The Anagennisis Project, held its third management meeting in London between the 6th and 10th July. The management meeting worked on discussing the discoveries and developments of the project, disseminating experiences between the 17 partners represented by some 40 researchers, developers and representatives from project partners.
On Monday 6th July the Anagennisis project, a 4.5m Euro funded project, held an Industry Seminar to inform decision makers in industry about the nature of the work being done by the Anagennisis partners.
The overview presentation, given by Kypros Pilakoutas, Professor of Construction Innovation, Department of Civil & Structural Engineering at The University of Sheffield, outlined the problem of waste tyres, the processes by which they were currently recycled, including use for energy recovery, which the presentation explained, only recovered 25 per cent of the energy used to manufacture the tyres originally. There had to be better solutions and the Anagennisis project was looking for better uses for waste materials, including tyres.
The essence of Anagennisis is to develop solutions to reuse all tyre by-products in concrete applications with reduced environmental impact through:
- Highly-deformable rubberised concrete and recycled fibres for integral bridge elements and base isolation systems (vibration/seismic).
- Reused Tyre Steel Fibre (RTSF) concrete mixes for use in slabs-on-grade, precast concrete, sprayed concrete and screeds.
- Reused Tyre Polymer Fibre (RTPF) concrete mixes for shrinkage crack control in concrete elements, precast concrete, sprayed concrete and screeds.
- Mini-Demonstration Projects in different environmental & economic conditions using the developed materials/applications.
- Developing/implementing standardised design guidelines and life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCAA) protocols.
The aim of the industry seminar was to highlight these projects and opportunities to potential future commercial users of the completed projects. This was focused by the fact that Dr. Peter Waldron, one of the scheduled speakers who was to talk on steel wire used in concrete was, in fact, unavailable, as he was supervising the laying of a steel wire reinforced concrete slab at a new construction project in Yorkshire at the time of the seminar: Evidence that at least one of these projects has passed to commercial maturity and is being used to good effect in industry.
Expected outcomes of Anagennisis are stated as:
- Breakthrough innovation in novel technologies & products with high potential to achieve a greener economy.
- Reduced waste production and pressure on raw materials from the construction industry.
- Improved resource efficiency and reduced environmental impacts leading to a more sustainable consumption
- Substantial contribution towards the sustainable supply of raw materials of economic importance.
- Improved communication and knowledge transfer to policy making, business and to the general public.
At the present time the project is at a midway stage and it has already met some of its objectives.
- Developed highly deformable rubberised concrete mixes
- Developed steel fibre blends that outperform conventional steel fibres
- Demonstrated that polymer fibres can control fire spalling
- Started material/process audits for LCA & LCCA
- Developing numerical models to describe behaviour in structures
- Designed and initiated large scale tests and mini-demonstration projects
The aim now is to complete the project by following through to a conclusion, research on:
- Develop/demonstrate highly deformable structural elements for base isolation, bearings, and seismic applications
- Develop/demonstrate optimised fibre blend concrete for shrinkage strain and fire spalling control, as well as fire and water retaining structures
- Develop and validate numerical models leading to design guidelines
- Demonstrate the environmental credentials of the new materials/applications
- Reduce amount of tyres being incinerated!
Finally, the presentation suggested how the project could work with industry to help bring about a positive outcome for everyone involved.
It was essential that there was co-ordination of research, that those involved in similar such projects worked together and used standardised materials and methodology.
There was a need to assess materials from different sources to spread the use of such materials in construction. And there was a need for the researchers to be challenged by industry with potential applications and for industry to offer demonstration sites where the materials from research projects could be trialled in real life scenarios.
Finally, it was critical Pilakoutas said, that industry helped disseminate the knowledge about these projects to a wider audience, to create a greater appreciation of what was possible by using waste materials a a source of aggregates and reinforcing materials.