We develop value-added concrete such as self-compacting concrete and fibre-reinforced concrete. These projects are carried out in cooperation with leading European universities and research institutes. Other partners in the projects comprise concrete producers, contractors, architects and the Danish road and rail authorities. Financial support is provided by the European Union and the Danish Government.
One example is the use of steel fibres in concrete for load-bearing purposes. Use of steel fibres is well known but for these to be used in load bearing constructions, a very comprehensive documentation is required. This documentation is being established in the SFRC Consortium which is an innovation consortium supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. Aalborg Portland and Unicon are partnered in the project by players from all parts of the building industry. The Danish Technological Institute and the Technical University of Denmark are participating as research partners.
In the new steel fibre reinforced concrete, a large part of the conventional reinforcement has been replaced by steel fibres, supplemented with a thinner reinforcement net. The steel fibres are mixed into the concrete at the ready-mix concrete plant. The new technology produces a reinforced concrete that is just as strong and durable as a normal construction but has a number of other advantages. For example, the amount of steel used has been reduced by around 45%. This saves on raw materials and CO2 emission because making steel is an energy-intensive process. There is also a financial saving of around 25% on materials alone. On top of this there are health and safety benefits.
Another project, Tailorcrete deals with producing unique concrete structures in an industrialised way. In this way, the full potential of concrete in construction can be released in a cost-effective manner. The project is partly funded by the European Union and comprises many partners from the European construction industry and academic organisations. Research includes advanced design methods, production of formwork using robots, design of concrete recipes which enables the concrete to flow into the complicated shapes. Unicon contributes within self-compacting concrete and steel fibre reinforced concrete. The Research and Quality Centre is examining the resistance of the new concrete against weathering using our advanced accelerated aesthetic ageing device.