University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > Extraordinary possibilities for concrete structures

Extraordinary possibilities for concrete structures

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Abstract Why do we usually cast wet concrete into rectangular and prismatic moulds? After all, we know that stress resultants vary across structures, so why do we not exploit the mouldability of concrete more profoundly in its design? We can, and we should. Were we to do so, we would place concrete only where we needed it, leading to savings in concrete use and leading to architecturally-beautiful concrete structures. This presentation covers the possibility of using fabric as the formwork for concrete structures, and demonstrates that fabric-formed concrete holds all sorts of opportunities for our built environment.

In its development thus far, we are able to predict accurately the shapes which will be formed under hanging or stretched fabric. We have devised anchorage solutions for the flexural reinforcement, and developed various approaches to shear reinforcement, one of which includes a semi-robotic winding process to create non-prismatic polymeric reinforcement cages. We have discovered that surface properties of the concrete are enhanced significantly through casting onto fabric, and we have studied the structural behaviour of continuous fabric-formed concrete structures, given their prevalence in reality. This presentation covers the state-of-the-art of fabric-formed concrete research.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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