IIT-Guwahati director TG Sitharam said 3D printing of concrete can be a technological solution for reducing carbon footprint in the construction industry.
Researchers at IIT-Guwahati have developed a 3D printer that uses construction waste to print furniture. The concrete printer, jointly developed by IIT-Guwahati and Deltasys E-Forming, is capable of printing components up to 1 m long, 1 m wide and 1 m tall, as per an official statement.
The researchers used specially-developed printable concrete containing industrial wastes as binders to build 3D printed furniture with a seating height of 0.4 m, a width of 0.4 m, and an arch-shaped support. The entire unit was printed layer by layer at an 80 mm/s speed, with each layer having a 10 mm height. After the unit was printed, it was covered with moist gunny bags for seven days to cure before being used, the statement issued by IIT-Guwahati on Monday said.
"Traditionally, these structures were mold casted which requires more concrete material, labour, and formwork preparation. However, with 3D concrete printing, optimised designs are printed with 75 per cent less concrete and without the need of mold," the statement said.
IIT-Guwahati director TG Sitharam said 3D printing of concrete can be a technological solution for reducing carbon footprint in the construction industry. "From Indian context, techno-economic analysis must be carried out that take into account not only the environmental sustainability but also aspects relating to cost, quality, labour, and maintenance associated with 3D printing," he said.
The researchers aim to design high-performance concrete mixes made from industrial wastes for printing such complex structures, said professor Biranchi Panda of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. "We showcased how material-efficient structures can be produced in our lab scale 3D printer," he said.
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