We have developed a light modular element made of concrete

News, 22/07/2019

The team of the laboratory of composite structures of the University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of CTU, in cooperation with Technofiber, s.r.o., has developed a hollow concrete element, which stands out for its lower material consumption during production and the resulting lower weight, while maintaining the properties guaranteeing its high durability and visual quality. Thanks to the possibility of easy adjustment of the length of the element, there is a wide possibility of its use in design and construction. A concrete pergola prototype was created as the first practical application.

The development of a lightweight hollow rod element with a cross-section of 60 x 120 millimeters was carried out by the Czech Technical University UCEEB for a leading domestic manufacturer of high-quality knitted composite products. The purpose of the research was to find an ideal combination of carbon reinforcement and a homogeneous mixture of high-quality concrete, which would enable a reduction in the consumption of primary sources of raw materials and facilitate handling during subsequent applications. The hollow profile of the elements really significantly reduces both the material consumption during production and their weight to around eight kilograms per one meter of length. Thanks to this, their installation should be done without heavy handling equipment with normal dimensions of structures.

The end user of the elements can easily adjust their length according to their needs. This opens up wide possibilities for their various applications in design and construction. "As the first of them, a concrete pergola with overall dimensions of 2.4 x 2.4 meters and a depth of 1.3 m was created according to the design of our designer Zuzana Jirkalova. The individual elements of the structure are connected using metal profiles (steel) and shaped welds. Together, they were assembled without difficulty by two trained workers," says the head of the research team, Tomáš Vlach.

In addition, the high-quality material creates a massive impression and guarantees a long durability of the entire structure, which is its main advantage over wood. Hollow concrete elements, in contrast to wooden elements, also allow for hidden wiring of electrical installations, for example for lighting needs. Compared to ordinary concrete, the new elements are both significantly lighter and architecturally more interesting, and they retain their visual quality for a significantly longer time.