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Production of

21rd January 2013
Learning Outcomes

Critically analyse the material requirements for specific

structural and non-structural applications

What is an Advanced Material?

Benefits of Advanced Materials?

What is a Biopolymer & Biocomposite?

Types of Biopolymers / Biocomposites

Use of Biopolymers / Biocomposites in the Construction


What is an Advanced Material?

The outperform conventional materials with superior properties

such as:- toughness, hardness, durability and elasticity.

Their novel properties include the ability to memorise shape or

sense changes in the environment and respond.

Discoveries in fundamental principles of Chemistry, Mathematics

and Physics that can be applied to control the molecular-level
properties of new materials

Always a need for better materials

Synergism between what is available and what needs to be

developed reflects the important and complementary roles of the
basic applied sciences in Material Science.

Neither one takes precedence over the other, more they work
hand-in-hand to fulfill our growing need for new materials.
Increased performance and functionality

Helps address challenges of durability in a changing


Helps meet CO2 reduction targets

Superior properties:

Intelligent building material
Interactive building material
Intelligent building material: Can sense, and
respond to temperature, action stimuli etc on their own.
React as per built in program or command pre-fed on

Interactive building materials: Developed for the

ease of humans. Develop a sensible relationship with
human world. Needs a command or external force to
perform their function

Fundamental principles of Chemistry, Mathematics and

Physics to control the molecular-level properties of new

Always a need for better materials

Intelligent buildings are ones in which the building

fabric, space, services and information systems can
respond in an effective manner to the demands of the
owner, the occupier and the environment
Types of Advanced Materials

Biopolymers Curtain Walling Composite

Glass-Reinforced Concrete

Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Acoustic Ceiling boards

Advanced Fireproof Materials

Hollow Polycarbonate Panel

Hemp Insulation
What is a Biopolymer/Biocomposite?

Combine material properties in ways that cannot be found in


Have tailored properties for specific applications.

Biopolymers are made using organic polymers. They have been

around for much longer than synthetic polymers like plastics.

Biopolymers are biologically derived multi-monomers. Can be

made by using starch from potatoes, protein from corn, etc.

Biocomposites are multi-layered, which means that they are no

chemically fused together. They consist of two different materials
acting together

Biopolymers are expensive, therefore they are often used within

a biocomposite
Biopolymers are a special class of polymers that are
produced from natural and renewable sources such as
starch, cellulosics and natural fibers.

Most of them are biodegradable, but this is not a

necessary condition.

They are produced from biomass which comes from crops

such as sugar beet, potatoes or wheat.

Many biopolymers are already being produced

commercially on large scales, although they usually are not
used for the production of plastics.

Even if only a small percentage of the biopolymers already

being produced were used in the production of plastics, it
would significantly decrease our dependence on
manufactured, non-renewable resources.
Biopolymers are favored over synthetic
polymers as they are biodegradable
First synthetic polymer was lignosulfonate
used for concrete plastification
Lignate, cellulosics and microbial are the most
common biopolymer
Dominate field as a thinning agent and water-
Combination of natural fibers or bio-fibers
(derived from plants and cellulose) with
polymer matrices
Benefits include renewability, recyclability,
biodegradable, low specific gravity, high
specific strength
Common for structural or nonstructural
Bio-fibers from plants are complex
celluloseis the most plentiful carbohydrate in the world; 40
percent ofall organic matteris cellulose!

starchis found in corn (maize), potatoes, wheat, tapioca

(cassava), and some other plants. Annual world production of
starch is well over 70 billion pounds, with much of it being
used for non-food purposes, like making paper, cardboard,
textile sizing, and adhesives.

collagenis the most abundant protein found in mammals.

Gelatin is denatured collagen, and is used in sausage casings,
capsules for drugs and vitamin preparations, and other
miscellaneous industrial applications including photography.

casein, commercially produced mainly from cow's skimmed

milk, is used in adhesives, binders, protective coatings, and
other products.

soy proteinandzein(from corn) are abundant plant

proteins. They are used for making adhesives and coatings for
paper and cardboard.

polyestersare produced by bacteria, and can be made

Biopolymers are classified by the United States
Congress Office of Technology Assessment
nucleic acids,

The divisions are based on the chemical organization of

basic monomers within the biopolymers.
Major milestones in chemical
admixture technology for

Source: Applications of Biopolymers in Construction Engineering Prof. Dr.

Johann Plank
Benefits of Using Biopolymers &
Lighter weight structures with higher stiffness

Biopolymers can be made without toxic byproducts and

biodegrade quickly, leaving a minimal footprint on the

Reduces carbon footprint of the structure from cradle to grave.

A measure of the total amount ofcarbon dioxide(CO2) andmethane(CH4)
emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant
sources, sinks and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the
population, system or activity of interest. Calculated as
carbon dioxide equivalent(CO2e) using the relevant 100-year
global warming potential (GWP100).

Reduces the waste being sent to land-fill sites.

Can be designed for its specific need.

Profiling and roof made from bamboo composites reinforcement

Bio Composites
Is a material formed by a matrix ( Resin) and a
reinforcement of natural fibers usually derived from
plant or cellulose.
Biocomposites can be used to describe:
Petroleum-derived non biodegradable polymers
such as polypropylene (pp) reinforced with bio-
Biopolymers (Polylactide (PLA) and Polyhydroxy
alkanoate (PHA)) reinforced with bio-fibers
Biopolymers reinforced with synthetic fibers such
as glass or carbon
Applications of Bio Composites

Bio Composites
Bio Composites
Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Started with horsehair in mortar and straw in mud

1900s Asbestos fibers in concrete.
By 1960s Steel and Glass (GFRC) and Synthetic fibers
such as Polypropylene fibers were being used.
Cellulose fibers which are processed from genetically
modified splash pine trees are the new type of fibers
being utilized.
Waste carpet fibers have also been used as carpets
made up of two layers, backing (usually fabric from
polypropylene tape yarns) joined by CaCO3 filled
styrene-butabiene latex rubber (SBR) and face fibers
Fibers are usually used in concrete to control
plastic shrinkage cracking and drying
shrinkage cracking.
They also lower the permeability of concrete
and thus reduce bleeding of water.
Some types of fibers produce greater impact,
abrasion and shatter resistance in concrete.
Generally fibers do not increase the flexural
strength of concrete, so it can not replace
moment resisting or structural steel
Some fibers reduce the strength of concrete.
Several different types of fibers have been
used to reinforce the cement-based
Fibers varies from synthetic organic
materials such as polypropylene or carbon,
synthetic inorganic such as steel or glass
natural organic such as cellulose or sisal to
natural inorganic asbestos
Fibres in the cement matrix increase toughness and tensile strength,
this in turn improves the cracking deformation charateristics.

Fibres help to improve the post peak ductility performances, pre

crack tensile strength, fatigue strength, impact strength and
eliminate temperature and shrinkage cracks.

It is also good for repairing infrastructure and increasing durability as

and when required

It improves the corrosion prevention as it reduces tensile cracks.

Fibre reinforced concrete is well suited for cavitation / erosion

damage in structures such as sluice ways, navigation locks and
bridge piers where high velocity flows are encountered
Cost saving approach in the long run
There would be problem with balling and uneven
distribution in the mix, which is of high importance
of volume fraction.

Further the corrosion of surface steel fibres could


Fibre reinforced concrete is regarded as a

multiphase system, that is fibre and the concrete

The properties of the composite materials are the

Following assumptions are used in fibre
reinforced concrete

Fibres were distributed continuously and

uniformly, and the directions were consistent
with the force

Fibre and matrix bond well, that is, they have

the same strain, and no relative sliding

Fibre and matrix are elastic deformation, and

transverse deformation is the same
Polypropylene fibers used for reinforcing
Fiber types
Fibre Reinforced Concrete - Benefits

Polypropylene and Steel

Improve mix cohesion, Improve structural strength
improving pumpability over long
Improve freeze-thaw resistance Reduce steel reinforcement
Improve resistance to explosive Improve ductility
spalling in case of a severe fire
Improve impact resistance Reduce crack widths and control
the crack widths tightly thus
improve durability
Increase resistance to plastic Improve impact and abrasion
shrinkage during curing resistance
Improve freeze-thaw resistance
Fibre Reinforced Plastics

Originated from aerospace industry, due to their excellent

specific properties, e.g. high strength and stiffness, low
weight and potential of optimisation by orientation
(especially continuous) fibers along the load paths.

Good specific weight related properties are due to the low

densities of the applied matrix systems (unsaturated
polyester, polyurethane, phenolic or epoxy resins).

High strength and stiffness are due to the embedded fibers,

such as glass, aramid (class of heat-resistant and strong
synthetic fibers) and carbon.

FRP can be tailored at the production stage to ensure that

they meet specific demands.
Fibre Reinforced Plastics

Problems with recycling the material at the end of its

life, this is due to the compound of miscellaneous and
usually very stable fibers and matrices.

More and more pressure to reduce the amount of waste

being sent to landfill sites
Glass Reinforced Plastics GRP

First invented in 1938 by Russel Games

Individual glass fibres (small diameter) are
woven to form a flexible fabric.
The fabric is then placed into a mould and a
polyester resin is added to allow a catalyst
reaction to take place. This process is
repeated so that many layers of fibre glass
and resin are allowed to dry/cure.
GRP is a strong and light material
Glass Reinforced Plastics - GRP
Acoustic Ceiling Boards

Sound will reflect of hard surfaces

Acoustic boards absorb some sound to prevent the echoing effect

Can be in the form of tiles, panels, sheet materials, sealants etc

Different types of buildings will require different absorption ratings

Sound absorption ratings determined using BS EN ISO 11654:1997

Advanced Fireproof Materials
Geopolymer Composites are composed using polymineral
resins, which are alumino-silicate binders.

Geopolymersare new materials for fire- and heat-resistant

coatings and adhesives, medicinal applications, high-temperature
ceramics, new binders for fire-resistant fiber composites, toxic and
radioactive waste encapsulation and new cements for concrete

The binders are processed at low temperatures (below

150C) using techniques used for thermoset organic resins

Polymineral resins allow the production of ceramic-like

materials and high temperature composites by using simple,
low temperature processes.

Geopolymers do not ignite easily, burn or release smoke

even after extended heat flux.

Thus they are suitable for cargo liners, ceilings, floor panels,
partitions and sidewalls, stowage bins and wire insulation.
Asbestos was commonly used 1900s as fire
Inexpensive, fire-resisting product including roof
shingles, wallboard and concrete
Woven into textiles to manufacture fire-resistant
fabrics and cloths, insulations and coatings
Good chemical properties, non flammable and
non combustible
Melting point of around 1600F
In late 1970s studies found that asbestos was
carcinogenic and a health hazard
Fireproofing is a very important part of
keeping people safe and protecting their
There are many different materials that are
available for fireproofing.
Each one is better for fireproofing different
objects and materials.
It is important to choose a material that is
suitable for whatever you are planning to

Inspecta-Shield Fire Retardant

Fire Retardant Paints and Varnishes

Fireproof Insulation
Hollow Polycarbonate Panel

Polycarbonate sheet is generally replacing glass, toughened

glass and polyethylene membrane in many fields such as
agriculture, industry, public buildings and ornaments.

It is a perfect combination of lightweight, high impact strength,

light transmission, frame-resistance, UV protection, anti-drop
as well as charming appearance.

Clear polycarbonate sheet is as transparent as glass, but

weighs only a half. Lightweight makes it easy to transport and

Polycarbonate sheets, especially solid polycarbonate sheets,

such as embossed and frosted sheets, have extremely high
impact strength. According to test data, impact strength of
polycarbonate sheet is about 200 times higher than the
common glass, and 2 to 20 times the tempering glass. They
are quite suitable for places where has a high potentiality of
Sufficient light is an essential element of the
greenhouse. Common glass and polyethylene are easy
to produce water drops on the surface, which severely
reduces light transmission and hinders plant growth.
After special treatment, condensation will not produce
on the interior surface of polycarbonate sheet.
Hemp Insulation
Growing Hemp reduces CO2 in the air

No chemicals needed to grow it

Hemp insulationbatts are anatural hemp insulationproduct

for use in timber frame walls and loft applications.

Hemp fibers are produced from hemp straw of the hemp

plant and during its rapid growth the plant absorbs CO2 at a
much faster rate than, for example, a tree. This makes hemp
not only completely renewable but also helps to reduce
atmospheric CO2 levels as it grows.

Benefits of hemp include:- durable and long lasting, low

thermal conductivity, absorbs and distributes moisture,
reduces humidity and condensation indoors, high energy
efficiency, absorbs carbon from the air
Glass Reinforced Concrete
The glass fibers are embedded into the cementitious matrix.

Composite material whereby the fibers are the principal load-

carrying members and the surrounding matrix keeps the fibers in
their locations and orientation, acting a load transfer medium
between them.

First developed in the UK in the late 1960s, earlier uses was

unsuccessful due to the alkaline nature of the cementitious matrix
reducing the effectiveness of the fibers

Cement rich concrete with a relatively low water/cement ratio

reinforced with alkali resistant glass fibers blended throughout the

No need to have a concrete cover

Composite material whereby the fibers are the principal load-

carrying members and the surrounding matrix keeps the fibers in
their locations and orientation, acting a load transfer medium
Eco blocks

ICFs (Insulating Concrete Forms ) are hollow blocks or panels made

of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).
Workers then add reinforcing steel and fill the gap (typically 4 to
8) between the two layers of foam with concrete.
This combination of concrete, steel and foam creates a very strong
and energy-efficient structure.
After the concrete has hardened, the forms stay in place and
become the insulation for the walls.
Curtain Walling Composite Panel

PortaFab manufactures composite panels for applications as diverse

as skyscraper curtain walls to cleanroom enclosures.
The use of these panels is growing in popularity due to the fact that
they can achieve significantly higher strength-to-weight ratios than
traditional solid panels.
By laminating durable surface skins to light weight core materials,
PortaFab can produce extremely light weight panels that are very
structurally sound yet meet specifications for flammability, thermal
efficiency, sound reduction, and weather/chemical resistance.
Their composite panel product line contains innovative Formacore
curtain walls along with a full line of standard aluminum honeycomb
and sandwich panels. Custom panels are available within each
product segment.
Noncombustible all aluminum panels
offer creative freedom for designers
and architects.
It's strong, lightweight, easily
fabricated and extraordinarily flat.
And, its core, face, and liner are all
Impact Resistant Glass

Impact resistant
glass is typically
used for homes
in hurricane or
tornado zones.

The material
offers greater
variation in how
it can be used
including larger
windows and
with different
Wool Bricks

By adding wool and a

natural polymer
found in seaweed to
the clay of the brick,
the brick is 37%
stronger than other
bricks, and more
resistant to the cold
wet climate often
found in Britain.
They also dry hard,
reducing the
embodied energy as
they dont need to be
fired like traditional
Solar Tiles
Solar tiles are fully
integrated into the building,
protecting it from the
weather and generating
power for its inhabitants.
Sustainable Concrete
Concrete is responsible
for 7-10% of global CO2
Sustainable forms of
concrete use recycled
materials in the mix.
Crushed glass can be
added, as can wood
chips or slag - a
byproduct of steel
By simply using a
material that would
have otherwise gone to
waste, the CO2
Paper Insulation
Made from recycled
newspapers and
cardboard, paper-based
insulation is a superior
alternative to chemical

Both insect resistant

and fire-retardant
thanks to the inclusion
of borax, boric acid, and
calcium carbonate (all
completely natural
materials that have no
associations with health
problems), paper
insulation can be blown
into cavity walls, filling
every crack and

Advanced materials are used extensively within the

construction industry
The drive to construct more sustainable structures will
progress the developments of advanced materials
Reduces the demand on virgin materials and impact of
the industry on the landfill demands
Biocomposites can be derived to meet the specific
need required
Need to be careful to ensure that we do not develop
materials which could have a huge impact on the
future in terms of health and safety
Class Task

In pairs think of different applications of Fibre Reinforced

Applications of FRC

Residential - driveways, pool construction, foundations, drainage, etc

Commercial exterior and interior floors, floors, slabs ans parking areas, roadways

Warehouse / Industrial light to heavy duty loaded flooors and roadways

Highways/Roadways/Bridges concrete paving, sound attenuation barriers

Ports and Airports runways, taxiways, aprons, seawalls, dock areas, parking and
loading ramps

Waterways dams, lock structures, channel linings, ditches, storm-water structures,


Mining and Tunneling precast segments and shorcrete, may include tunnel lining,

Elevated Decks including commercial and industrial composite metal deck

construction and elevated formwork at airports

Agricultural animal and farm storage structures

Precast Concrete and Products: architectural panels, tilt-up construction, walls,
fencing, septic tanks, burial vaults, grease trap structures, bank vaults and sculptures