3D Concrete Printing for Structural Applications
Recent years have seen a rapid growth of additive manufacturing methods for concrete construction. Potential advantages include reduced material use and cost, reduced labor, mass customization and CO2 footprint reduction. None of these methods, however, has yet been able to produce additively manufactured concrete with material properties suitable for structural applications, i.e. ductility and (flexural) tensile strength. In order to make additive manufacturing viable as a production method for structural concrete, a quality leap had to be made. In the project ‘3D Concrete Printing for Structural Applications’, 3 concepts have been explored to achieve the required structural performance: applying steel fiber reinforcement to an existing printable concrete mortar, developing a strain-hardening cementitious composite based on PVA fibers, and embedding high strength steel cable as reinforcement in the concrete filament. Whereas the former produced only an increase in flexural tensile strength, but limited post-peak resistance, the latter two provided promising strain hardening behavior, thus opening the road to a wide range of structural applications of 3D printed concrete.
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