Research area technology


Free-form & Additive Manufacturing

The Technology group focuses on the application and transfer as well as further development of new technologies in the building process. Current topics include parameterised topology optimisation, 3D prototyping (plastics, resin, metal, mineral materials) as well as alternative material saving manufacturing methods for concrete parts.

Three-dimensional printing

This technology is a generative manufacturing method with which, based on 3D construction principles, building parts can be ‘printed’. The underlying principle of the generative process as compared to the established system of subtracting methods (e.g. milling, chipping) is a layered buildup (of fluid or powder materials) of the workpiece without material loss. The potential of this promising technology cannot yet be precisely estimated but it allows for economical production of prototypes up to small batches. The essential advantage of this new manufacturing method is, on one hand, its design freedom and possibility of individualisation and, on the other hand, the possibility to produce extremely complex building parts that can be light and strong (keyword topology optimisation).

Fabric formwork

Today’s formwork can be decisively changed by using fabric as the formwork material. Two of the main reasons being less damage to the environment by saving material and less time consumption and therefor cost. The fabric in the form of an innovative formwork compared to conventional systems means material savings since the formwork itself uses less material. In addition, the assumption is that the consumption of concrete can be significantly reduced with shape optimisation and new requirements of the reinforcement and its coverage. Other ecological as well as economical aspects are transportation and logistics of the formwork. The great advantage of fabric formwork is that it can be rolled up or folded. The formwork for a wall, for example, can thus be transported by automobile instead of lorry; another significant environmental advantage due to reduced transportation-related CO2 emissions. For the worker on the construction site, fabric formwork means lighter work loads due the high degree of prefabrication and low weight.

DFG Priority Programmes – Light building with concrete

Fundamentals for the development of adaptive formwork systems for free-formed concrete building parts

(Cooperation project with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carl-Alexander Graubner, Institut für Massivbau, TU Darmstadt (Institute for Massive Building))

The formwork to be used is of great significance for the realisation of concrete load-bearing structures designed according to bionic principles with free-formed contours, in technical as well as economical regard. The research project will deal with the development of adaptive and actively controllable formwork systems that can flexibly respond to arbitrarily inclined and curved building part surfaces by use of new materials and construction principles. The formwork itself is supposed to act according to bionic principles. Computer-aided, electrically controllable anchor and control element systems allow for efficient, material-saving manufacturing methods and minimise the load on the formwork system. A complex non-linear relationship exists between the pressure of the concrete on the formwork and the formwork system used. This relationship has not yet been scientifically examined for inclined and free-formed building part surfaces in particular. The manifold parameters influencing the pressure of fresh concrete are analysed. This is done with broad large-scale tests. In addition, a numeric model is developed and modelled with a FE program. The model is to be verified and possibly calibrated based on the test results. Then, encompassing parameter studies are to be carried out. The identified findings will be used to work out a universally valid, hitherto non-existent engineering model to specify the pressure of the fresh concrete that acts on inclined and curved formwork surfaces. The results gained from this model are exemplary verified by means of building part trials.

Contract research HUESKER Synthetic GmbH

For this project, a fabric formwork for a reinforced concrete column is developed in cooperation with HUESKER Synthetic GmbH, a company producing technical textiles, amongst other products. Hereby, the focus lies on material choice and assembly. Important aspects are the joints at the upper and lower end, the suspension and adjustment of the formwork. Besides numerous material test pieces, the outcome were many smooth and textured materials used on 1.6m high test pieces. The project was finalised with two mock-ups; one with smooth and one with textured material, 2.8m high.

Auftragsforschung PERI GmbH

Schalung Gerüst Engineering

Textile Schalung

  • Sascha Hickert
  • Carina Kisker
  • Alamir Mohsen
  • Dennis De Witte M.Sc.
  • Robert Akerboom M.Sc.