus; National Technical University of Athens; University of Tunis; University of Poitiers. Summary: The project EdGeWIsE contributed to integrate the water and energy systems in a single and efficient system. To achieve this vision the following general approaches and objectives were pursued: Improve and promote efficiency based on data collected by low power wireless sensor networks; Identify renewable energy sources inside urban and rural areas; Research new methods for water and energy caption/storage; Stimulate the intelligent use of the available water and energetic resources; Explore the impact of Micro-Hydro technology on river systems. To reach the previous general objectives the project developed research activities concerning renewable solar and wind energy; wireless sensors network powered by energy harvest form microbial fuel cell and vibrations; energy storage in and production from water systems. These research activities were led to scientific advances that after incorporation in energy and water systems contributed to integrate both systems in a single highly efficient system. Project coordinator: António Espírito Santo (UBI). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael.



REMINE H2020-MSCA-RISE - Financed by the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Research Fellowship Programme – Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) (2015-2018). Project No. 645696. Funding 565k Euros. Summary: This RISE programme aimed to promote international and inter-sector collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges, shared knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice-versa) for the advancement of science and the development of innovation within the recycling and valorization of mining and quarrying wastes which represent 27% of the EU total waste generated from economic activities and households, promoted utilization of innovative geopolymeric materials in the construction sector, and fostered a shared culture of research and innovation that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship and helped turn creative ideas into innovative products, services or processes in the materials industry thorough recycling mining wastes, by taking advantage of the integrated knowledge acquired in the complementary areas of the RISE partners. In this scenario, this RISE action aimed at taking advantage of the recent developments in the areas of materials science, processing engineering, structural engineering, infrastructure systems, arts and design and market perspectives, turning mining waste into valuable materials for infrastructure and building products. Coordinator: Beira Interior University (PT) (participants: Brunel University (UK), Silesian University (PL) Bologna University (IT), Granada University (SP), Strathclyde University (UK), Alsitek Ltd (UK). Sofalca, Lda (PT), Beira Serra (PT)). Project Coordinator: João Castro Gomes UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro Gomes, Manuel Magrinho.



Research Network in Fluvial Hydraulics – Financed by FCT (2013-2018) Project nº RECI/ECM-HID/0371/2012. Funding: 299 147,00 Euros. Summary: The specific objectives of the project are: i) to carry out fundamental research in the topics that have been traditionally strong in the group and that guarantee a good academic record; ii) to carry out fundamental and applied research in areas that are relevant for fluvial practice, namely in Portugal. A number of research actions have been designed to fulfil these objectives, organized in two large groups: i) Fundamental research on flow hydrodynamics and mechanics of sediment transport and ii) Fundamental and applied research on river flooding, river morphology and hazard mitigation. The proposed actions are not meant to open new lines of work but to consolidate the links among team members and to strengthen ongoing research. They are well articulated with the workplans of ongoing projects led by team members and address specific needs in terms of equipment and human resources. This project is fundamental to sustain the growth in academic production as it will fund maintenance and upgrading of equipment. Coordinator: Rui Ferreira (IST). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael.



GEOGREEN - Waste geopolymeric binder-based natural vegetated panels for energy-efficient building green roofs and facades - Research project financed by FCT (2011-2014). PTDC/ECM/113922/2009. Funding 152k Euros. Summary: Green roof utilization has been reconsidered at issue of energy saving and pollution reduction. Green roofs and facades delivery multiple benefits: It creates a modern, unique aesthetics and building envelope that is living and changing with time. It enhances building’s energy rating. It provides natural shading and cooling in summer and, in some cases, thermal insulation in winter through its external wall insulation layer. Green facades and green roofs typically have different layers of construction; a protection layer, a drainage layer and a growing media (soil). The most important characteristics of the growing layer are its thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, and density. Depending upon the type of vegetation used the growing media layer may be as thin as 5 cm or as thick as 1m, thus the media layer has significant implications for the construction of the building and roof or façade support system. Additionally, selection of adequate growing vegetation, irrigation system and water management, leakage-proof protection, among others, are also relevant aspects for thermal and energy performance, as well as construction details, of such passive cooling technologies. Project achievements also contributed to sustainable development, particularly in terms of energy savings, waste recycling and use of low CO2 binders, as well for biodiversity, urban modernization and building retrofitting. Project coordinator: João Castro-Gomes. UBI/C-MADE Team: Luiz Pereira-Oliveira, João Carlos Lanzinha, Pedro Dinho, João Carlos Lanzinha, Ana Virtudes, Ana Maria Martins, Jorge Silva Carlos.    


EFATRAS – Environmentally-friendly aeronautical transport systems integrated program. This research project was co-financed by Programa Operacional Regional do Centro, Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional and European Fund of Regional Development (2013-2014). Project CENTRO-07-ST24_FEDER-002020. Summary: EFATRAS was built according to the European 7th FP for the specific program of Cooperation in the thematic area of Transports (including Aeronautics). It covered a broad band of aspects of this area from more efficient and environmentally friendly aeroengines to the utilization of recycled materials for heavy duty pavements in airports or satellites and communications. The most recent areas of multidisciplinary design optimization of new aircraft concepts, new low-emissions combustor technologies and biofuels utilization for aeroengines are also specific areas of competences of the present PI. New business models for regional air transport, which are most relevant for Centro Region, were also be addressed by the PI in a close connection with the more technological areas. The activities evolved to other areas such as sustainable energy or non-aeronautical materials or products through the transversal connections inside the Associated Laboratories LAETA (Laboratório Associado em Energia, Transportes e Aeronáutica), IT (Instituto de Telecomunicações) and C-MADE (Centre of Materials and Building Technologies). C-MADE/UBI participated in Activity 7. Recycled and Waste Aggregates in Airports Asphalt Mixtures: Assessing mechanical performance and durability of base and/or surfacing bituminous mixtures containing secondary (waste/recycled) materials as aggregate substitutes in semi-flexible heavy-duty pavements for airports designed to suit European climatic conditions. Project coordinator: Jorge Barata (Laeta/AeroG). UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes, Marisa Dinis Almeida


INSYSM – Intelligent systems for structures strengthening and monitoring – Project founded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Program Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnership and Pathways (2010-2014). Project No. 251373. Summary: According to recent analyses, more than 29% of European citizens are concentrated in 500 largest cities of the continent. Most of these cities are now subjected, or will be soon, to significant modification of their urban texture, brought about by the exploitation of new areas and by redevelopment of old industrial sites or the construction of big and pervasive infrastructure. Urban areas modernization and natural calamities (floods, earthquakes, etc) bring the change of the work conditions of urban infrastructure – in many cases historical buildings. The consequence of this change is the necessity of strengthening. It was observed that traditional methods for strengthening of buildings subjected to complex load layout are not always acting in most effective way, opposite, sometimes they caused hazardous situations. That was one of the main reasons why scientists and industry started to seek more flexible and problem-oriented solutions. New strengthening systems came from other branches of industry - FRP (Fiber Reinforced Polymer), SRP (Steel RP) and TMR (Textile Reinforced Masonry) based on high performance fibers. Additionally, experience in other areas of industry (e.g. textiles, clothing etc.) indicates that some of strengthening fibers may also be monitoring sensors. INSYSM project created innovative strengthening and sensing technologies based on the textile industry experiences. Strengthening equipped with monitoring system enables very powerful advantages. During all the work phases collected measurements could picture performance of a whole structure, which can be used for continuous observation of the building and shall allow to master the strengthening solutions due to building real life work, also during accidental situations like floods, earthquakes etc. Project coordinator: Katarzyna Markiewicz-Sliwa. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes.

Experimental study of local scour at complex bridge piers – Project financed by FCT (2010-2013). Project nº. RECI/ECM-HID/0371/2012. Funding: 199,498.00 Euros. Summary: The main objective of the project was the systematic characterization of local scouring at complex bridge piers inserted in alluvial bed rivers. For this purpose, the research team performed an extensive research programme involving five Portuguese research institutions (IST, LNEC, UBI, FEUP, UAlg) to systematically map equilibrium scour at plausible configurations of complex piers. The ultimate objective was the production of a pier scour manual covering both single-column and complex piers. Coordinator: António Heleno Cardoso (IST). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael.



SELICON – Service life design – modeling the durability performance of concrete - This project was financed by FCT (2008-2011). PTDC/ECM/69565/2006. Funding 160k Euros. Summary: The main purpose of the project was to propose models for the service life design and assessment of reinforced concrete structures based on the durability performance of the concrete. As such, it is expected that in the future, the design of concrete structure would no longer be based on the prescriptive approach to service life design (i.e., such as the use of parameters like maximum water/binder ratio and minimum cement contents, etc.) using alternatively a durability performance model to define the concrete material performance in the form of concrete durability indicators (i.e. chloride diffusion coefficients, resistance to carbonation, water/air permeability, electrical resistivity, etc.), for the commonly occurring environmental exposure conditions in Portugal. With the obligatory drive towards sustainability of the construction industry in general, the research developed also focused on the analysis of the durability performance of new/alternative concretes. These included different additions, fibres, new or recycled materials. The FCT Project SELICON was undertaken by researchers from the C-TAC – Territory, Environment and Construction Research Centre (University of Minho), LNEC – Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering), and C-MADE – Centre of Materials and Building Technologies (University of Beira Interior). Support was also received from EP – Estradas de Portugal (Portuguese road authorities) and APDL – Associacão dos Portos do Douro e Leixões (Port authorities for Douro and Leixões). In addition, the projected benefited from the contribution of external consultants. Project Coordinator: Rui Miguel Ferreira. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro Gomes


Turbulence Measuring and Modelling in Compound Channel Flows – Project financed by FCT (2008-2011). Project nº. PTDC/ECM/70652/2006. Funding: 100,000.00 Euros. Summary: The project constituted a 3-year basic research project on turbulence measuring and modelling in compound open-channel flows, which is a particular but fundamental study case of river hydraulics. The objective of the project is the characterization of the interactions between channel and floodplain, namely in what the turbulent processes that govern mass and momentum transfer. The renewed interest in the study of compound channel flows arises not only from their practical importance, but also from the recent capacity of measuring the large-scale coherent structures in the vicinity of the narrow flow regions. These flow structures are important as they efficiently transport mass and momentum over larger distances, thus greatly contributing to reducing velocity differences in narrow regions. Project coordinator: Joao Leal (UBI). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael



Characterisation of gravel-bed river habitats: hydrodynamics and sediment transport – Research project financed by FCT (2008-2011). Project nº. PTDC/EMC/65442/2006. Funding: 146 000,00 Euros. Summary: The purpose of this research project was to study the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows over gravel beds and the dynamics of sediment transport associated to gravel bed river habitats. The methodological proposal of the work program comprehended laboratory experiments, field work and numerical simulation. The program was structured around five main tasks: i) preparation of instrumentation and experimental procedures; ii) laboratory characterization of bed morphology and flow field at low transport rates, including formation of clusters and boulder obstructions; iii) laboratory characterization of bed morphology and flow field at higher gravel transport rates; iv) laboratory and field study of the three-dimensional (3D) turbulent flow field in the vicinity of relevant morphologic features and v) numerical simulation of the steady 3D turbulent flow field. Project coordinator: Rui Ferreira (IST). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael.


Preliminary study of alkali-activated fly ash generated from an electrical power plant in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil – Research project financed by C-MADE base funding (2007-2009). Summary: Fly ash is a byproduct resulting of burning pulverized coal in electric power generating plants. Generally, fly ash can be used in concrete production, as cement partial replacement, improving concrete performance, particularly its durability. However, in Brazil, particularly at Rio Grande do Sul state, only a relatively small part of fly ash byproduct is being utilized by concrete industry due to its large generation by electric power plants. Thus, the main objective of this collaborative research work, between Prof. Alexandre Vargas of Feevale University and CMADE researchers, was to evaluate over time the development of the compressive strength of alkali-activated fly ash mortars. It was possible to identify three different morphologies in the alkali-activated pastes: one composed by regions with dense aspect; other showing partially solubilized particles of fly ash; and a third showing the formation of products with a needle-like shape. The information provided by the SEM/EDS experiments was not enough to enable the complete understanding of the mechanism of the deleterious reaction that took place among the alkaline activators and the fly ash. Therefore, future studies should address this question by using additional analysis tools to clarify this deleterious mechanism. Project coordinator: Alexandre Vargas. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro Gomes



VALREMIN – Valorisation of mining waste - Project financed by PRIME-IDEIA (2006-2008). Project Nº 70/0054. Funding: 49k Euros. Summary: The main goal of this project consisted in a scientific and technologic study to develop new products in the field of concrete prefabricated using schist mining waste materials (coarse aggregate and mud contaminated with iron sulphides) from the Panasqueira quarry located in the Covilhã Council. This work was developed between the University of Beira Interior (UBI) located at the same Council as the Panasqueira quarry and the enterprise Patrimart (Industry of concrete prefabricated) located in the Castelo Branco district the same of UBI and Panasqueira quarry. University of Minho was also associated with the project. This project intended to evaluate the economic and environmental feasibility of this type of waste in concrete products and new innovative products compatible with waste properties and uses. UBI was responsible to the research of physical and mechanical properties as well as the durability and environmental performance of new products developed. Patrimart studied technologic factors, production constrains and quality, as well as commercialization related aspects. Project Coordinator: João Castro-Gomes. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes.


The urban and industrial wastes recycled as components for mortar and structural concretes – This project was financed by FCT (2005-2008). POCI/ECM/55588/2004. Funding: 52k Euros.  Summary: This project was based on a series of studies that seek "ecoefficients" alternatives for the employment of urban and industrial wastes, as glass and ceramic materials to compose mortars and structural concretes with better durability and low use of energy. The original contributions of this project were to define a research methodology of glass and ceramic wastes, in Portugal, as potential pozzolanic materials or filler to be use in mortar and particularly in self-compacting concrete, in conformity with several strength classes and durability criteria. By the other way, the project contributed to establish a new manner to reduce the environmental impact provoked by the urban and industrial wastes areas deposits. The main objectives of this investigation were achieved in the following steps: Characterization of the types of glass and ceramic waste available in the investigated region, to obtain pozzolanic properties. Optimization of the appropriate fineness by classifying the specific area of the particles. Determination of the physical and mechanical properties of mortars and concretes produced with the incorporation of waste glass and ceramic material. Study of the durability of concrete with additions obtained from the recycling of glass and ceramic material. In summary, the main results achieved by this project were the following:- It is possible to manufacture reactive pozzolanic-type additions from the recycling of little-valued waste, such as colored glass and red ceramic, through simple grinding.- It is possible to manufacture fine materials, which are intended as a viscosity guarantee agent (additions) in self-compacting cementitious mixtures, whether mortars or concretes.- It is possible to replace natural sand, from river deposits and others, with glass sand with substantial gains in compressive strength while maintaining the durability parameters of a concrete mixture, when using an alkali-silica reaction mitigator. Project coordinator: Luiz Pereira-de-Oliveira. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes, Miguel Nepomuceno, Luís Bernardo.

Development of an integrated unit for free cooling of buildings –
Financed by FCT (2005-2008). POCI/ENR/60035/2004. Funding: 40k Euros. Summary: This research work was developed in coperation of the University of Beira Interior and the Technological Centre of the Textile and Clothing Industries of Portugal (CITEVE). An innovative type of integrated construction element to be included in the building envelope and destined to be used for the cooling is its main objective. A PhD thesis was developed in the frame of this Project. The use of phase change material (PCM), like commercial paraffin wax, for a thermal store was studied incorporated in cement mortar. A prototype of a hat storage unit for building walls was developed. A numerical model was validated with experimental data obtained for several melting/solidification cycles. Natural convection heat transfer in a significant group of constructive solutions of passive structures utilized in buildings was studied. The results obtained in this work showed that the surface roughness enhances the heat transfer rate between surfaces and envelopes. Principal Investigator: Luís Carlos Carrilho Gonçalves. UBI/C-MADE Team: Luiz Pereira-Oliveira, Pedro Dinho, João Castro-Gomes.



Scour and scour countermeasures at bridge abutments - Financed by FCT (2005-2008). Project nº. POCI/ECM/59544/2004. Funding: 75 000,00 Euros. Summary: The project aimed to study the phenomenon of local scour at bridge abutments and address the design of riprap mattresses as a scour countermeasure. Specifically, the project's objectives were to Study: i) the time evolution of the maximum depth of local scour; ii) the respective equilibrium value and iii) the morphology characterization of the scour hole at relatively long bridge abutments; Study of the influence of the density of the bottom material:  i) on the equilibrium depth of the local scour and ii) on the temporal evolution of their depth;  And lastly, the definition of stone sizes and plan dimensions for riprap mattresses as a countermeasure against local scour near bridge abutments. Project coordinator: António Heleno Cardoso (IST). UBI/C-MADE Team: Cristina Fael.

Study of new construction systems, concrete and bituminous mixtures incorporating materials for better performance and durability in climates with large temperature ranges. Financed by FCT (2005/2007). Project n°. REEQ/1063/ECM/2005. Funding 375k Euros. Summary: This project for acquisition of scientific equipments was proposed in 2001 and started in 2005 already framed in the expectations of the C-MADE Centre of Building Materials and Technologies of the University of Beira Interior (UBI). The acquisition of equipment and the improvement of laboratory infrastructures made possible to concentrate the research objectives to develop new solutions, durability and improvement of mechanical behavior of new construction products taking in account the criteria of sustainability and energy efficiency. The actions developed, in attention to the objectives of this project, started in 2004 and were extend until now with the implementation of the experimental work of Master’s Dissertations and PhD Thesis. Among these studies it is possible to remark some important domains as: methodology of self-compacting concrete mix design; Steel fibers reinforced concrete; Structural masonry reinforced with steel fibers self-compacting concrete infill. Study of the influence of different types of aggregated in structural concrete. Binders’ development by alkaline activation of mines waste mud. Use of industrial waste in the low-cost bituminous road’s pavements. Hi-value of urban and industrials wastes in cimenticious composites. Project coordinator: Luiz A. Pereira de Oliveira; UBI/C-MADE Team: João P. de Castro Gomes, Miguel C. S. Nepomuceno, Luís F. A. Bernardo, João C. G. Lanzinha, Marisa S. F. D. de Almeida.



Use of fibre reinforced self-compacting concrete for improving the strength and ductility of masonry constructions – Research project financed by FCT (2000-2003). Project nº. POCTI/36035/ECM2000. Funding 15k Euros. Summary: The main objective of this project was to improve the knowledge about the fibres concrete infill mechanical behaviour avoiding the steel bars reduction or replacement in the masonry constructions. In the infill and consolidation composites domain its applications concern the masonry structures built in according the Eurocode 6 and the historical masonry stability rehabilitation. The attainability to these applications has a strong dependence of the fibres reinforced concrete infill properties; its adequacy will improve the tensile strength and the ductility to the good service performance of masonry constructions. The main particularity in this case is the fact of the voids in the masonry (stone, brick, clay, concrete masonry, etc.) is constituted of the porous media that can modify the initial water-cement ratio improving a strong plastic shrinkage. This phenomenon is responsible of the bond weakness among the concrete infill, masonry units and the steel bars. Additional problems to assure the concrete infill workability come from the necessary increasing of the bars size and the limited voids area to fill; this particularity needs a self-compactability capacity of the concrete infill.

In a first phase, mix design procedures were performed to give the possibility to choose an optimal mixture with self-compactable properties. In a second phase, it was appreciated the fibres reinforced concrete contribution on the compressive and flexural masonry strength and its ductility. Mathematical models to predict the fibres concrete infill fresh and hardened behaviour and a study about the global plastic behaviour in reinforced masonry walls filled with steel fibres self-compacting concrete were developed. A satisfactory control parameter of the self-compactability like the mortar ratio was proposed to mix design a steel fibres self-compacting concrete. The self-compacting properties of the masonry reinforced concrete infill till 1.5% fibres volume were obtained. The increase of fibres volume was responsible of important augmentation in the flexural capacity of the SFRSCC. It was preview that the contribution carried by the each 0,5% volume fibres addition is very significant and can be appreciate as an equivalent reinforcement bar area. Project coordinator: Luiz Pereira de Oliveira. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Paulo Castro Gomes, Miguel C. S. Nepomuceno, Mafalda S.G. Pericão.


AGREDUR - Influence of physical properties and morphological parameters of granite and calcareous aggregates on the durability of concrete - Financed by FCT (2000-2003). Project nº. POCTI ECM/36027/99-00 (2000-2003). Funding: 25k Euros. Summary: This project intended to contribute to the understanding of the influence of granite and calcareous aggregates (primarily used in concrete production in Portugal) on the durability of concrete. Extensive experimental studies to evaluate the influence of physical and geometrical properties of granite and limestone aggregates on the durability of a C20/25 strength class concrete were carried out. Different granite and limestone aggregates were collected from seven quarries. The aggregates' physical, geometrical, and mechanical properties and the rock weathering state were quantified by several tests such as abrasion, surface hardness, uniaxial compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, water absorption by capillarity, vacuum water absorption and oxygen permeability. Several C20/25 strength class concrete mixes have been produced using aggregates from each quarry, with the same workability and volume proportions. Concrete specimens have been cured underwater for 90 days; after that time, concrete durability parameters were obtained through tests such as vacuum water absorption, capillarity water absorption, water permeability and oxygen permeability. The research team also evaluated the relevance of coarse aggregates of different geological sources in the permeability of structural concrete. Good quality granite, basalt, calcareous and marble coarse aggregates, obtained from other quarries, were used to produce structural concrete of strength class C30/37. Concretes were made with constant volume proportions, workability, mixing and curing conditions using different sizes of each aggregate type. Aggregates were mixed in concrete in both dry and water-saturated states. In this type of concretes, the thickness of the interfacial transition zone was determined to evaluate its influence on the concrete mechanical and physical properties. This study was carried out by analysing backscattered electron microscopy (BSE) associated with energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS). Project Coordinator: João Castro-Gomes. UBI/C-MADE Team: João Castro-Gomes, Luiz Pereira-Oliveira, Cristiana Gonilho Pereira, Fernando Pacheco-Torgal.

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