Smart Casting of conrete structures by active control of rheology (SmartCast)
Concrete production processes do not take full advantage of the rheological potential of fresh cementitious materials, and are still largely labour-driven and sensitive to the human factor. SmartCast proposes a new concrete casting concept to transform the concrete industry into a highly automated technological industry. Currently, the rheological properties of the concrete are defined by mix design and mixing procedure without any further active adjustment during casting. The goal of this proposal is the active control of concrete rheology during casting, and the active triggering of early stiffening of the concrete as soon as it is put in place. The ground-breaking idea to achieve this goal, is to develop concrete with actively controllable rheology by adding admixtures responsive to externally activated electromagnetic frequencies. Inter-disciplinary insights are important to achieve these goals, including inputs from concrete technology, polymer science, electrochemistry, rheology and computational fluid dynamics.