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New method discovered to build textile-reinforced concrete flooring

Textile-reinforced concrete, compared to steel-reinforced concrete, is not only lighter but also more eco-friendly. However, calculating its performance in intricate structures like arched floors is difficult. Chalmers University of Technology researchers have now devised a new technique that calculates the efficiency of this type of concrete.

Conventional concrete includes cement as a binding agent, which contributes to the environmental footprint of concrete by releasing carbon dioxide. Although clay or volcanic ash are more eco-friendly alternatives, they have inferior corrosion protection for steel reinforcements used in concrete structures. Addressing this issue, Karin Lundgren and her team from Chalmers University of Technology looked at the feasibility of using carbon fibres as a non-corrosive substitute to steel for reinforcing concrete.

Textile reinforcement mesh contains yarn made from thousands of fine filaments. However, this method for fortifying concrete presents a challenge as the filaments tend to slide against the concrete surface, compromising its load-bearing capacity. This situation is particularly concerning when applying reinforced concrete in arched floors or complex vaulted structures.

The researchers devised a modelling system that emulates the interaction between concrete and textile reinforcement mesh. The models accurately calculate the performance of intricate concrete structures, enabling the formulation of optimized techniques for producing textile-reinforced concrete suitable for use in load-bearing vaulted structures.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) forecasts a doubling of the global total floor area over the next four decades, driven by economic and population growth. Karin Lundgren aims to improve the resource efficiency of concrete flooring.

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