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Development and demonstration of energy efficient system for accelerated curing during repair and refurbishment of concrete structures

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Energy-efficient technology for optimised construction repair

More than half of EU expenditures in the construction sector are on repair of existing structures, most commonly those made of reinforced concrete. An EU initiative introduced an accelerated concrete curing system with significantly reduced energy consumption.

Energy

The performance of concrete repairs is currently unacceptably low, and approximately 75 % of structure owners are dissatisfied with the results within 10 years of the procedure. With this in mind, the EU-funded MCURE (Development and demonstration of energy efficient system for accelerated curing during repair and refurbishment of concrete structures) project set out to develop a new energy-efficient system for accelerated curing during repair of concrete structures. It will be applicable in all environmental conditions, including harsh winters in northern climates. Project partners designed, developed and integrated a prototype for concrete curing that includes an optimum energy coupling mechanism, a driving system to repair materials and a moisture sensor. They performed preliminary laboratory investigations and identified the most optimal process parameters. These initial findings were then verified with the prototype through field trials. Field trials were carried out with four commercial repair materials and a common cement type that were cured with the prototype and its associated mechanical, electrical, automation and microwave components. Results show that the microwave curing of repair materials applied under ambient temperatures has no adverse outcome on the repair/substrate interfacial bond strength. In the majority of cases, the bond strength of the microwave cured repair material was marginally higher than normal cured repair. By improving repair performance, decreasing energy consumption and reducing capital and maintenance costs, MCURE outcomes will boost the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises doing the repairs.

Keywords

Construction, concrete, concrete repair, MCURE, curing

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