Future is now
In Irkutsk for the first time in Russia successful tests of géobeton (geopolymer¹ concrete) were made in printing constructions on the mobile 3D-printer. A Russian-Italian company Renca² Rus, LLC has elaborated and tested various compositions of geobeton based on geopolymer binder for the technology of 3D-printing on mobile construction printer of the company Apis Cor³. This experience is unique. Both technologies are at the start of conquering the construction market, but the representatives of both companies believe that the future is in fast and eco-friendly construction.
The tests have shown a high efficiency of geobeton. Due to its specific composition an ideal for 3D printing consistency of the mixture was reached. This shortens the time of construction - the houses can be built within hours. The elaborated formula of geobeton is the most suitable for the technology of 3D printing due to a higher thixotropy, fluidity and an ability to adjust the setting time, with a constantly high mechanical strength (compressive strength reaches 100 MPa and more). Moreover geobeton is cost-efficient eco-friendly material thanks to the use of industrial byproducts.
Engineers of the company Renca Rus plan to modify compositions of the mixtures to adjust them both for the hot climate and severely cold temperatures, as well as to create the mixtures on the base of various local raw materials in the regions of Russia and worldwide to optimise the cost and properties of geobeton and to enable its efficient implementation with the mobile construction 3D printer of Apis Cor.
Geopolymers are the new inorganic materials with a polymer structure of molecules. They possess high strength and a range of specific properties. They have received their name - geopolymers since the raw materials used for their production are mainly minerals of geological origin. The first to use the term geopolymer was a French chemist Joseph Davidovits in 1978. The term geobeton was suggested by Russian engineers of Renca Rus as a particular case for construction materials based on geopolymer binders. The use of geobeton in construction is widely spread in Australia, Ireland, USA and others. For instance, in 2014 for the first time an entire airport in Brisbane was constructed with a concrete based on geopolymer binders. Moreover, metropolitan tubings and elements of the load bearing structures are produced. Back in the 80-s of the 20th century in USA they used special high strength geopolymer concretes for the airfield and road repair. In Russia the development of similar materials started in 1950s. The research works were made by the Kiev Institution of Civil Engineering guided by Glukhovskiy V.D. Various objects were built including civil and industrial constructions (residential house in Lipetsk, a part of the railroad with concrete ties in Moscow region, a motorway in Magnitogorsk, surface of the tank training battlefield near Chelyabinsk and others). Together with the introduction of 3D-printing technology in construction, geopolymer binders and geobetons on their base make a new step in development. Technology of geopolymer concrete is based on idea of applying inorganic mineral substances the production of which does not require the additional use of natural resources and does not lead to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere (byproducts of metallurgical, electrometallurgical industries and power plants). Geobeton is chemically inert to a range of aggressive substances, it is sturdy both to high temperatures and severe climates. Thanks to excellent physical-chemical properties geobeton can be widely used in construction. In comparison with traditional concrete production technology based on portlandcement, geobeton has better results in strength, durability, freeze-thaw resistance, fire resistance, heat insulation, corrosion and aggressive substance resistance including some types of acids. As a result, the use of geobeton improves general ecological situation by reducing CO2 emissions by up to 90% and recycling industrial byproducts. Their properties enable their implementation in the spheres with specific requirements towards concrete.
² Company Renca Rus, LLC
A joint Russian-Italian company Renca Rus, LLC is the only developer and supplier of geopolymer binders in Russia. Due to a rich experience and scientific and technical base specialists of the company are able to adjust their products according to the specific needs and raw material base of the customer. The scientific-research laboratory and office of the company in Russia is based in Chelyabinsk, in Italy - in Riccione. www.renca.ru
³ Apis Cor
Apis Cor is a developer of the first worldwide mobile construction 3D-printer that weights only 2,5 tons and is able to print more than 100 square meters of construction per 24 hours. Offices of the company are situated in Russia in Irkutsk and Moscow, there is also a representative office in San-Francisco, USA.