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Development of a new concrete composite and corresponding technology for industrial flooring.

Project activities are aimed at research, development and implementation of a new concrete composite material and its introduction into industrial flooring production.

Concrete has been one of the most common building materials for more than 150 years. Because of its mechanical properties and comparatively easily applicable technology, it is used in monolithic and reinforced architectural elements as well as in large-size constructions. Concrete as a building material is not perfect, because of its low tensile strength and brittleness, resulting in cracks at the hardening stage. By adding the load, the accumulated elastic energy results in brittle, uncontrollable collapse - no serious deformations can be seen before the collapse. This characteristic of concrete limits its application. The project aims at improving the functional and dynamic properties of concrete by designing concrete mixes (compositions) that are characterised by higher crack durability, fracture toughness and controlled collapse. The new concrete mix will result in serious deformations before the collapse and also in controllable collapse of the material. The pre-research has shown that the functional and dynamic properties of concrete can be improved by changing the geometry and type of reinforcement. By substituting traditional steel rebar meshes in concrete with randomly dispersed fibre reinforcement the properties of concrete are improved. The idea is innovative and creative. The pre-research conducted by the INSTITUTE OF POLYMER MECHANICS included the bending test of non-reinforced concrete plates and concrete plates reinforced with randomly dispersed fibres. It demonstrated the positive effect of randomly dispersed fibre reinforcement. It was possible to add twice as much load to reinforced concrete and the deformation by the maximal load increased more than 6 (!) times. These results are only indicative and more detailed research is required. If the concrete prior its hardening stage is reinforced by randomly dispersed fibres, it can be defined as composite concrete. Such concrete is a two-phase system, whose properties are determined by qualities of continuous phase (the concrete matrix), disperse phase (reinforcement) and by interaction on the interface between both the phases (adhesion). For design and technology development of composite concrete, research into the above mentioned phases and factors that influence them is necessary. This leads us to the main steps or activities of the proposed project: 1. Choosing the concrete matrix, identifying mechanical properties of the matrix and improving these properties by disintegration and nano technological methods; 2. Evaluating the influence of the dispersal reinforcement on deformation properties of concrete composites; 3. Identifying the influence of matrix-fibre adhesion; 4. Analysis of research results and choice of concrete composition for experimentally-technological testing; 5. Summary of research results and development of recommendations to start application of the composite concrete in construction. Both partners from LATVIA have applied for Latvian state funding that will cover 75% of partner expenses, or 129 783.56 euro, to be incurred while doing the research work. The Belgian partner SPRL XAVIER DESTREE will participate in the project with an in kind contribution 60 000 euro. In the framework of this project SPRL XAVIER DESTREE will offer consulting services to develop the new technology. The total project sum will reach 232 945.27 euro. Use of the composite concrete in industrial flooring, coverings and other similar objects results in serious advantages for the production process: 1. Mounting traditional rebar meshes is time consuming and there is a need for a low qualified labour force to do this - the composite concrete allows for reaching a high mechanisation level and decreasing the time required for the job; 2. By developing the composition of the composite concrete with higher fracture toughness, the thickness of industrial floors could be reduced by 10 to 20% (compared with rebar mesh reinforced concrete) providing a significant economic impact on the business.
Acronym: 
INNO DISP CONCRETE
Project ID: 
4 443
Start date: 
01-05-2008
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
230 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Composite materials
Market Area: 
Industrial Equipment and Machinery

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.