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3D Concrete Printing - Technological issues in concrete mix design and extrusion

Technical visit to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


July 12th, 2017
3D Concrete Printing

3D Concrete Printing refers to the process used to synthesize a 3D model


in successive layers of material to create an object, e.g. a concrete wall

Robot-based 3D Printing Process: MATERIALS

CONCRETE MIXER

CONCRETE PUMP

ROBOT CONTROL

CONCRETE EXTRUSION

REINFORCEMENT

DESIGN
3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 2
MATERIALS

Fresh concrete is the filament: Material challenges:


• Similar materials to that of concrete • Pumpability vs. Buildability
• Max. particle size (1 to 4mm) • Concrete rheology (fresh state)
• Concrete admixtures

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 3
MATERIALS

Concrete properties and mix design


DTI’s Test device (layer deformation)
Stress

10MPa
Hardening

Very-early
1MPa age properties
Setting

100kPa
Thixotropy
~10kPa
Yield stress

t = 0 t = few minutes Time (t)

• Cement hydration and cement types


• Concrete admixtures (retarders and accelerators)
• Strength development and drying shrinkage

Current challenges being addressed:


• mix design that enables to balance concrete pumpability and buildability
• expected product performance is affected by the process, thus online monitoring is a necessary

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 4
MATERIALS

Buildability of fresh concrete (test without accelerators)


Printing parameters - layer height: 10mm, layer width: 40mm, variable print speed

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 5
CONCRETE MIXER

Batch process: Continuous mixing:


• Concrete composition is constant • Concrete composition is adjustable
• Fresh-state properties can be adjusted by • Fresh and hardened-state properties can
adding admixtures while printing be adjusted while printing

Source: MTec Source: MTec

Mixing plant at DTI’s Concrete Centre Source: BMH Systems

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CONCRETE MIXER

Feedback system in a continuous mixing production process:


Production phase Pumping phase Printing phase

• Increase robustness of
the production process Stage 4
M Nozzle

• Enable the production

Aggregates
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Dry mix Wet mix Pump
of functionally-graded

Cement
M
concrete elements
M M M

Funtionally-graded concrete sample

Source: MIT

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 7
CONCRETE PUMP

Peristaltic concrete pump: Progressive cavity pump:


• Pulsating extrusion • Controlled extrusion (rotor-stator)
• Poor controllability • Suitable for high-viscosity materials
• Large equipment for initial tests

Source: PCM

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 8
CONCRETE PUMP

Progressive cavity pump


3D Printed prototype DTI’s progressive cavity pump

Current challenge: Increase controlability and reliability of the printing process

Production phase Pumping phase Printing phase

Stage 4
M Nozzle
Aggregates

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3


Dry mix Wet mix Pump
Cement

M M M

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 9
CONCRETE EXTRUSION

Passive robot nozzle: Active robot nozzle:


The extrusion is controlled by a pump and The extrusion is controlled at the nozzle by
the robot nozzle works as a dispenser that a pump, enabling great precision and addi-
defines the shape of the printed layers. tion of admixtures during extrusion.

Source: Total Kustom

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 10
CONCRETE EXTRUSION

Nozzle experiments (3D Printed Nozzles)

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 11
3D Concrete Printing

MATERIALS VERY-EARLY AGE PROPERTIES

CONCRETE MIXER ROBUSTNESS


FEEDBACK SYSTEM
CONCRETE PUMP RELIABILITY

ROBOT CONTROL AWARENESS (SAFETY)

CONCRETE EXTRUSION ROBUSTNESS & PRECISION

REINFORCEMENT TRANSVERSAL REINFORCEMENT


TECHNICAL STANDARDS
DESIGN RETHINK DESIGN METHODS

3D CONCRETE PRINTING INTERDISCIPLINARITY

3D Concrete Printing - from material design to concrete extrusion © Danish Technological Institute 12
Thank you for your attention!

Reference to this presentation: Wilson Ricardo Leal da Silva


Leal da Silva, W.R. (2017). 3D Concrete Printing
Consultant, Civil Engineer, Ph.D.
- Technological issues in concrete mix design and
Concrete Centre
extrusion. [Presentation Slides] Retrieved from
Mobile +45 72 20 10 34
Danish Technological Institute website: https://
wrls@teknologisk.dk
www.dti.dk/projects/3d-printed-buildings/36993

© Danish Technological Institute