An Innovative Reinforcement Approach for Rebar-Free 3D Printing of Transportation Infrastructure
A research team at Louisiana State University (LSU) developed an innovative, rebar-free Construction 3D Printing (C3DP) process to encourage efficient and resilient transportation infrastructure development. LSU is the lead university at the Region 6 University Transportation Center, (UTC) Transportation Consortium of South Central States, or Tran-SET. Tran-SET is a collaborative partnership comprised of 11 institutions across five states, focusing on “Improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure.” A major challenge addressed by Trans-SET researchers is in the widespread application of C3DP, which currently lacks seamless integration of reinforcement into the automated layering process using conventional concrete reinforcement techniques.
An integrated and automated reinforcement approach enables the automated construction of structures and bridges, and can reduce the construction time and cost. This project developed a fully characterized printable self-reinforced mixture and provided comprehensive experimental data on the performance of an alternative reinforcement technique under different loading conditions. This is an important first step towards the automated construction of structural elements without the need for manual insertion of conventional steel rebars.