Skip to main content
European Commission logo
español español
CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE
CORDIS

Rethinking coastal defence and Green-Energy Service infrastructures through enHancEd-durAbiLIty high-performance fiber reinforced cement-based materials.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ReSHEALience (Rethinking coastal defence and Green-Energy Service infrastructures through enHancEd-durAbiLIty high-performance fiber reinforced cement-based materials.)

Período documentado: 2021-01-01 hasta 2022-03-31

The main goal of ReSHEALience is to develop Ultra High Durability Concretes (UHDC) and a Durability Assessment-based structural Design (DAD) method, to improve structural durability and predict long-term performance under Extremely Aggressive Exposures targeting the following specific objectives:
- Tailoring UHDC to 100% enhancement material durability, and validate an enhancement of at least a 30% in cracked state through upgraded test methods
- Proposing new design concepts to achieve an increase service life of 30%, and reduction of maintenance costs by at least 50%
- Developing a theoretical model to evaluate ageing and degradation of UHDC structures with 75% accuracy
- Developing a Business Plan per each industrial partner
- Informing a high number and variety of stakeholders through tailored communication and dissemination activities.

This new concept has been demonstrated in six full-scale pilot applications implementing a synergic contribution towards the EU decarbonisation objectives.
- Two tanks, for water (TRL6) and mud (TRL7) collection, in a geothermal power plant in Italy
- A floating raft for mussel farming (TRL7) and a floater of an offshore wind tower in Spain (TRL6)
- A floating pontoon in Ireland (TRL6)
- The retrofitting of a reinforced concrete heritage structure in Malta (TRL7).
The signature UHDC concept features the possibility of engineering the structural performance over time through its self-healing capacity. Concretes are no longer providers of passive protection only but become active players in shaping their own performance in the operating scenario while retaining functionality and aesthetics.
The results have demonstrated that up to 60% less amount of material can be used to achieve the same or higher performance, with maintenance from 5 to 10 times less frequent along the service life.
This overcomes the current situation where UHPCs are promoted only through their extremely high compressive strength, whereas their higher durability is simply accepted as a bonus without quantifying it benefit in design, construction, maintenance and use stage.
The ReSHEALience project has developed a new conceptual design approach for concrete structures exposed to challenging structural scenarios, including extremely aggressive environmental conditions. Ultrahigh Durability Concretes (UHDC), based on Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) and Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC) incorporating nano additives, have been developed and validated, under mechanical and aggressive scenarios in lab and on-site. The approach combines, in a holistic life cycle thinking framework, higher and longer lasting performance (enabling to achieve the "more with less" goal) with enhanced structural functionality and high value aesthetic requirements.
This new concept has been demonstrated in six full-scale pilot applications serving a broad portfolio of societal needs and implementing a synergic contribution towards the EU decarbonisation objectives. They include:
- Two tanks, for water (TRL6) and mud (TRL7) collection, in a geothermal power plant in Italy
- A floating raft for mussel farming (TRL7) and a floater of an offshore wind tower in Spain (TRL6)
- A floating pontoon in Ireland (TRL6)
- The retrofitting of a reinforced concrete heritage structure in Malta (TRL7).
The signature of high resilience material concept developed and validated in the project - "branded" as UHDC - also features the possibility of engineering the structural performance over time through its self-healing capacity, i.e. the ability of the material to self-repair without external intervention thanks to its suitably designed composition. Thanks to this innovative conceptual design approach for structural engineering, concretes are no longer regarded as providers of passive protection only, whose degradation over time has to be delayed as much as possible, but become active players in shaping their own performance as a function of the requirement in the operating scenario while retaining functionality and aesthetics.
The conceptual design approach, "nestled" into a life cycle thinking framework, represents a key driver for advanced materials innovation uptake in concrete construction industry. The overall performance assessment must no longer rely on the misleading concepts of material unit volume cost and environmental impact at its time of generation. Contrarily, it has to be framed appropriately into a structural functional unit context all along its service life. The project results have demonstrated that up to 60% less amount of material can be used to achieve the same or higher structural and durability performance, with maintenance from 5 to 10 times less frequent all along the reference service life period.
This represents a breakthrough innovation in the approach of concrete construction industry to the use of advanced cement based materials. This overcomes the current situation where UHPCs are very often promoted only through their extremely high compressive strength, whereas their higher durability is simply accepted as a bonus but has hardly been quantified as true benefit in design, construction, maintenance and use stage of buildings and structures.
The inter-disciplinary concept of the project moves from stakeholder needs to solve problems of non-efficient use of resources in the structural design and construction of selected applications. The project concept moves from a prescription-based to a performance-based material and structural durability concept. The use of UHDC is meant as a driver to shape this conceptual approach through the following advances with respect to the current SoA:
• A breakthrough durability-based material concept and design in which durability is not a bonus but becomes the governing objective, transforming cement-based construction materials from “durability passive” spectators, with structural functions, into active players able to govern aging and degradation processes also through the use of “tailored” value-added synergy-acting functionalities;
• A robust design-oriented durability evaluation and modelling activity in real service conditions, scaling up the modelling to real scenarios, including probabilistic and fuzzy-based incorporation into DAD approach of self-healing concepts, through the concept of “healable crack width”, as a function of material compositions and exposure scenario;
• A holistic design approach, which moves from the material to the structural durability level, able quantify the increase in the service life of structures made of UHDC, and the related outcomes in terms of LCC and SLCA. The proposed holistic approach for the design and assessment of UHDC structures has to be intened as a KET for large scale marked diffusion of UHDCs and increase innovation uptake of construction industry, dismantling the concept of advanced cement based materials as luxury products.
The demonstation provided by ReSHEALience through the six different pilots, which has been be designed, built and will be monitored, even after the project end, under real site conditions, is providing a clear demonstration of the true performance of materials, products and structures aiming at overall resilience of engineering applications, which encompasses material robustness, structural and material redundancy and resourcefulness and rapidity, through synergy between material functionalities and tailored design.
geographical location of ReSHEALience consortium partners and pilots