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Ultra-Lightweight Concrete for 3D printing technologies

Project description

An insulating ultra-lightweight concrete for 3D printing

The construction industry still relies on centuries-old processes to manage complex projects. 3D printing with concrete could revolutionise construction. A lot of research on this has been conducted but very little attention has been paid to designing insulation for printed walls. The EU-funded Ultra-LightCon-3D project intends to bridge this gap by introducing the first insulating ultra-lightweight concrete (ULWC) material for 3D printing. This tool will enable the development of 3D ULWC models with optimised mechanical and insulating properties, leading to reduced concrete costs and waste. The project will contribute to the development of energy-saving construction in line with the EU’s Energy Efficiency Strategy.


The construction industry does not follow the same enlightened path as other fields of science and has thus suffered a technology bypass, relying on centuries-old processes and procedures to manage complex modern projects. In conventional concrete construction projects, more than 60% of the total cost is spent on the formwork. One of the technologies which can revolutionize our perception and approach to construction, is 3D printing of concrete. 3D printing, also referred to as Additive Manufacturing (AM), is a technology which builds solid parts via a layer-by-layer process. Since in 3D printing, no formwork is required, and a short project time is required due to continuous work done by the printer, a dramatic reduction in the project cost and improvement of workers’ safety can be achieved. Up to date, much research has been conducted in the field of printing technique, while design of proper insulation of printed walls has gathered little attention. Although, this issue is highly important due to gradually tightening EU regulations. Therefore, proposed project is aiming to fill the gap in knowledge and introduce for the first-time insulating ultra-lightweight concrete (ULWC) material for AM. By proposed interdisciplinary methodology, based on the experimental and numerical methods, in micro- and macro-scales technology, a multi-scale tool enabling to produce advanced 3D printed wall systems. Multi-scale tool will allow to develop 3D models of ULWCs with optimized mechanical and insulating properties. Hence, limited amount of required field and labor works will be necessary, thus further decrement of the final concrete cost and waste production will be achieved. Through the interdisciplinary approach and establishing industrial cooperation, this project will contribute towards development and production of energy saving constructions in accordance with EU Energy Efficiency Strategy.


Net EU contribution
€ 162 806,40
10623 Berlin

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Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 162 806,40