With the help of steel reinforcement bars, modern concrete structures are longer, thinner, more complex, and simpler to produce than ever. However, steel-reinforced concrete is prone to corrosion which diminishes its lifespan and structural integrity. Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC) has shown remarkable potential as an alternative or complement to common construction methods. By incorporating corrosion-resistant reinforcement fibers such as glass, TRC achieves new levels in tensile strength, toughness, ductility, energy absorption, protection against degradation, and sustainability. Since many techniques currently used in TRC construction are labor-intensive with limited scalability, effective automation of these processes remains a key area of investigation.
Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a new pultrusion system for prefabricating TRC structural sections. Sections can be produced in a variety of shapes and lengths, with multiple layers of fabric frameworks. This full-scale manufacturing system, which integrates non-linear material properties for improved ductility, is based on a pneumatically controlled, automated pull-press-release mechanism. The design features pneumatic pressure points to facilitate impregnation of textile and cement mixtures.
Adoption of this system allows composite structures to be made with significantly less manual labor, and can be operated in a factory setting or on-site on a flat-bed truck.
A variety of base materials for matrix, fabric, and interface parameters have been shown to suit the system extremely well. Case studies have been developed for analysis of tensile and flexural members, along with structural panels for general construction use.
• Building and infrastructure sections
• Prefab structures
Benefits and Advantages
• High-performance – Manufactures composites that are 10x stronger under tension, and 1000x more ductile, stretchable, and energy absorbent than conventional cement products
• Adaptable – Produces sections of different thicknesses, shapes, and lengths with multiple layers of matrix
• Environmentally Friendly – Creates high-performance cement composite that is energy efficient, sustainable, and durable
• Versatile – Cuts down the cost of production and materials, and can be operated from a factory line or truck bed