The specialty chemicals company Synthomer plc, Harlow/UK, is participating in a project aimed at developing the next generation of concrete manufacturing technology.
The project is led by construction experts at the University of Loughborough/UK and supported by a grant of £1.2 million from the EPSRC’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) is a digitally-driven, off-site manufacturing technology that is establishing itself worldwide as a viable manufacturing process. However, its use beyond purely aesthetic objects is currently limited by the manufacturing accuracy achievable. The work undertaken by this group will develop the next generation, Hybrid Concrete Printing (HCP), technology that uses 3DCP to create a near-net-shape (an object slightly larger than the desired object) and then uses a subtractive process (cutting, milling and drilling) to remove a small amount of material to create the net-shape - the desired object to sub-mm precision. HCP technology offers an alternative to traditional cast concrete, freed from the need to construct molds and traditional constraints on form and finish.