During the construction phase and the subsequent life span of advanced concrete structures costs can be significantly reduced, in particular by avoiding premature damage in the construction stage. A fundamental issue in order to achieve this is proper planning and production of the structure. With e.g. new high performance concretes it is of the utmost importance that the right quality is maintained throughout the construction period. Otherwise heavy reduction in robustness and resistance can be the result. Crucial here is the risk of early age cracking of the concrete due to restrained volume changes from temperature and shrinkage during the hardening period.
An Expert System will be developed to plan and control the production of concrete structures. The Expert System will contain modules of varying simplicity and refinement which can be used in the following phases of a construction project:
the predesign phaseto get rough estimates of the cost and efficiency of alternative production methods
the design phasefor detailed planning of concreting (choice of materials, cooling and/or heating methods, insolation of formwork, formstripping time etc)
the construction phasefor updating the influence of weather changes, fluctuation of material properties and temperatures on target crack risks
the maintenance phaseto check maintenance costs and repair needs.
The overall savings using these tools will be in the order of 100 MECU/year in Europe for reduced production costs. To this will be added prolonged life time and reduced maintenance costs which can be estimated to 200300 MECU per year.
The project encompasses leading firms working in all of the four phases mentioned above i e consulting firms, contractors, material producers, owners and maintainers of structures as well as research institutions specialised in the different tasks of the project work.
The project will contain the following main tasks:
Mobilization and mangement of the project: Many partners are involved and it is important to coordinate the different tasks effectively
Hydration and volume changes: Tests will be performed in order to aquire data for the modelling of properties of a number of currently used concretes
Mechanical properties: Testing and modelling of mechanical properties
Behaviour of structures: Computer modelling of structural behaviour
Field tests: To check and improve the models of the previous tasks in full scale tests
Expert system: The results of the earlier tasks will be synthesized into a robust Expert System, which can be used for planning and control of the production of high quality concrete structures
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
170 80 Solna
182 25 Danderyd
2628 BL Delft