Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lightweight, high resistance synthetic fibres to save historic buildings and monuments


Many of Europe’s historic buildings, monuments and civil engineering structures are gradually decaying. Already weakened by age, they are damaged by earth tremors, pollution and traffic vibration. And this is more than just a cultural problem. Continual maintenance is extremely costly and obtrusive, not least because of its negative impact upon tourism and traffic.

Conventional rehabilitation methods using wooden or steel buttresses, tie rods and scaffolding supports dominate the landscape and usually do not offer a long term, durable solution.

But EUREKA project COMREHAB has developed new techniques to strengthen masonry, wood and concrete buildings using carbon-fibre strips instead of steel bars. These will reinforce structures with less damage to the existing building.

Partners from Spain, the UK, Portugal and Slovenia worked together to create and test new advanced composites made of epoxy or polyester resin matrix.
The new high resistance synthetic fibres are applied in thin layers to strengthen and stiffen stress-critical areas.

The materials are lighter and less intrusive than an alternative like steel plate reinforcement, and have exceptional resistance to corrosion. They offer easier handling, adapt readily to shape irregularity and can be delivered to the site in rolls of 100m or more. Unlike traditional methods, the new approach is reversible. It is a less disruptive process, and can be implemented without the need for foundation reinforcement because the materials are so lightweight.

The application of this new technology at low temperatures will cut the cost of conventional reinforcement technologies by 15%. It can be applied on site using existing low-cost heating devices. The project team hope that this will open up a market to rehabilitate historic buildings and monuments throughout Europe worth in the region of 100 MEuro per annum.

Ebby Shahidi, Design and R&D Director of UK resins experts Advanced Composites Group Ltd, explains “the ability to cure at low temperature allows the production of reinforcement patches with a wide range of fibres that can be easily used for in-situ repair work.”

But more research is needed. Despite a total of 24 structural tests, the partners have experienced problems introducing a universal use of composites in the construction industry. “This difficulty is an educational one where engineers, architects and public administrators in the construction industry need to be shown the benefits of using these materials,” explains Juan Mieres, R&D Director of Spanish lead partner NECSO.

Mieres is anxious that further projects on the use of composites in the construction industry should be encouraged, in order to overcome existing problems such as creep, the ageing of resins, fire, and the difficulty of applying composites on site.

This was NECSO’s first European R&D project. “Working within the EUREKA framework has been an enriching experience, both from the technological and commercial points of view,” Mieres said. “It was an efficient way of introducing ourselves to working in the area of European technological research, which will lead to our involvement in future international R&D projects.”

Nicola Vatthauer | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Intelligent wheelchairs, predictive prostheses
20.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

nachricht Jelly with memory – predicting the leveling of com-mercial paints
15.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>