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Flexible reinforcement systems for spatially curved concrete structures

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

The design society shows an increasing interest for spatially curved architecture such as blob structures or shells. Concrete is the ideal material for these curved structures as it can be poured into any shape. However, to facilitate the construction of these curved structures, not only solutions for the traditionally labour intensive formwork but also for the steel reinforcement must be found. Therefore, we have studied the use of flexible fibre textiles as exclusive reinforcement in a cement matrix. This paper presents this new cement composite in the context of other flexibly reinforced concrete materials, and shows that the addition of high amounts of dense glass fibre mats to a fine grained cement matrix creates a cement composite with high mechanical capacities. A design methodology is proposed for spatial structures in this material, and illustrated on an exemplary saddle shell. Results show that this cement composite not only facilitates the production of spatially curved structures, it also allows the design of shells which are significantly thinner (15 mm) than when using conventional steel-reinforced concrete. The reinforcement of cement with flexible fibre mats has thus a high structural potential. A main future challenge is its use for stay-in-place structural formwork of concrete shells.
Book: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Flexible Formwork
Pages: 356-367
Number of pages: 12
Publication year:2012
Keywords:flexible reinforcement, concrete shell, cement composites