High Performance Smart Multifunctional Technical Textiles for the Construction Sector
However, despite of the above benefits, many building practitioners are unfamiliar with the behaviour and the characteristics of these materials. The lack of information about the use and the properties of these materials from the design and construction community limits their capability of achieving the highest possible standards in quality assurance and control construction projects.
For these high performance materials the current design code or regulation may or may not be applicable: in general new codes or specifications or guidelines for their use or testing procedures are required to be developed for the purpose of design, construction and testing purpose.
The overall objective of the MULTITEXCO project is to scientifically and technologically characterise the latest achievements in technical textile sector for the development of Guideline and Pre-normative research enabling future standards at EU level aiming at supporting the SMEs involved in the construction sector to fully exploit the new generation of multifunctional technical textiles.
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CATI SANAYICI VE IS ADAMLARI DERNEGI
€ 214 289,38
VEREINIGUNG DER PRUEFINGENIEURE FUER BAUSTATIK LANDESVEREINIGUNG BADEN-WUERTTEMBERG EV
€ 209 620,40
ASOCIACION DE EMPRESARIOS DE LA CONSTRUCCION, PROMOCION Y AFINES DE LA RIOJA
€ 98 541,01
ARIMEKS MUHENDISLIK MIMARLIK INSAAT SANAYI VE DIS TICARET LIMITED SIRKETI
€ 120 763,08
RINA CONSULTING SPA
€ 20 950,78
CENTRE SCIENTIFIQUE & TECHNIQUE DE L'INDUSTRIE TEXTILE BELGE
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
ACCIONA CONSTRUCCION SA
Maco Technology srl
€ 124 247,30
€ 303 052,26
CLUTEX - KLASTR TECHNICKE TEXTILIE
€ 204 089,46
Grant agreement ID: 606411
1 October 2013
30 September 2016
€ 2 401 162,58
€ 1 663 000
Final Report Summary - MULTITEXCO (High Performance Smart Multifunctional Technical Textiles for the Construction Sector)
The MULTITEXCO project goal was to scientifically and technologically characterize the latest achievements in multifunctional technical textiles, allowing the definition of guidelines and best practices for their optimal use in the construction industry and hence supporting the SMEs involved in the sector to fully exploit the potential of such materials.
Textile materials are widely used in construction, where the recent catastrophic events (e.g. the earthquakes that struck Italy in 2012 and 2016) highlighted the need of efficient methods and technologies for both retrofitting and structural monitoring. In the last decade, considerable boost in the development of advanced textiles has been provided by a number of research and innovation projects, addressing in particular the construction sector.
However, despite the benefits and potentials demonstrated by these projects, the market uptake of such solutions is still not as wide as expected, mainly due to some issues still partially unsolved: the non-availability of tests methods for multifunctional textiles to provide certifications, the lack of quantification models especially for reinforcing textiles, the lack in codes and standards and finally the need for a knowledge transfer to companies in the construction sector to foster the practical adoption of these materials. Indeed, many building practitioners are still unfamiliar with the behavior and the characteristics of these technical textiles. Shortage of information to the design and construction community about use and properties of these materials heavily limits their exploitation potential and consequently their practical adoption.
In this framework, the aim of MULTITEXCO was to support the competitiveness of the European SMEs of the construction and technical textile sectors by addressing the above mentioned needs by means of the development of scientific knowledge, testing procedures, guidelines and pre-normative research, enabling future standards at EU level to support SMEs to fully exploit the new generation of multifunctional technical textiles in a more efficient, effective and profitable way. The following application fields have been targeted by the project: masonry seismic reinforcement, geotechnical applications and tensile structures.
Actually, examples of multifunctional textiles for the construction sector comprise textile based structures used for the rehabilitation of buildings, providing both strengthening and monitoring functions, geotextiles for the stabilization and monitoring of soil structures such as railway or roadway embankments and high performance technical textiles for tensile structures for covering large areas such as stadiums or exhibition areas to name a few.
The ambitious MULTITEXCO goal was far away to be achieved by the capability of a single SME and required a collective R&D effort led by SME associations at European and national level. The project addressed the needs of the SME members of 5 Associations throughout EU to access to the newly developed smart textiles in a more efficient, effective and profitable way. The project was coordinated by TEXCLUBTEC, the Italian association of technical textiles, and included in the consortium also the Belgian association UNITEX, the association CLUTEX (Czech Republic) as well as the roofing association CATIDER (Turkey) and VPI (Germany). Moreover, the project included three SMEs, SELCOM (Italy), Arimeks (Turkey) and Maco Technology (Italy) and four RTD performers entrusted to carry out the research activities in the frame of the project: D’Appolonia (Italy), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Acciona (Spain) and Centexbel (Belgium).
Key objectives of the MULTITEXCO partners were the development and characterization of :
-Multifunctional textiles for masonry application having both reinforcement and monitoring capabilities
-Sensor embedded geotextile structures
-Sensorized textile membranes for tensile structures
Project Context and Objectives:
The overall objective of MULTITEXCO project was the scientific and technological characterization of the latest achievements in multifunctional technical textiles in order to pave the way to the market uptake of these solutions. Actually, textile materials are widely used in construction in both ground and building structures. Unreinforced masonry structures are highly vulnerable because, being originally designed mainly for gravity loads, they often cannot withstand the dynamic horizontal loads in case of strong earthquakes. Soil structures, such as embankments, are subjected to landslides after heavy rainfalls or during earthquakes, as witnessed by the recent tragic events in Italy. Hence, the necessity of efficient methods and technologies for the retrofitting of existing buildings and earthworks and for the related monitoring to possibly prevent the structural damage is clearly evident. Examples of advanced composites for the construction sector comprise textile-based structures used for buildings rehabilitation or seismic upgrading, geotextiles used for the stabilisation of soil structures, such as railway or roadway embankments, while high performance technical textiles are used for tensile structures covering large areas, such as stadiums or exhibition areas. In all such applications, the novel textile materials potentially offer a brand new functionality in addition to the main functions of the standard technical textiles, namely the possibility of monitoring the structural health of the reinforced structure. The health state of a building or earthwork can be assessed through the use of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques at different stages of the construction life, namely construction, inspection, operation, dismantling. Moreover, measurements can be carried out after a severely damaging event (for instance an earthquake), in order to assess the state of the structure and its remaining service life. Measurements over time can be used to track changes in structural performance, addressing repair actions when appropriate. Despite the above-mentioned benefits, many building practitioners are still unfamiliar with the behaviour and the characteristics of these materials. Shortage of information to the design and construction community about use and properties (mainly long-term behaviour) of these materials limits their exploitation potential and consequently their practical adoption. Moreover, as these high innovative solutions are derived either from modification of existing materials or from newly developed high performance textile materials, in general new codes, specifications, guidelines and standard test methods are required for the purpose of their design, use, testing and certification.
In this context, MULTITEXCO aimed at the definition of tests methods, guidelines and best practices though pre-normative research in order to enable the development of future standards able to favor the wide use of the new generation of multifunctional textiles for the construction sector. The specific target applications of MULTITEXCO were:
• masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring
• geotechnical applications
• tensile structures
In particular, the following main objectives were expected to be achieved by the Project:
1) The identification and characterization of relevant existing and newly developed products by means of extensive scientific characterization, laboratory work and field tests, leading to define design and application procedures. A complete characterization under laboratory as well as under working conditions in simulated harsh environments were expected in order to assess the specific performances of the different multifunctional textiles investigated.
2) The delivery of a sound scientific basis for the new generation of multifunctional textiles in order to favor the standardization process at the EU level also by means of a close link with the standardization bodies.
3) The delivery of a Knowledge Management Platform to be provided to the SME-AGs as proprietary tool transferring them the project results and including:
- The Knowledge Repository, gathering the technical specifications and information about the new advanced technical textiles, detailing their functions, features, costs, application procedures etc;
- The Customization Support tool, enabling the users to select the most suitable solutions and products for each specific targeted sector (masonry seismic reinforcement, geotextiles, tensile structures) according to intervention type, specific application scenario, conditions, location and cost target, providing all the information about application procedures and performances.
- The e-learning modules, providing SMEs with a tool able to train the end users and the SMEs members of the MULTITEXCO associations on using the new technologies.
The Knowledge Management Platform allows accelerating the introduction in the market of the new products in each specific application sector by facilitating their dissemination, demonstration and by supporting the SMEs through training activities. In addition, the testing procedures, the case studies, and the platform itself will provide SMEs with a mechanism to develop and promote their own products. Moreover, the definition of application guidelines and testing methods, addressed by the MULTITEXCO project as pre-normative research, will provide significant inputs for the development/improvement of standards and for the certification of the new advanced textile materials, including new sensors and structures.
4) A complete LCA and LCC analysis allowing verifying the impact of the new technologies on the environment, as well as providing a sustainability comparison of existing solutions with the new products and procedures. The LCC allows evaluating the impact of the new products from an economic point of view in a whole lifecycle perspective, taking also into account the actual cost for the maintenance and repairing of buildings and other target structures.
All the above-mentioned objectives have been fully achieved by the project.
MULTITEXCO focused its activity on the following target applications:
• masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring
• geotechnical applications
• tensile structures
At the beginning of the project, a review of the state of the art technologies and procedures applied for technical textiles, as well as the relevant standards, has been delivered for each target application. Moreover, a comprehensive market analysis for the related applications has been provided, together with an inventory of all the relevant rules, standards and policies at national and international level.
One of the main areas of investigation in the frame of technical textiles for the construction sector, in the last decade, has been the one related to the retrofitting of existing masonry walls with smart textiles for the rehabilitation of buildings and providing both strengthening in case of earthquakes as well as monitoring functions (SHM). An accurate literature analysis has been carried out in order to identify the relevant advancement in this area.
The analysis was performed at three different levels:
• Relevant R&D Projects
• Optical fibers
• Products on the market
Between the relevant R&D Projects identified, it is worth to mention:
• Polytect Project
• POLYMAST Initiative
• INSYSM project
In particular, the FP6 large-scale collaborative project POLYTECT for Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ended in the 2010 pushed the state of the art for technical textiles through the development of large area sensor-embedded multifunctional textiles (Seismic wallpaper) employing fiber optic sensors for masonry applications. The composite seismic wallpaper has been conceived as a full-coverage or wide-area reinforcing solution for unreinforced masonry buildings and structures. Concerning the preliminary analysis on optical fibers, the study has been mainly focused on:
• Polymer optical fiber (POF)
• Optical physical FBG sensors
An overview was then carried out on each of the two fiber types. In particular, regarding POF sensing, the focus has been on the following aspects:
• Type of POF used
• Sensor type
• Strain resolution
• Dynamic range
• Relative sensor cost
• Relative equipment cost
• Key features & remarks
Regarding FBGs, after the investigation about FBG principle and specifications, the measurement topology allowing sensors multiplexing on a fibre thanks to the use of different wavelengths was analyzed. Special attention has been paid on the possibility of directly embroider the FBG sensor optical fiber directly on the textile. In particular, the focus has been on the possible impact on the structural integrity of both the optical sensor fiber and the glass/carbon textile during the whole integration process of the FBG through embroidery.
Then it has been decided do not limit exclusively the analysis to POF and FBG sensors and in order to select the best solutions to be implemented in MULTITEXCO, the investigation about optical fibers has been therefore fully completed by classify them according to the following:
- Core material type;
- Spatial disposition of measures;
- Sensing technique.
According to each of the above criteria, the main typologies can be pointed out as in the following (focus has been mainly given to commercially available solutions allowing long measuring range).
Core material type:
- Polymeric optic fiber (POF)
- Glass (silica)optic fiber (GOF)
Spatial distribution of measures:
- Discrete (short-gage and long-gage)
- Grating-based (FBG, LPG)
- Raman scattering
- Brillouin scattering
- Rayleigh scattering
- Fabry-Perot (intrinsic or extrinsic)
- Other techniques
Moreover, further distinction can be made:
- Standard telecommunication cable (though properly buffered) or a special cable can be used for sensing
- Single-mode or multi-mode fibers can be used: multi-mode fibers are usually advisable for intensity-based technique, requiring higher signal intensity, though they imply higher attenuation (and then shorter measurable length);
- Intrinsic or extrinsic sensor: in an intrinsic sensor, modulation of the optical signal is a direct result of the physical change in the optical fibre in response to some measurands (e.g. signal change due to the micro- or macro-bending of the fibre); in an extrinsic optical fibre, the signal modulation takes place outside the optical fibre (e.g. signal change due to the changing gap distance between two cleaved fibre surfaces).
A specific sensor is characterized by a defined set of features, each one describing its characteristics with respect to a certain classification criteria. It is worth pointing out that not all the combinations of the features are possible (ex. point-wise sensors cannot be based on Brillouin sensing technique).
On the basis of this analysis, the optical fibers to be used in MULTITEXCO have been selected.
Concerning the technical textile products on the markets, the analysis evidenced that, currently, no products for masonry applications able to both reinforcing and monitoring buildings are present on the market. The commercial systems available on the market can provide only strengthening and retrofitting functionalities (e.g. : RÖFIX and Mapei products).
Concerning multifunctional textiles for earthwork, geotextiles have been successfully used in a wide variety of applications for over twenty years in the geotechnical and construction sector. The principal applications include unpaved and paved roadway as well as railway systems, erosion and sediment control systems, subsurface drainage systems, waste containment systems, reinforced soil structures, etc. Geotextile reinforced soil structures include steep slopes and embankments over soft soils.
The state of the art has been analyzed with respect to:
- Relevant R&D Projects
- Existing products on the market
Concerning remarkable research projects, the most relevant R&D Project with respect to this topic is again POLYTECT, already described with reference to masonry structures, which focused also on earthworks. The solutions developed in the framework of POLYTECT have been based on optical fibers. In POLYTECT project, POF have been investigated as a distributed strain sensor by analyzing the backscatter increase at the strained section using the optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) technique. Thanks to their ruggedness, it is possible to directly weave the POF into the textile during the fabrication process and obtain a good and direct force and strain transfer from the textile to the light guiding core of the POF. The textiles not only fulfill the function as a sensor support, they also facilitate the direct transfer of deformations of the structure into measurable strain in the fiber. The strong and the weak point of POLYTECT solutions have been accurately analyzed.
Concerning the products on the market, the following have been investigated:
• GEDISE by Gloetzl (based on distributed POF sensors)
• TenCate GeoDetect® (based on FBG)
• MuST SMARTGeoTex from Smartec (based on FBG)
Then an accurate analysis has been carried out in order to identify the most appropriate optical fibers to be used as done also for masonry applications. For the geotechnical application envisaged in MULTITEXCO, the most relevant specifications that have been considered were the following:
- Spatial resolution
- Spatial accuracy
- Strain resolution
- Max strain
- Max measurable length
- Max measurement frequency
According to the study, the optical fibers to be used in MULTITEXCO have been selected.
As far as the Multifunctional textiles for tensile structures are concerned, different solutions for the coating of textile membranes to be used in tensile structures are available at the state of the art and they have been investigated:
• PTFE – Teflon Coated Fiberglas
• Kynar™ Coated Membrane/Dupont Tedlar™ Coated Membrane
• Acrylic/PET PVC Coated Membrane
• High Density Polyethylene
• EFTE Foil
Then the focused have been moved on sensing technologies to be embedded in the membranes.
In the first phase of the project, special attention has been paid in the definition of the requirements of the systems to be developed.
Actually, the MULTITEXCO SME associations had a relevant role together with the end users and the RTD performers in order to establish the technological needs and the technical requirements of the new multifunctional technical textiles for each application target of the project. The work has been completed during the first 9 months of the project.
In this framework, the key features/parameters (as well as the possible sensing technologies) to be investigated in order to characterize the multifunctional textiles enabling their effective use in the construction sector have been defined. In particular, for each target sector of the project (masonry seismic reinforcement, geotextiles and tensile structures) two specific applications have been defined. The parameters to be measured or monitored by using the new generation of multifunctional textiles have been fixed and a selection of possible sensors/sensing technologies to be investigated during the project for the integration in multifunctional textiles has been identified. Furthermore, the expected performances to be measured by adequate test methods in the frame of the RTD work packages have been defined.
As far as Multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement applications are concerned, since the beginning of the project, one of the scopes has been the definition of the sensing capabilities of the Seismic Wallpaper for a full coverage of masonry buildings for achieving along the project development the fully characterization of the system. Concerning the sensing capabilities, the first objective was the assessment of the building structural status before and after an event (earthquake). Two specific applications taking into account the needs of the end users have been defined for the concept of Seismic Wallpaper aiming at a post-assessment of earthquake event:
• System to be applied on the internal walls surface of the building for the assessment of structural integrity before and after a seismic event as well as for the seismic certification
• System to be applied on the external walls surface of the building for the assessment of structural integrity before and after a seismic event as well as for seismic certification
The starting point for the identification of the parameters to be monitored/measured by the multifunctional textiles for masonry stone and masonry structures taking into account the specific applications defined together with the SME associations and the end-users has been the analysis of the failure modes for the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) used as retrofitting as well as for the masonry. In order to get suitable information and data from the new generation of multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement applications, the efforts have been devoted to the identifications of key design parameters in order to plan an intervention after an event.
As far as the geotechnical application is concerned, a multifunctional geotextile (MFG) is defined a geosynthetic having both stability function and monitoring capabilities. Concerning geotechnical applications, one of the main differences with respect to masonry seismic reinforcement applications is related to the fact that natural hazards can be favored by construction activities such as cutting of steep slopes for road or railway purposes which may initiate slope failures. In this framework, the new generation of multifunctional geotextiles could play a relevant role in geotechnical engineering in the mitigation of natural hazards. The application of MFG in geotechnical work can be divided in two specific categories, namely existing geotechnical structures as well as newly built geotechnical structures. One of the typical applications of geosyntethic reinforcement is for constructing embankment over soft soils. In this case, the overall stability of the soil structure is guaranteed by the addition of strong tensile elements in the soil embankments. For embankment of weak or soft soils, the use of high tensile strength geotextile reinforcement could allow for an increase of the design factor of safety. The challenge of maximizing land use in areas where often there are both difficult topographic characteristic as well as difficult soil condition is a relevant objective of designers. Specific applications for the MULTITEXCO MFG have been considered the ones related to highway or railway embankments. By the analysis of the end users, the 3D Rope-like textile structures solution has been considered less relevant with respect to the 2D Geotextile structures, which present both monitoring and embankment functionalities.
As far as the MULTITEXCO tensile structure target is concerned, one of the main objectives of the project was the investigation of coating for textile membranes to be used in tensile structures. In particular, specific objective of the project was the characterization of the membranes in terms of ageing, mechanical proprieties and performances. However, since the beginning of the project, both the SME-AGs as well as the SMEs underlined the high potentialities to introduce monitoring functionalities also in the textile membranes. During the requirement phase, the end users indicated as one of the priorities in order to have effective multifunctional textiles for the tensile structures with high market perspectives, the possibility to embed sensing technologies. For this reason, as for the other two target sectors of the project (seismic reinforcement of building and geotextiles), also for tensile structures, two specific applications to be investigated have been selected and the sensing techniques to be embedded as well as the technical requirements have been defined. The discussion during the requirement phase involving the MULTITEXCO partners working in the field of tensile structure design and development, underlined a series of challenges. Clearly not all can be solved, or the potential solution may not stem from multifunctional fabrics. In tensile structures, a number of parameters require monitoring and easy and reliable sources of data are requested by the end-users. Two main target applications have been selected. The highest priority was given to the monitoring of the vibrations in real life conditions of a finished tensile structure and therefore it is identified as first application field. For example fluttering of the fabric, improper pre tensioning and unexpected loads may result in damage and even collapse of a given structure (large area covers, building envelopments, etc.). Most attention has been given to the fluttering of fabric. As a second application field, monitoring the abuse or misuse of fabrics was identified. This application may sound bit surprising, but damage claims from the customers to the design engineers may rise very high if it cannot be proven that the construction was used in way that is not covered by warranty. Complaints to the manufacturer and designers are frequent in the sector. Afterwards, it turned out the end user did not exploit the construction in the advised conditions (e.g. covers for biogas reactors). For these applications, chemical sensing and temperature monitoring devices integrated in (patches attached to) the fabrics were foreseen to be investigated in the framework of MULTITEXCO. The monitoring of misuse should be reliable during the entire lifetime of a tensile structure. The sensors will be integrated in final products and will most likely be paid by the developer rather than the customer (although in some application fields it may also be of interest to the customer).The goal is to proof in case of a claim that the fabric was used (or not) correctly, i.e. within the conditions covered by warranty.
Below, the main results for each target application (masonry, geotechnical, tensile structures) have been summarized.
In this framework, the first objective was the definition of multifunctional textile configurations (including the sensor types and topologies) for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring, potentially able to respect the requirements described above. In particular, at the beginning, four different preliminary concepts have been conceived: MHM-1 (outdoor), MHM-2 (outdoor), GFP-1 (indoor), GFP-2 (indoor).
Then the project focused its attention on the development of two systems:
• System for Outdoor application (MHM): Mortar embedded multiaxial, hybrid glass fiber textile including optical fibers which requires masonry without plaster
• System for Indoor application (GFP): Bi-axial glass fiber textile including different sensors which requires masonry with plaster
The second objective was to test through extensive laboratory campaigns the performances of the multifunctional textiles systems for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring based on the selected technologies and by using the conceived tests methods.
In this framework, MULTITEXCO defined a set of program tests in order to evaluate the performances of the new generation of multifunctional textiles for seismic reinforcement and monitoring. In particular, two test set-ups have been defined, the first one for the system conceived for indoor application, the second one for the system conceived for outdoor application. Furthermore, the test set-ups included both the evaluation of the only reinforcing systems as well as the assessment of the sensorized systems.
Set-up for indoor system - Test methods for assessing:
1) Performance of the textile component of the retrofitting system
2) Performance of the glue/ matrix component of the system:
- Modified bonding tests
- Modified shear tests (two different test concepts)
- Due to the lack of normative provided reference test procedures own test setups had to be created and to be iteratively modified to acquire data within a reasonable range of scatter
2) Performance of the applied system
- Single shear tests: evaluation of system performance in terms of maximum textile strain at debonding for different boundary conditions
- Bending specimens: Evaluation of system performance for the applied system on masonry samples in a three-point bending test
3) Evaluation of durability performance:
- Examination of the durability of the textile component in alkaline environment
4) Evaluation of sensor integration concepts using fiber optical sensors:
5) Evaluation of sensor integration concepts using conductive fibers to form a self diagnostic composite
Set-up for outdoor system- Test methods for assessing:
1) Performance of the textile component of multiaxial hybrid retrofitting system
- Evaluation for the textile not embedded in mortar
- Evaluation for the textile embedded in mortar:
2) Performance of the mortar component system
3) Performance of the applied system
- Evaluation of bonding behaviour
- Evaluation of shear strengthening behaviour
- Evaluation of reinforcing effect in terms of increasing strength and deformability for shear walls
4) Evaluation of durability performance:
- Examination of the durability of the textile component in alkaline environment
5) Evaluation of sensor integration concepts using a ready for use on construction site sensorised textile.
Furthermore, in order to assess the expected behaviour on the field of both systems (outdoor, indoor) specific test methods have been conceived.
In this context, the most important physical properties to be monitored have been considered:
- Textile strain
- Displacement (via numerical integration of strain data)
The selection of these parameters allows a direct linking between the sensor data obtained and normative determinable - or during the test campaign evaluated parameters.
The monitoring concept envisages data acquisition within specific intervals before or after a seismic event has taken place. To assess both, the need for monitoring standardized data in a reproducible way and the chosen monitoring concept, an optimum test configuration have been set-up.
Catalogue of requirements for an optimum test configuration:
• Inducing of specific failure modes at monitored locations
• Well known boundary conditions in terms of load and displacements for monitored areas
• Well known boundary conditions (load and displacement) being constant during the duration of a sensor data acquisition (~1 min.), that means that the loading procedure must be “freezed” at a certain point
• Isolation of representative and clearly defined parts of a masonry building
• “Shaking table segments” Cyclic/quasi static loading procedure: Test setup which enables induction of clearly defined loads (force and displacement) at every time point of the measurement.
The characterization has been completed by both systems by using the above illustrated test methods.
After the characterization of the developed multifunctional textiles, the final objective for masonry applications was to define their application guidelines: this has been achieved for both systems, MHM and GFP.
MULTITEXCO proposed two different approaches for using multifunctional geotextiles (MFG):
- In the first one referred as "Multi-functional geotextile (MFG) material solution", the same textile used for soil reinforcement is sensorized and therefore it is able to provide monitoring data.
- In the second one referred as "Multi-functional geotextile (MFG) system solution", the reinforcing and the monitoring functions are attributed to two different textiles, with different and complementary characteristics, to be utilized in coordinated way.
The geogrid investigated in the framework of the project exhibits both reinforcing and monitoring capabilities thanks to the embedded optical fibers. Devoted test methods have been developed during MULTITEXCO in order to fully characterize the geogrid and to define its specifications.
In this framework, MULTITEXCO defined a set of program tests in order to evaluate the performance of the new generation of multifunctional geotextiles having both reinforcement and monitoring capabilities. The test methods proposed in the framework of MULTITEXCO aimed at understanding the functioning of Multi-Functional Geotextiles. In particular after having assessed both the components separately (the geotextile and the optical fiber), the test program had the objective to assess the reliability of geotextiles and the fiber optical sensor working together as a single element providing both structural and monitoring capacities to geotechnical structures.
By summing up the approach, the test program defined was based on the combination of two different test methods:
- Tensile tests
- Pull-out tests
The scope of the tensile tests was to assess how comparable the data from the sensor was to the real deformations of the geotextile. Actually, even if the manufacturing process of the MFGs already cares that the optical fiber sensor is well attached to the geotextile, there is still some uncertainties on how the sensor data is correlated with real deformations. The conceived test method allowed identifying the calibration factor correlating the real deformation values from the geotextile with the data captured by the FOS.
The scope of the pull-out tests was to verify the adequateness of the MFGs in geotechnical applications. Ideally, once the calibration factor is assessed, its value should be directly applicable to real situations, but in reality, there are additional elements that may condition the performance of the MFG such as the whole soil mass that surrounds it when introduced in a real geotechnical structure etc. Furthermore, the assessment of the multifunctional geotextiles included the evaluation of aged specimens in order to investigate about the durability. The test methods and the procedures defined in the framework of MULTITEXCO allowed to assess the performances before the validation in the field.
After the characterization, the application guidelines for Multifunctional Geotextiles have been defined by taking into account both the approaches conceived: the “Multi-functional geotextile material solution”, where the same textile is used for soil reinforcement and monitoring purposes; and the “Multi-functional geotextile system solution”, where the reinforcing and the monitoring functions are attributed to two different textiles, with complementary characteristics (the MFG as a monitoring device whereas another textile as a reinforcement).
The following solutions have been conceived, developed and characterized in the framework of MULTITEXCO:
- Temperature sensors (Thermo responsive coatings, Thermo electric sensors)
- Chemicals sensors (H2S sensor, NH3 sensor)
- Pressure sensors
- Vibration sensors
- Crack propagation sensors
In particular, during the RTD activities the following achievements have been claimed:
- Test method for evaluating H2S durability of membranes
- Strain gauge for tensile membranes (lab scale proof of principle)
- Pressure sensor for water ponding (demonstrator accomplished)
- Vibration monitoring tool (demonstrator accomplished)
- Crack propagation sensor in seams (demonstrator accomplished)
- Irreversible sensor for ammonia and H2S (demonstrator accomplished)
- Temperature sensor as a coating or electronic based technology integrated in the membrane (demonstrator accomplished)
- Insight in chemical aging of membranes for biogas fermenters
Furthermore, for each sensor, application guidelines have been defined in order to facilitate the use from the end users.
It is worth to underline that the characterization of multifunctional textiles included Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA). In particular, specific objective of the project was to study the entire life cycle of the new multifunctional textiles from their production to their use and to carry out a comparison of the results with environmental impacts procured by competing technologies. Furthermore, the project aimed at performing a Life Cycle Cost Analysis to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the new multifunctional textile compared with competing technologies
More in detail, a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been performed between different systems addressing, in particular, the construction sector. The comparison was made between the “innovative” (INNO) systems, developed within the MULTITEXCO project and the namely “state of art” ones (SOA), available on the market. The three targeted applications have been considered in the study: multi-axial textiles used for masonry structures; geotextiles for the stabilization of soil structures such as railway, roadway embankments or coastal protection structures and technical textiles for tensile structures. These LCAs have been performed in accordance with internationally recognized guidelines (see e.g. ILCD Handbook: General guide for Life Cycle Assessment - Detailed guidance”) and standard (ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006) main requirements.
In the following, the main results are summed up.
Concerning the environmental footprint of the multi-axial textiles for masonry structures developed within the MULTITEXCO, they have been compared with the state of art products. It has to be considered that the SOA system provides only reinforcing function, while the INNO system is able not only to improve the building stability, but also to monitor it thanks to integrated sensors. This additional function requires, of course, additional sensorized textile to be applied on the critical areas, which contribute to increase the environmental impacts. These environmental impacts of the INNO system have been evaluated: for all the impact categories, they present a slightly increase. This slightly increase of the environmental impacts is the “fee” to be paid, in order to have quicker results in structural monitoring, cutting the time needed to perform monitoring after an earthquake.
As far as the geotextiles are concerned, the study compared from the environmental point of view the MULTITEXCO innovative system with both monitoring and embankment functionalities to the state of the art (SOA) system having only stabilization function. These products, both with sensors and without sensors, are utilized for different applications, such as railway, roadway embankments or coastal protection structures. As already mentioned for masonry structures, also for geotextiles the SOA system provides only stabilization function, while the INNO system is able to both improve the stability of the soil and to monitor it. This additional function requires Fiber Optic Sensor to be embedded in the geotextile itself; however, their integration contributes to increase the environmental impacts. These environmental impacts, related to the sensorized geotextile manufacturing phase, have been evaluated. The impacts increase is quite restrained for almost all impact categories and, in particular, for the two most important ones. Finally, analyzing the whole Life Cycle of the selected case study, the INNO system presents a considerable environmental impacts reduction, due to the avoidance of the catastrophic event (the involvement of a train in the landslide). Indeed, because of the high environmental impacts related to the train disposal, the percentage reduction of impacts reaches the 79% for Climate change category and 13% for Primary energy demand indicator.
Concerning tensile structures, the application analyzed consisted of a technical textile covering a biogas reactor. This application has been selected by the SME AGs and the SMEs of the project being a business having relevant commercial perspectives. The risk for the end user in this context is do not use the structure in the advised conditions, by damaging it because of the corrosive gasses formed during bio-waste fermentation that could penetrate inside the fabric. State of the Art (SOA) case was compared to the Innovative MULTITEXCO (INNO) one. The textile was the same as for both cases, the only difference is due to the application of the sensors in the INNO one. In particular, the textile of the innovative case contains thermocromic and chemical sensors for detecting NH3 and H2S. When a sensor detects a deviation from the foreseen conditions in terms of temperature or chemical content, changes color permanently. The environmental impacts of the INNO system have been evaluated and its eco-friendliness in comparison to the SOA system is evident, analysing the general results. The sensorized technical textile has better environmental performances compared to the standard one, in all the indicators, including the most important ones, i.e. the Global Warming potential and the primary energy demand. In particular, this was achieved because of the sensors, which permit to avoid the damage of the technical textile, and consequently the gas release. The Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) has been performed for the above-mentioned systems too. The LCCAs have been carried out in accordance with the “SETAC Guidelines: Environmental Life Cycle Costing: A code of Practice” and the ISO 15686-5:2008 “Buildings and constructed assets -- Service-life planning -- Part 5: Life-cycle costing”. The aim was to understand whether replacing the currently used product with the new one is a good choice in terms of economic impacts. As far as masonry structures, it provides indications on the economic impacts of sensorized multi-axial textiles for masonry structures. The benefits linked to these products have been evaluated and are evident for the end user’s point of view, analysing the general results, through the comparison with the state of the art selected product (i.e. not sensorized multi-axial textiles). Concerning geotextiles, the following case study has been selected: a railway segment of 500 m (in an area with high risks of landslide), to be covered. The comparison between the SOA and the INNO case highlights the economic benefit of the innovative product. For tensile structures, 3 scenarios have been identified for the SOA case, in particular with reference to the costs due to the damage of the textile, i.e. the costs for the substitutive textile, and the missing income for the release of biogas and the stop of the plant for the replacing of the damaged textile. In each scenario, both the manufacturer and the end user have relevant economic savings.
Among the most relevant results of MULTITEXCO, it is worth to mention the development of the Knowledge Management Platform and the associated tools (Customization Support Tool and Training Tool).
The aim of the Knowledge Management Platform and the associated tools is to rationalize the knowledge developed in the frame of the project in order to support the users to exploit this knowledge. The Knowledge Management Platform owned by the participating industrial associations, contains information about the research developed in the frame of the project, costs, performance, applicability of the different technological options, thus supporting SMEs in the selection of the most appropriate solutions according to their needs in order to fully exploit from a technical point of view the results of the project by taking into account also the economical as well as the competitive advantages in using the new technologies and multi-functional textile based products in the construction sector.
The sections of the Knowledge Management Platform are accessible from internet and are characterized by a continuously updated database of technologies/Multifunctional textile based products divided by applications (Masonry Seismic Reinforcement, Geotextiles, Tensile Structures) as well as specific sections related to Validation/performances, application guidelines, business model, standards and norms etc. with the purpose (Decision Customization Tool) of guiding the SMEs in choosing the most suitable solution for each specific application.
Actually the following sections have been developed:
1) Section A- Masonry Seismic Reinforcement - a) State of the Art; b) Sensing Technologies; c) Products; d) Laboratory tests and characterization
2) Section B: Geotextiles - a) State of the Art; b) Sensing Technologies; c) Products; d) Laboratory tests and characterization
3) Section C: Tensile structures - a) State of the Art; b) Sensing Technologies; c) Products; d) Laboratory tests and characterization
4) Section D: Validation - a) Overview of case studies and demo sites; b) Performance descriptions; c) Specifications; d) LCA; e) LCCA;
5) Application Guidelines - a) Masonry Seismic Reinforcement Products; b) Geotextiles Products; c) Tensile structure Products;
6) Business Model - a) Business Models for the Associations; b) Potential Strategic partners; c) Competiting Products; d) Market;
7) Section E: Legislation, norms and standards - a) Norms and standards related to Masonry Seismic Reinforcement Products; b) Norms and standards related to Geotextile Products; c) Norms and standards related to Tensile Structure Products; d) MULTITEXCO Standardization outcomes and roadmap;
The Knowledge Platform serves as proprietary tool for the associations to provide a source of information for their SMEs member about material choice, testing procedure, performance evaluation, best-practices and applications guidelines for different EU member states as well as for each specific targeted sector (masonry seismic reinforcement, geotextiles, tensile structures).
It is important to underline that the role of the Knowledge Management Platform is not only important from a technical point of view but it is also the main mean of commercial exploitation for the MULTITEXCO associations of the project results (for instances by licensing the access through fees).
The scope of the Customization Tool is to support end-users in the selection of the best options according to the specific application by providing also indications about the materials to be used, the costs and the applications guidelines. The Customization Support Tool allows the user to exploit easily the knowledge included in the Platform through a guided path (based on a ‘wizard’ approach) where thanks to a user-friendly interface, data are requested to the users for defining the specific application. According to this data, solutions are provided to the users (by selecting among the MULTITEXCO technologies) customized to the specific application and by indicating also the application guidelines.
In particular, the Customization Support Tool is constituted by three parts, developed following the same philosophy illustrated above and addressing the three main targets of the project:
• Multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring
• Multifunctional Geotextiles
• Sensors for monitoring tensile structures
In addition to the Customization Support Tool, E-Training modules have been developed in the framework of the project. The purpose of the modules is to support the users in learning the main outcomes coming from MULTITEXCO. Actually, one of the objective of the project was to develop a training environment in order to generate the necessary knowledge on the innovation developed in the MULTITEXCO project. The training facilities have been developed at the beginning in English for enabling SME-AGs to produce a subsequent translation in other European languages and in the respective national language of the SME-AGs group. As a matter of fact, the training modules are not only relevant from a didactic point of view but it can be exploited from the SME-AGs together to the overall Knowledge Management Platform for doing business.
Three main courses constitutes the overall e-learning module:
• Training Module 1: Multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring
• Training Module 2: Multifunctional Geotextiles
• Training Module 3: Sensors for monitoring tensile structures
The modules are available in 6 languages: English, Germany, Italian, Belgian, Czech and Turkish.
The validation and demonstration of the new multifunctional textiles (MFTs) for each of the three target applications of MULTITEXCO have been among the most remarkable achievements of MULTITEXCO.
In this context, the project aimed at:
- Selecting significant test cases for each target application for demonstration;
- Applying the new multifunctional textiles to the pilot cases in order to demonstrate the application procedures and the performances;
- Validating the new multifunctional textiles through in real conditions.
More in detail, the following general results can be clearly pointed out:
- Real scale test cases were selected and specified for each target application;
- The new multifunctional textiles were successfully applied to each pilot case;
- The application procedures and the performances were demonstrated;
- Advice for a successful industrialization stage was provided;
- The new multifunctional textiles were validated in real conditions for each target application.
Concerning masonry application, the activity was devoted to selection, design, preparation and implementation of a pilot installation of the MFTs (also named “seismic wallpaper”) for seismic reinforcement of a real masonry structure. Demonstration was carried out for both the concepts of seismic wallpaper, developed and tested in the framework of WP2, namely the MHM (Mortar embedded multiaxial hybrid textile) and the GFP (Biaxial glass fiber fabric installed on masonry using soft polyurethane glue/matrix) systems.
The first step was the selection of the pilot structure, eventually identified in the Acarlar Culturel Center and Residences, a multi-storey building located in Istanbul, constructed with a three-dimensional reinforced concrete framework structure. The design of the reinforcement of the infill walls of the low-voltage electric room was then carried out, taking into account the design recommendations developed in the project and by using the algorithms of the Customization Support Tool.
Some preparatory work was then carried out in labs, by prearranging the designed patches of the sensorized textiles and preparing the optical cables chains. The installation of the MFT systems was then carried out on the field, according to the mentioned design schemes and following the developed application guidelines.
The following results can be clearly pointed out from the pilot case in Istanbul, so assessing the technical viability at large scale of the MFTs for masonry application:
- The installation of both the multifunctional MHM and GFP systems on a real structure has been successfully demonstrated;
- Handling and protection of sensors cabling and connections for preparation to data acquisition have been successfully demonstrated;
- The application of a sensorized textile reinforcement does not dramatically increase the application time with respect to the use of only unsensorized textile, while enhancing its functionality;
- The guidelines developed in in the project proved to be effective in guiding the installation operations even to not specifically skilled workmanship.
Concerning geotechnical applications, the activity was devoted to the development and construction of a prototype embankment, where the MFTs were placed and tested and their technical viability at large scale evaluated.
The demonstrator (3 m high, 12 m wide and 21 m long) was built in Noblejas (Toledo, Spain). MFTs were placed at five different positions at three different heights inside the embankment, in order to assess as much as possible the embankment performance and the data provided by the MFG.
A settlement was forced to take place during the time the embankment was built and tested, with the aim of provoking a huge vertical deformation and check if and how the embedded distributed sensors are able to detect it. In order to do so, a kind of irrigation system that waters internally the embankment was realized. The experimental results have shown relevant insights on the functioning of the MFG.
The following results can be clearly pointed out from the Toledo pilot case, so assessing the technical viability at large scale of the MFTs for earthwork application:
- Both the experimental set up and the demonstrator have proven useful for testing the performance of the MFT in controlled and real conditions;
- The irrigation system contributed well in producing a subsidence inside the embankment;
- For burying depth higher than 1 m a more robust package is needed for the sensors;
- For use of the technology at the industrial scale level, more robust and quick sensor cabling and connections are also needed, in order to minimize the impact on ordinary in-field operations;
- The application guidelines does not need additional modifications as the construction process has been validated;
- The embedded sensor is able to “follow” the soil movement both qualitatively and quantitatively.
As far as tensile structures are concerned, the activity was devoted to the validation tests related to the pilot cases on membranes for tensile structures. The pilot cases aimed at investigating the behaviour challenges related to the integration of the sensors developed and tested at lab scale, in order to get useful feedbacks about the feasibility of the integration of the sensors, the discrepancies with the calibration carried out at lab scale and the durability in the expected atmosphere.
Two different demonstrators for the efficacious validation of the sensors have been identified: a new biogas plant and a small one-to-one membrane structure. The biogas plant was recently completed in the Milan area (Italy) and was currently under monitoring due to the unexpected early degradation of the membrane roof related to the aggressive atmosphere in fermenters. Furthermore, for the validation of the sensors for tensile structures, a small hypar structure with an overall covered area of 28m2 has been designed and manufactured. The demonstrator was based on the simplest form of membrane structure, is commonly used for the architectural sector and offered an efficacious way to validate the sensors in an environment characterised by a reduced level of complexity and risks.
MULTITEXCO aimed at the scientific and technologic characterization of the latest achievements in multifunctional technical textiles, allowing the definition of tests methods, guidelines and best practices for their optimal use in the construction industry and enabling in this way future standards at EU level. This will allow SMEs to fully exploit the new generation of multifunctional technical textiles in a more efficient, effective and profitable way. The socio-economic impact and the societal implications of the project will be huge. The Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters’ (CRED) released statistics for catastrophic phenomenon and reported a total of 3852 natural disasters in the period 2000-2009. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) reported that about 60% of the people killed by natural disasters in the past decade died as a result of earthquakes. Several catastrophic events have affected European Union in the past years, in particular earthquakes and related landslides. Among them, it is worth to mention 3 dramatic events that struck Italy: L’Aquila (2009) and Emilia Romagna (2012) earthquakes as well as the catastrophic seismic events in Amatrice in summer 2016. These earthquakes presented all similar destructive impacts on buildings due to various coinciding factors: historic town/city architecture, urban density levels, low rates of structural seismic updating and unreinforced masonry building. The impacts of L’Aquila earthquake included the devastation of an estimated 50.000 homes and buildings, including significant numbers of cultural heritage monuments and structures, causing 308 victims. This disaster left 28.000 people homeless in need of temporary housing and saw 11.700 emergency units engaged in the emergency response. Measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was not so strong with respect to other earthquakes worldwide; however, its social and economic impacts were relevant for having struck a dense urban area consisting largely of unreinforced masonry buildings and reinforced concrete buildings with unreinforced masonry infill and partition walls. Such structures, villages and cities are extremely common throughout all of the Mediterranean Basin and similar scenarios have occurred frequently worldwide, in China, India, Iran, and Mexico just to provide recent examples. The L’Aquila earthquake was also notable for its aftershocks, which continued for weeks and months after the initial quake. These aftershocks complicated first response and emergency crew efforts as well as the assessment actions of structural engineers trying to restore critical functions and everyday life to the area in a timely manner. It is worth to underline that embedded technological-based solutions in building were not present at L’Aquila and more recently in Reggio Emilia. These natural disasters underlined the necessity to identify smart solutions capable of improving prevention measures, crisis management/monitoring measures and damage assessment/practicability analysis in order to reduce overall urban landscape devastation, victim tolls of future natural disasters and favor a quick restore of normal conditions. The 2012 northern Italy earthquake series of Emilia Romagna killed 24 people, injured hundreds and left an estimated 40.000 people homeless, accounting up to 800 million euros estimated emergency management costs (of which 549 million euros covered by EU Solidarity Fund) as reported on official dedicated section “earthquake and reconstruction“ of Emilia Romagna Region online portal. The 2015 report “Natural Disasters: Forecast and Prevention” of the Mathematics and Physics Department of the University of Rome estimated the total economic damage caused by the two Richter scale 6 earthquakes of L’Aquila and Emilia Romagna in 23 billion euros, respectively (10b€ and 13b€). Construction reinforcing and monitoring textiles represent a unique and important opportunity for the textile and construction industry with reference to their positive effects in case of seismic events: prevention of damages (by reinforcing), monitoring and assessment. The technologies pushed by the MULTITEXCO project, that addresses the key aspects for their effective application in construction, will have a relevant impact on the safety and security of people and property in case of earthquakes. The likelihood of failure of structures will be reduced by using strengthening techniques that can increase the strength, stiffness, and ductility of the structural elements. The solutions provided by MULTITEXCO will allow monitoring effectively construction works in order to reduce maintenance costs and insurance costs and to alert in case of damage to the structures. The expected impacts of MULTITEXCO will be relevant for the geotechnical sector as well (flood is together with the earthquake one of the major disaster type) taking into account the improvements made in techniques for strengthening and monitoring transportation infrastructures (e.g. roadways embankments) and the enhancing of the durability of infrastructure. MULTITEXCO will also have a positive impact on maintenance aspects of roadway and railway infrastructure, making possible the introduction of predictive maintenance actions with relevant cost savings by avoiding risks of heavy damages.
Failures of railway or highway embankments happened recently in different regions of the world showing the importance of monitoring tracks and infrastructures. These events are becoming much more common than in the past due to climate changes, and this requires the railways infrastructure managers to look from a different perspective infrastructure maintenance issues. Actions need to be taken to mitigate the effects of these events by minimizing disruptions to train services and reduce maintenance costs to restore the normal service conditions. Therefore, the need for solutions and techniques for global asset monitoring and ground stabilization is increasing. In this framework, the possibility to monitor through the new generation of multifunctional textiles railway or highway systems is a relevant step forward with respect to only guarantee the stabilization of the soil.
In terms of employment, MULTITEXCO brings new opportunities by evoking new market frontiers. MULTITEXCO aims at sustaining this evolution and will contribute significantly to the employment in the textile industry by introducing in the market, cutting-edge technologies to be extensively used in the construction sector. As a matter of fact, the impact on employment is therefore mostly related to the business generated by services and products sales, creating employment opportunities for production and selling. The increase of skills and capabilities necessary by the introduction into the market of the prospected hi-tech multifunctional textiles, will also contribute to safeguard employment providing additional value to human component in the value chain of a sector that in Europe employs more than 2.2 M people.
Extending the life, durability, safety and reliability of infrastructures can also lead to massive economic savings, which, indirectly, will stimulate economic growth. The implementation of advanced techniques in the rehabilitation of masonry structures is estimated to reduce the strengthening costs by 30% compared to traditional solutions. Furthermore, the introduction of advanced materials and new sensor technologies in the structural repair field will lead also in this case to the development of more jobs in such industrial sectors.
Within this overall frame, the development of new high added value products based on technical textiles for the construction sector, represents a winning solution. In fact, there is great potential for Europe to become the worldwide leader in such technologies. Key issue is to fill the gap between the innovative solutions developed as result of the research programs and the market by addressing in particular the certification and standardization aspects.
As mentioned before, MULTITEXCO project aimed at supporting the competitiveness of the European SMEs in the construction and textile sector by developing testing procedures, guidelines for the design and use, codes of practices for the novel smart textiles in the construction sector. In this context, MULTITEXCO aims at contributing to the development of European standard for multifunctional textiles in order to enable their effective use in the construction sector. Standards play a useful role in helping to create the Single Market by supporting the “New Approach” Directives. The New Approach and European standardisation have contributed significantly to the development of the Single Market. The success of the European standardisation system, in removing technical barriers to trade, has played a vital role in ensuring the free movement of goods between Member States.
According to the Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC, technical barriers in the European construction products sector should be removed mainly through:
• determination of performances for products used in the works by technical specifications;
• attestation of conformity of the product;
• CE marking of the product
Products are fit for their intended use if they comply with a Harmonised Standard (hEN), a European Technical Approval or a non-harmonised technical specification recognized at EC level. A construction product with a European Technical Approval, satisfying the Attestation of Conformity provisions, can carry CE marking and can be placed on the market within the European Economic Area.
In relation to this, the overall objective of the MULTITEXCO project was to scientifically and technologically characterise the multifunctional technical textiles by determining their performance by technical specifications and to develop Guidelines and Pre-normative research enabling future standards at EU level (or contributing to the existing ones). The availability of standards and guidelines for the design, use, and testing of the new high performances multifunctional textiles is a priority for the introduction in the market of products based on them as well as for their effective use. The project will push the development of standards by the direct professional influence of participating SMEs and SME-AGs on standardisation bodies combined with the influence of research organisations. Actually, specific scope of the project was to address the standardisation issues of advanced technical textiles for their effective use in construction. It has been proved without doubts that the new generation of multifunctional textiles, by adding additional features to existing materials, will bring relevant advantages to end users of the construction sector. However, the main actors involved in building project such as architects, engineers, designers as well as final end users of the construction companies are unfamiliar with the features and behaviours of these materials and the lack of information about them limits enormously their effective use. In the framework of the project, different standardization needs for multifunctional textiles have been identified. Most of these needs are referable to the lack of test methods to assess the performances of these materials as well as to the absence of application guidelines. The objective to overcome this gap has been one of the main drivers of MULTITEXCO. In the framework of the project, the consortium established a contact and disseminated the results of the MULTITEXCO with 6 National Standardization Bodies in order to favour the creation of future standards.
With particular regards to masonry buildings, a particularly important impact is envisaged from the Project with respect to the proposal to introduce a “Seismic Certification of buildings”, which could provide a clear standard where the performance, impact and benefit of innovative solutions for masonry buildings will have a fertile context. Discussions on this certification are ongoing in Italy, examples have been proposed by the orders of professional engineering of some Italian regions/province, and the Ministry of transport and infrastructures is promoting a specific working group. Finally, insurance companies are looking forward to the introduction of insurance policy for buildings based on seismic certification. If all these actions will become reality in the near future, MULTITEXCO partners will be ahead in receiving the directives, standards and guidelines implemented.
Concerning the dissemination activities, the main scope was to reach the widest impact on European technical textile and construction sectors, as well as to favor the standardization process and the commercial exploitation of the innovative products and methodologies by the owners of the project results. These actions will have a significant impact on the improvement of the European SME competitiveness in the above-mentioned sectors.
The target Groups considered essential in achieving the objectives of the actions proposed are the following:
• SME Members of MULTITEXCO associations
• Other SME associations outside MULTITEXCO consortium
• Other European SMEs in the technical textile or construction fields
• End users in the specific market segments: building construction and maintenance, geotextiles and earth works, tensile structures etc.
• Scientific community (universities, research centers etc) interested in further development/improvement of the technologies
• Producers of accessories, electronic devices and reading units for the products developed in the framework of the project (e.g. reading unit for optical fiber or standards sensors to be integrated in textiles etc)
• Standardization bodies
One of the key objectives of the partners during the project has been to define a strategy oriented to an easier identification for the public as well as to favour a better visibility for MULTITEXCO during the dissemination activities. For this reason, all the internal and external actions (presentations, brochures, posters etc) of the project have been characterized by specific graphic designs based on the project logo.
The MULTITEXCO project website (online since December 2013) assured the continuous dissemination of the project results and initiatives (thanks also to the links with the project social media accounts), therefore in the MULTITEXCO Public Area, an overview of the project, its aim, its objectives, the structures and main results are provided. Moreover, specific sections are devoted to the partner descriptions and to the reference contacts in order to allow interested people getting more information from the consortium. The page “News and Events” provides updated information about the main initiatives related to MULTITEXCO. Furthermore, a specific section provide the videos of the project as well as the public documents.
As far as the dissemination material is concerned, brochures containing project information have been made available to the partners in order to be distributed. Moreover, to cover also the local events, specific versions in Turkish, Italian and German languages have been accomplished by the national SME-AGs. Different issues of the brochures have been released in the 36 months of MULTITEXCO. Posters have been designed during the project in order to be used during the public events such as fairs, conferences, exhibitions etc. Accounts of MULTITEXCO in the social media have been created during the second period of the project. Since the relevant results have been available and the demonstration activities launched, the social media have been very practical tools for sharing project information. Accounts of the project have been created on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. Some advertising pages of the project have been created to be used in Magazine of the sectors as well as in the official magazines of the MULTITEXCO associations (e.g. UNITEX Journal, Tex Innovation Magazine etc). Scientific-technical publications have been considered a good channel towards reaching consensus from the scientific-technical community. Partners have been invited to publish scientific papers, technical publications provided that they are shared with the exploitation manager before the publication in order to internally evaluate if the contents are confidential or not. Among the most relevant scientific publications (peer review), it is worth to mention two chapters in two books. Furthermore, several articles have been published in Magazines of the sector relevant for the project.
Fairs, exhibitions and international meetings have been probably the most relevant channel for relationship and communication with the European Industry and the construction sector on the opportunities offered by MULTITEXCO. Moreover, these events offered an optimal framework towards networking with the final objective of identifying potentially interested users. Among the relevant fairs/exhibitions the partners participated to, it is worth to mention JEC Europe (composites, Paris 2014, 2015), Construction Fair (construction, Istanbul, 2015, 2016), Techtextil (technical textiles, Frankfurt, 2015), mTex Fair (textiles, Chemnitz, 2016). Different video clips have been produced during the project. A fist video clip has been accomplished by Selcom for dissemination events during the first period of the project. The video is structured as an interview to the representatives of partners D’Appolonia and Selcom. In the interview, the MULTITEXCO project is described and the steps forward with respect to POLYTECT project (a previous relevant project facing the development of multifunctional textiles) are illustrated. A second official video has been prepared thank to the support of Euronews. One of the idea behind the video clip was to build a practical example of the use of MULTITEXCO results in order to attract the attention not only of the SMEs directly interested in the potential use of the new technologies but also of the general audience.
In the video it was clearly explained as the new technologies, in particular the use of optical fibers for monitoring purposes could have a relevant impact on saving lives. The optical fibers have been selected as topic since they are the main enabling technology in two of the concepts of the project (multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring and multifunctional geotextiles). The video clip has been shot during the demonstration activities on one of the pilot cases of the project. The demonstrator has been built in the Heavy Machinery Workshop that Acciona has in Noblejas (Toledo) and it was related to the application of geotextiles inside an embankment. The size of the embankment was 3 m high, 12 m wide and 21 m long. MFG samples were placed at different positions inside the embankment in order to assess as much as possible the embankment performance and the data provided by the MFG. The video has been filmed in the week 11th-15th July 2016
Since 12th of September, the video clip has been available on the main Euronews channel:
The video clip is available in 13 languages (they can be selected in the left upper corner in the official Euronews channel). Furthermore, the Videos has been put available also on Youtube.
In addition to the official project video, some other short video clips have been prepared in order to illustrate some technologies of the project and uploaded in the public area of the project website.
As far as the dissemination activities are concerned, it is worth to mention the two final dissemination events of the project:
• In Milan (Italy) on 30th September 2016
• In Brussels (Belgium) on 13th October 2016 where the results of the project have been presented to the European Technological Platform for textile
In the first event, the focus was on technical textiles for the construction sector and the results of MULTITEXCO have been widely illustrated. External guests have been invited for discussing about standardization.
The latest event has been strongly suggested by the external Advisory Board of MULTITEXCO and it has been planned in Brussels, in an international context, and the following two presentations about the project have been held:
• “MULTITEXCO- New paradigm for multifunctional textiles targeting the construction sector” by D’Appolonia
• “New developments in coated fabrics for the biogas industry” by Maco Technology.
All the details about these events can be found on Facebook and Twitter MULTITEXCO accounts.
Concerning the exploitation activities of the project, the main results of the MULTITEXCO project (for which the SME-AGs subcontracted costs to the RTD performers) were:
• Result 1: Fully characterized multifunctional textiles
• Result 2: Application guidelines;
• Result 3: Collaborative Knowledge Based Platform and associated Customization Support Tool, including all the knowledge developed during the project.
SME-AGs are the owners of all the 3 results, as they will promote now that the project ended their widespread adoption through their members, fostering their market and application among the SMEs of the European construction and textile sector. The collaborative Knowledge Management Platform (and the associated tools) is the instrument for accessing to the knowledge developed in the frame of the project. All the aspects related to the exploitation of the project results are confidential. However, in this context, it can be mentioned that the main mean of exploitation of the project results is the web based Knowledge Management Platform. The aim of the Knowledge Management Platform and the associated tools (in particular the Customization Support Tool and the Training Modules) is to rationalize the knowledge generated in the framework of the project in order to support the users to exploit this knowledge.
The Knowledge Management Platform (owned by the participating industrial MULTITEXCO associations) contains information about the research developed within the project, costs, performance, applicability of the different technological options. The platform supports the SMEs in the selection of the most appropriate solutions according to their needs in order to fully exploit from a technical point of view the results of the project by taking into account also the economical as well as the competitive advantages in using the new technologies and multi-functional textile based products in the construction sector. One of the key elements of the MULTITEXCO Knowledge Management Platform is the Customization Support Tool. The scope of the Customization Tool is to support end-users in the selection of the best options according to the specific application by providing also indications about the materials to be used, the costs and the applications guidelines. The Customization Support Tool allows the user to exploit easily the knowledge included in the Platform through a guided path (based on a ‘wizard’ approach) where thanks to a user-friendly interface, data will be requested to the users for defining the specific application. According to this data, solutions will be provided to the users (by selecting among the MULTITEXCO technologies) customized to the specific application and by indicating also the application guidelines. In particular, the Customization Support Tool is constituted by three parts, developed following the same philosophy illustrated above and addressing the three main targets of the project:
• Multifunctional textiles for masonry seismic reinforcement and monitoring
• Multifunctional Geotextiles
• Sensors for monitoring tensile structures
The SME_AGs of the project will build their business and will guarantee the commercial perspective of the project by granting licences to the Knowledge Management Platform through fees.
List of Websites:
Contact: Aldo Tempesti (Texclubtec)
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant agreement ID: 606411
1 October 2013
30 September 2016
€ 2 401 162,58
€ 1 663 000
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 606411
1 October 2013
30 September 2016
€ 2 401 162,58
€ 1 663 000
Grant agreement ID: 606411
1 October 2013
30 September 2016
€ 2 401 162,58
€ 1 663 000