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Bart Craeye

  • Research interest:Since 2015 Bart Craeye is active as professor (BAP) at University of Antwerp – Faculty of Applied Engineering, and since 2017 as assistant professor (ZAP) with a research task of 10% at EMIB Research Group (Energy & Materials in Infrastructure & Buildings). His research is implemented and integrated in the BiRD (Buildings and Installations – Retrofit & Design) and RERS (Road Engineering) research sections. The research group and sections focus on research in the field of infrastructure and buildings with focus on quality and design, sustainable assessment methodologies of buildings, and recycling-innovation-sustainable design of pavement and infrastructure respectively, related to a reduced environmental impact. Bridging the gap between fundamental research, academic insights, practical implementation and expertise for the industry is the main goal of his research. Close cooperation with the industry is of high importance.The focus of the research of Bart Craeye is on concrete as a durable building material for concrete structures, and is incorporated into two research domains of the mission of research of University of Antwerp, i.e. Ecology&Sustainable Development and Materials Characterization. Within EMIB the mission of his research is (i) durable design of new and sustainable concrete and cementitious materials for infrastructure (pavements, bridges, etc.) and the built environment (residential buildings, etc.), and (ii) condition assessment of existing concrete structures with focus on remaining service life and bearing capacity determination. Regarding concrete technology and concrete structures we are facing challenges on the short and the long term. For the development of new structures the current design codes (EN260, EN1992) are based on a deemed-to-satisfy approach that lacks (semi-)probabilistic calculations. Furthermore, the cement and concrete industry is responsible for approximately 5% of the CO2 emission. By replacing cement by supplementary binders (fly ashes, blast furnace slags, geo-polymers, etc.), characterizing its mechanical and durability-related properties and implementing the obtained experimental data into probabilistic models, the aim is to create durable/sustainable concrete structures with extended service life that can withstand the expected exposure, but with reduced environmental impact that can withstand the expected exposure.Regarding existing concrete structures other research opportunities are identified. Half of the existing concrete structures originate from the 70’s. As the mean life expectation of a concrete structure is 50 years, an almost inimitable demand of concrete repair project can be expected. Therefore, we have to be armed with a validated protocol to come to a substantiated solution for durable repair and service life extension. Current inspection regulations (e.g. EN1504) lack of clear guidelines regarding methodology, experimental/technical in-situ and lab program, rating strategy during diagnosis, etc.
  • Keywords:CONCRETE, EXPERIMENTAL STUDY, Construction and building technology
  • Disciplines:Building technology, Construction materials, Construction materials technology, Life cycle analysis of construction materials, Non-destructive testing, safety and diagnosis, Structural engineering, Conservation-restoration techniques, Polymer composites, Short and long fibre reinforced composites
  • Research techniques:Research mission within (i) durable design of new concrete structures:- Development of durable/sustainable concrete, by means of experimental testing and characterization by means of destructive and non-destructive techniques, with respect to LCA. - Use of supplementary cementitious materials (alternative binders) to reduce the environmental impact without negative interference with the design service life and the strength characteristics.- Modelling service life and bearing capacity of new durable concrete structures and optimization of the design by means of a (semi-)probabilistic approach.Research mission within (ii) assessment of existing structures:- Interpretation and modification of existing inspection protocols and regulations including the design of novel approaches and strategies for assessing the remaining service life and bearing capacity of existing concrete structures.- Defining durable repair strategies for extension of the service life of existing concrete structures (e.g. cathodic protection), with respect to LCA-LCC.- Use of non-destructive techniques (IR-thermography, permeability tester, UPV,…) for condition assessment of existing structures, and defining regulations/instructions for reliable diagnosis and interpretation.
  • Users of research expertise:- Industry (contractors, study center, supplier of building materials)- Research centers- Academic partners (national and international)- Students (bachelor, master, PhD)- Media