IILM College of Engineering and Technology

Thermo Concrete: An Environmentally Intelligent Building Material

The thermoconcrete is a reinforced concrete panel element made of sheets of welded steel wire mesh with a core filled by insulated expanded polysterene sheets and concrete and plastered on the surface.

A galvanized steel wires are inserted through the EPS panels through the Polystyrene core with some offset and inclination for better strength and they are welded to parallel wire mesh at the outer layers. Concrete is poured on both the sides of the panel by means of shotcrete. The average life span of such highly insulated thermoconcrete structure is 50 years and above.

Construction applications include single, double and mutilstorey building panels as Masonry walls, metal framed walls, flooring system and roofs as wells as in stairs and boundary wall

CONCRETE ELEMENTS

There are various concrete elements such as single wall panel, double wall panel, slab and roof panel, Non load bearing wall panel and staircase panel.

Single wall panel consists of a polystyrene sheet that is sandwiched between two welded wire mesh mats. The polystyrene sheet can be designed as per any dimensional and structural requirements of the building. These panels are used for building not like walls, floors and roofs with smaller spans as well as for partitions and cladding. Upto four storey these panels can be used as load bearing walls. They serve both residential and commercial purposes.

These panels can be used for either new or renovation of walls as a curtain wall and partition in large-sized industrial and commercial buildings.

Double wall panel acts as an excellent insulation material. It can be used as for RC walls such as load bearing and retention walls. It consists of two evenly spaced panels connected by means of horizontal connectors. The intermediate space between the two panels are filled with concrete of specified design mix. The outer surface is plastered as per need.

Floors, roofs and slabs are constructed by using slab panel. As per the requirement of the section of the structure the dimensions, thickness and geometry can be flexible. The reinforcement and concrete can be placed either On site or Partially on site as per convenience.

Non load bearing wall panels can be used for partitions, floorings, external wall claddings. Interior and decorative aspects can be imbedded with these panels

Staircase panels are made up of polysterene core which are arranged with risers and tread as per design requirements and two electro welded meshes are connected on the sides as to cover it joined by means of connectors. Reinforcement arrangement for this stair is done on site.

Transmission of external temperatures such as heat and cold are significantly reduced by 50% to 70%. It has enhanced sound insulation properties enabling the occupants a calm space. As Use of materials, labor is reduced and precast members lead to speedy construction it is economical and saves traditional construction cost by high margin. Minimized capital investment is plausible as only minimum labors and minimum equipment are required Thermocrete Panel requires few mason and skilled people. As this method of construction does not deplete forest resources and much of brickwork is eliminated in addition to the fact EPS has no Ozone damaging effects both in production and Utilization it is a environment friendly. These materials can also be recycled. Building constructed with this technology can be certified by the Leed certification for a passive building but the Green Building Council.
Maintenance and Rehabilitation is minimal compared to conventional mansonry work. It is resistant to wind of upto 200 miles per hour and extreme weather and temperatures. Hence Reduces Maintenance cost. As these structures are thermal insulated the lower heating and cooling loads results in 50% to 80% reduction in electricity consumptions. They are termite proof. These structures possess excellent seismic resistant behaviour and they have proved to be resistant upto 7 in Richter Scale.

One or more floors can be raised in any existing building with thermoconcrete materials without any fear of safety or stability as they are light weight materials.They are highly adaptable to any design criterias and accessible for construction in remote areas where construction materials are not readily available.

Finney H Wilson
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering

SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY FOR REAL-TIME INFRASTRUCTURE MONITORING

As many a structure and Civil infrastructure are deteriorating in a rapid speed the American Society of Civil Engineers conducted a study of these constructions in the united states. On an A — F scale, It was observed that most of these infrastructure were on D+ rating. A Smartphone-based technology has been developed by the researchers of University of Missouri which monitors Infrastructure systems such roads and bridges. It is estimated that the failure of structural systems could cause 1% drop in the GDP. U.S witnessed a loss of 200 Billion dollars in the year 2017.
Hence arises the need for developing advanced monitoring solutions to face the challenge of aging structures. Sensors such as a gyroscope, an accelerometer and camera, or external sensors such as an infrared sensor are connected with Smartphone by which researchers will be able to determine the performance and deterioration of a structure in real-time.

This sensor is plugged into a smartphone, which will transmit the data to a database while riding on a road. The more the amount of data collected by large number of users the better the clarity and precise will be of health of roads and bridges

Bill Buttlar of of the Glen Barton Chair of Flexible Pavement Technology and Amir Alavi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the MU College of Engineering to developed a innovative solution to monitor roads and bridges.

Professor Amir Alavi, says There have been technical issues in most of the existing monitoring methods. Moreover they are not adequately user friendly.

As we are in a day where people prefer accessible, cost efficient, user friendly, handy and smart devices, with the technological advances using one’s own device the common man will be able to monitor structural health or detect problems

Buttlar says using smartphones to monitor and assess roads and bridges with affordable sensors really works. We are able to correlate and bind together many measurements to assess the surface friction or deterioration of a road accurately. On the project funded by Missouri Department of Transportation we proved that it can assess the condition of airport runways and taxiways accurately.

LIGHT TRANSMITTING CONCRETE

In achieving a milestone in the scientific advancement in construction materials, a Light transmitting concrete called LiTraCon has been developed. It is also known as translucent concrete.  It is one of the newest, most functional, revolutionary and brightest building material developed in recent years

A Hungarian architect by name Aron Losonczi developed LiTraCon in 2001.
4% to 5% of optical glass fibers in the volume are embedded into the concrete mixture. The material permits light to pass through.
The fibers which are of small size blend into concrete and become a component of the material that is similar to small pieces of aggregate. Compressive strength of up to 50 MPa is achieved in Light-transmitting concrete.
Besides the architectural and interior design purposes, light-transmitting concrete is used in floors, pavements, heat insulation, and load-bearing structures.
In the near future, Light transmitting concrete will hopefully find its potential applications as follows:

  • Translucent concrete inserts on front doors of homes, allowing the resident to see when there is a person standing outside.
  • In restaurants, clubs, resorts, and other entertainment establishments translucent concrete can be used to reveal how many patrons are inside.
  • Ceilings in a commercial structure or any large office building or commercial structure can incorporate translucent concrete which would reduce lighting costs during daylight hours.
  • Various colors could be incorporated in the translucent concrete in lane markers for roadways, which allows dynamic adjustments when required by traffic fluctuations.
  • Translucent concrete can be poured in Sidewalks with lighting underneath, so that the walkways will be lit to enhance safety, and also help foot travel was previously avoided at night.
  • When translucent concrete is used in an outer wall of an indoor stairwell, it can be illuminated in a power outage, which provided enhanced safety.
  • Driveways and Speed bump in parking lots and could be illuminated from below, which will increase its visibility and effectiveness.
  • Subways could be illuminated with daylight using this material.

As “LiTraCon” enables better daylighting electrical lighting is considerably reduced.  If the consumed energy use is less, the cost and energy-related emissions will be less.
The structural behavior of “LiTraCon” is similar to that of conventional concrete in terms of strength, insulation, and sustainability.
Some of the drawbacks:
Since the raw material used in the production of LiTraCon is costly the product’s high cost due to expensive raw material and unavailability for in situ casting, represent some of the main drawbacks. The manufacturing process of this product is very complicated that the possibility of using it on site is not feasible. The alignment of fibers affects the transmission of light. It will result in an ordinary concrete if there is any deviation from the application technique.
Countries such as Sweden, Hungary, Germany, France, USA, and China have adopted this technology. In Hungary partition walls in a private Villa, a cinema new logo plate, and an open-air statue were constructed using this technology.
As this technology advances, more people will come to see its potential and more new exciting applications will appear in everyday use.

Finney H Wilson
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
IILM CET