Knitting Bespoke Reinforcement for New Concrete Structures
With the goal of achieving low carbon concrete design, two major challenges exist: 1) to reinforce structures with complex geometries and 2) to provide durable and resilient infrastructure. Meeting both challenges would allow us to capitalise on the fluidity of concrete to meet long-term emissions reductions targets. This will require an entirely new approach to design and construction of concrete structures.
This project will completely replace internal steel reinforcement with a knitted composite reinforcement cage made from carbon fibre tows. By fabricating this reinforcement in exactly the right geometry, we will provide exactly the right strength exactly where it is needed. This will be transformative for concrete construction, and will greatly simplify the reinforcing of complex shapes.
Site fixing of steel reinforcement is costly and this leads to designs that are easy to build. The fabrication of lightweight carbon fibre reinforcement cages of any geometry will prevent this, instead allowing designers to achieve highly efficient designs in the knowledge that they can be reinforced with ease.