276-DFC : Digital fabrication with cement-based materials

Technical Committee 276-DFC

General Information

Chair: Dr. Nicolas ROUSSEL
Deputy Chair: Dr. Dirk LOWKE
Activity starting in: 2016
Activity ending in: 2021
Cluster A

Subject matter

The construction industry is anticipated to go through large mutations as automation in construction is expected to radically transform standard processing technologies and could lead, on longer-term perspectives, to disrupting technologies such as 3D-printing or contour crafting.

In the specific case of cementitious materials, this can be translated into “building without formwork” with an extended freedom for shaping and designing. This raises many questions concerning rheological target requirements for dedicated materials, a full control of the kinetics of hardening, new processing technologies such as deposition or advanced slip forming along with the structural behaviour of the resulting elements.

This moreover gives a new light to the existing knowledge on thixotropy, numerical simulations of concrete casting, fibre reinforced high performance concretes, polymer technology…

Many teams around the world are right now in the process of opening digital fabrication laboratories or platforms. Various strategies are explored along with various materials and technologies.

We believe that a RILEM technical committee on this topic will allow for the gathering of this emergent community in RILEM and for a definition of a common scientific basis and frame.


Limits of scope:

We will focus here only on cement based materials and plasters.

Terms of reference

Time necessary: 5 years

Timetable: first meeting in Washington DC (SCC2016) / A RILEM conference in 2019

Membership: Around 15 members mostly academic and from Europe and the US with an expected Chinese contribution

Detailed working programme

The scope will include:

  • Materials and rheological properties
  • Processes such as extrusion techniques (e.g. contour crafting),  particle bed techniques (e.g. D-Shape), advanced slip forming (e.g. Smart dynamic casting) and other existing patented technologies along with generic ones
  • Examples of applications and case studies
  • Opened research questions

Technical environment

This TC shall base its output on the deliverables from previous TCs such as TC-SCF (Simulation of concrete flow) and TC MRP (Measuring Rheological Properties of Cement-based Materials).

Expected achievements

  • RILEM will be positioning itself on this emerging technologies and gather its experts on such a topic
  • Such a topic could attract new RILEM members
  • The TC will produce a STAR and, potentially, some specific technical papers
  • The TC will organize the first RILEM conference on digital construction in 2019

Group of users

Academics, testing laboratories, industrialists, Ph.D students.

Specific use of the results

We expect that this TC could attract more new members, when created, as we are not fully aware at this stage of who is working actively or on an exploratory basis on this topic.