The Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV) specialist department "CC Bau" organised an international topic day in Augsburg that was attended by more than 50 participants. It focused particularly on aspects of the automated manufacturing of building components with polymer or concrete matrices in the construction industry.
Together with the heads of the other working groups (WG), Dr Ingelore Gaitzsch (WG fibre-reinforced composite cement), Professor Jens Ridzweski (WG fibre-reinforced polymers) and Otto Kellenberger (WG robot assisted manufacturing), Professor Ralf Cuntze, the head of the measuring and evidence WG, welcomed the more than 50 experts from Germany and Austria's carbon and construction industry. "Not only do we have to 'rethink building'; we also have to relearn things in some areas if we want to benefit from fibre composites in this industry." Cuntze went on to say that the automation of building components manufacturing was essential as this would make them cheaper as well as better and faster.
Professor Hubert Jäger, chairman of the CCeV board of directors and spokesperson for TU Dresden's Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) executive board, took these points on board in his welcome speech. "Future megatrends are always driven by materials. With its unique properties, carbon can make concrete more lightweight, but also more economical, environmentally friendly and effective."
He also said that this included rethinking or exploring different approaches, and finding solutions to how the polymer matrix in composite materials could interact with the concrete matrix in the most intelligent way. The presentations held at the topic day organised by CC Bau therefore focused on "the development of construction robotics over the past three decades" (Professor Thomas Bock, TU Munich, Professor Sigrid Brell-Cokcan, RWTH Aachen, Florian Fehrle, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg) as well as on the 3D printing of concrete building components (Professor Viktor Mechtcherine, TU Dresden, Jürgen Feix, University of Innsbruck, Werner H. Bittner, Contour Crafting/Umdasch Group) and also provided an insight into the practical application of "powder-based binder jetting for 3D printed formwork" (Tobias King, Voxeljet AG).
All of the lectures were completed by valuable contributions to the discussions from the participants. Several important points emerged as key topics:
(1) Progress, both generally as well as specifically in the area of automated manufacturing, can only be achieved interdisciplinary.
(2) By international comparison, the strict approval regulations in Germany hinder this progress.
(3) The affordably priced building space that will be necessary as soon as possible is more likely to be feasible sooner with robot-assisted building methods that are supported by digitally managed building data, from planning to the logistics and the construction site.
(4) The latest high-tech research results must be adapted to construction project-related dimensions, for example the normal concrete level, to allow a broader application.
After a final discussion round about the various lectures, a new working group on "robot-assisted manufacturing" was set up. It will be headed by Otto Kellenberger, who worked for robotics manufacturer KUKA for seventeen years and is the founder of the company AlphaTecK. At the end of the topic day, the participants were then given the opportunity to tour Voxeljet's production facilities in nearby Friedberg.
The CCeV specialist department CC Bau is going to host another topic day in Winterthur in Switzerand on 21 June 2018 and will also be present at the 10th carbon and textile concrete conference in Dresden on 25 and 26 September 2018.
Professor Hubert Jäger, chairman of the CCeV board of directors and spokesperson for TU Dresden's Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) executive board, talked in front of an audience of more than 50 experts at the CC Bau topic day in Augsburg.