The 18th edition of the famous event took place in Weimar in November 2011. Under the slogan of the conference “prospects of new materials and technologies for prefabricated concrete products” some 250 experts met again in Thuringia. For many years now, this industry gathering has been firmly established among the precast concrete industry. However, this is no doubt partly due to the excellent organization headed by the IFF - Institut für Fertigteiltechnik und Fertigbau Weimar e.V.
This autumn, the organizers managed again to delegate renowned lecturers with exciting topics to the speaker’s desk.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Joachim Bargstädt M.Sc. opened the first panel giving a lecture on “precast construction in Germany – from poor performance to excellence”. He presented photos taken in practice, showed projects realized and he did not avoided either to refer to common problems at construction sites and/or in logistics illustrating them with pictures. Then a bridge was forged further to Russia: Max Shmatov of the Russian Concrete Union orated about the concrete market in Russia. On the question, how to succeed there, his response was the conclusion that there might be no other country in the world requiring to focus on the customers (concrete plants) and the geologic and climate conditions that much than in Russia. However, his lecture included a positive statement too: there is a market and it is open to foreign investors and innovation.
Afterwards, the first expert panel was opened on the topic “trends in building materials”. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Middendorf presented the latest developments achieved in the field of his chair concerning foamed concrete, Dr. rer. nat. Hendrik Möller hold a lecture on product and design of Celitement and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl-Christian Thienel spoke about LiaCem, a new aggregate mix for lightweight precast concrete elements.
However, the subject of cement substitutes was also taken up, as Prof. Dr.-Ing. Habil Anette Müller presented strategies for re-using residual materials rich in silica. The panel was concluded with a lecture from Dyckeroff on their own development Nanodur.
The focus of the last series of the first conference day was entitled “processing technology and process engineering”. Philippe Francisco of CERIB enlightened the conference participants about the status quo of creep deformation of UHPFRC considering the influence of heat treatment. The IFF presented the further developed compaction process using harmonic vibration. The simulation parameters for the DEM analysis of conveying processes was the topic of jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Katterfeld, thematically supplemented by numerical simulation and experimental testing of the flow behavior in the colloidal mixer (IFF) as well as bulk material simulation of mobile equipment (Manuel Cremer).
The first evening of the conference was dedicated to sociability as every year. A large number of guests followed the invitation of the host to the facilities of the IFF. Furthermore, it was possible to visit the technical center that was only officially opened last year and is under construction again for an expansion.
The second day was started with the main topic “flexible manufacturing equipment and quality assurance”. The opening speech was held by Konrad Hübner (Sommer) on the automated production line for manufacturing of multi-layer precast concrete elements. Holger Stichel of Kobra Formen pointed out the benefits of the HotshoeTM (heated tamper shoes) for the production of concrete products and its results in terms of quality. High-frequency optical measurement methods (Justus Lipowsky, IFF) and the undulating tilting table ensuring homogenous compaction of large-scale precast elements (IFF) were also mentioned within this panel.
The last topic of the conference was addressed to the “application”. Company allton Planung GmbH presented examples of state-of-the-art construction using precast elements. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Teichmann convinced the visitors of his concept called “Quantz” enabling the production of very thin-walled concrete elements with high load-bearing capacities. It could be said that the concrete technologists are on the track of approaching ceramic building material properties.
The concrete core activation and Powercon-Multi, the awarded connectors, demonstrated additional successful kinds of application of precast construction methods.
Last but not least, the IFF was able to present another innovation: the multifunctional curbstone system “Mulitbord”.
The conclusion drawn by many visitors was that the organizers made a successful contribution to the implementation of innovative concepts relating to concrete.
Next year’s IFF Conference will take place from November 14 to 15, 2012. Again, the focus will be on applied concrete research to enhance the efficiency of the prefabrication industry.
In the anniversary year of the IFF Weimar e. V., which means that the institute will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2012, it will merge with the Research Institute for Underground and Pipeline Construction non-profit GmbH. FITR (Forschungsinstitut für Tief- und Rohrleitungsbau gemeinnützige GmbH). The only two business-oriented research institutions based in Weimar are connecting their competencies consolidating to “Weimar Institute for Applied Construction Research gGmbH” IAB (Institut für Angewandte Bauforschung Weimar gGmbH) since 01.01.2012.
This strategic alliance is intended to create an efficient and powerful scientific institution with the potential to take a leadership role in selected fields of research. The merger of the two institutes will not only open new economic but also new scientific perspectives. An important objective in this regard is to intensify national and international co-operations in the context of research and development, to develop new forms of cooperation and to promote the implementation of application-relevant technical innovations efficiently. Together with the industry scientific knowledge and experience will be transferred into new and improved methods or products.
IFF - INSTITUT FÜR FERTIGTEILTECHNIK UND FERTIGBAU WEIMAR e. V.
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