The 26th International IFF Conference Concrete Diversity once again, in 2019, attracted more than 200 industry representatives to Weimar, Germany. The audiences listened to practice-relevant lectures and actively discussed industry trends.
The conference was opened by the Institute Director Dr. Ulrich Palzer (IAB), who warmly welcomed the audience and explained how stimulus from research and development would require faster implementation in practice. The motivational speech “Concrete 4.0 – Key to sustainable building” by Prof. Dr. Michael Haist (Leibniz University Hanover), who advocated the adaption of Industry 4.0 approaches, emphasized the resulting opportunities for the concrete construction sector.
Climate change and resource efficiency in focus
Current sustainability debates are increasingly moving alternative additions and aggregates, as well as recycled concrete aggregates into the focus of our industry. In this context, Prof. Horst-Michael Ludwig (Bauhaus University Weimar) examined the potentials of calcined clays, and Fuad Mammadov (Norm Cement) elaborated on the options of dolomite rock.
Both CERIB and IAB Weimar reported on the use of recycled aggregates in concrete production. Dr. Philippe Francisco demonstrated that structural concretes can achieve uniform performance parameters, even when containing a high portion of recycled aggregates. Dr. Barbara Leydolph presented the institute’s own recycling pilot plant, which covers all process steps and which is available to interested partners for joint research activities and experimental purposes. Steffen Schiecke (IAB) showed the possibilities of increasing the resistance of concrete to acid attacks, as they occur in agricultural and sewer structures.
Field of discourse on process reliability and quality control
The afternoon featured processes and equipment from the aspect of the demands placed by innovative construction materials on new and/or adapted technologies, as Dr. Christian Baumert (Stuttgart University) and Manfred Ludwig (F. Ludwig) showed.
Today, the view beyond the horizon of science is part of the ordinary daily business of a research facility. This was made especially clear in the contribution by Barbara Schaller (Gesellschaft für Geomechanik und Baumesstechnik), which closed out the first day of the conference. She spoke about risk management in salt mining.
A well-attended evening event rounded out the first day of the conference and ended with a Thuringian barbecue buffet. There was also great interest in the guided tours of the IAB laboratories and technical centers. Commissioning of the newly installed sorting plant in the technical recycling center showed the technical possibilities of today.
Future technology: 3D printing with concrete
Traditional production of precast elements is currently very complex, and the design variety is limited. Prof. Viktor Mechtcherine (TU Dresden) demonstrated the possibilities offered by additive production and the great variety and complexity of 3D printing with concrete. Mathias Dietzel (IAB) reported on the demanding characterization of material behavior and its digital modeling on sample simulations. The fact that practically oriented research is on the right course was shown by Thomas Roske (IAB), who presented a compensator for interference-free 3D concrete printing by use of a truck-mounted concrete pump.
Precast concrete elements in upward trend
The enormous potential that serial prefabrication offers was once more demonstrated by a panel discussion. For modular and bridge production, Hermann Stegink (Solid.box), Prof. Ursula Freundt (IB Dr. U. Freundt) and Max Ramm (IAB) showed that precast elements are an absolutely upward trend. Christoph Grenzdörfer (Eurovia Verkehrsbau Union GmbH) and Thomas Wächter (Hans Abel, Betonwerk Köthen) illustrated how semi-precast parts reduce construction time and costs in erecting portal foundations. To take advantage of the stated benefits, transport anchors must be capable of being used universally and outside common limits of application (Bernd Bültemeier, Friedrich Schroeder). At its end, the conference came full circle and again picked up on the topics of sustainability and Concrete Beton 4.0. Suzanne Le Thierry (CERIB) presented a French study on low CO2 concretes, and David Abouem (IAB) presented a construction material of the future: highly ductile concrete.
The program of the 26th International IFF Conference was accompanied by a technical exhibition that offered the participants the opportunity of intensive talks with representatives of the exhibiting companies and of gaining information on new products, developments and service offers.
The 27th IFF Conference is scheduled to take place on 11 and 12 November 2020. The program will be made available beginning in the middle of the year.