Building Materials and Process Engineering
- Material Investigations
Measurement of the porosity values of ceramic products
- Material Processing
Solidification of subsoil with a low load-bearing capacity using polymer-bound stone columns
- Innovative Products
Foam concrete blocks ensure heat insulation, sound absorption and a healthy indoor climate
- Building materials development
Prefabricated masonry with self-built clay acoustic panels
Material, Processes and Machines
Concrete and other mixes
Conventional cement concrete is often not resistant in chemically aggressive environments. The result is high economic damage due to component failure. Polymer concretes are produced using binders based on polymers. The concrete obtained is impermeable to liquids, highly resistant to chemicals and capable of withstanding high mechanical loads. Together with partners from industry, IAB develops novel polymer concrete formulations and products for demanding applications.
Ceramic raw materials and ceramic materials
As the oldest man-made building material, brick must respond to steadily increasing requirements regarding its physical properties. We are working on innovations related to raw materials and the production process so as to keep brick competitive both in terms of its physical properties and its commercial viability. This research is also inextricably linked to reducing energy consumption and lowering CO2 emissions in production and processing. We conceive sustainability strategies, investigate potentials and develop approaches to the efficient use of resources and waste materials.
Clay building materials
Clay meets all the requirements for a modern, ecological or building biological binding agent. In the production of earthen building materials, almost little energy is used and almost no CO2 is emitted. Clay building products are not only used in residential construction, but also more and more frequently in the expansion and conversion of large commercial premises and public building complexes. Public authorities are increasingly opting for this building material for the renovation of schools and kindergartens in order to benefit from its outstanding climatic properties.
Research work at the IAB is concerned with product developments around the building material clay. In addition to clay building boards and finish products for wall surfaces, the prefabrication of clay walls is the focus of research.
Regenerative raw materials
- Measurement Methods
Flow measurement in a pipe geometry that reduces the growth of algae
Combination of pneumatic measurement and control systems on a filter test rig
Scanning electron microscopy of a clay mineral
It’s the Process that Matters Most
Most road pavements are still built with asphalt, even though the significance of concrete in road construction has continuously increased in the past few decades. Requirements for road infrastructure become more and more demanding due to constantly increasing payloads in truck traffic.
Basic operations: mechanical and thermal process engineering
- Extraction and storage
- Conveying and batching
- Crushing and grinding
- Mixing and classifying
- Firing and calcining
- Agglomerating and moulding
- Reprocessing and recycling
- Railway Sleeper Test
Test rig for enabling automated quality control of the position and dimensional accuracy of the reinforcement in railway sleepers
- Virtual Engineering
Simulation of a fluidised bed
- Optical Measurements
Filter cartridge in the bubble test
- Powerful Hardware
Computing cluster at the data centre used for simulations
Control Accuracy Exactly to Specifications
Quality control systems
Optical measuring methods
Optical measuring methods used in process monitoring are of particular interest to IAB researchers. This is where image processing systems come into play because they are easy to use in quality control. They visualise important characteristics of the material, such as its texture and colour stability. This approach is complemented by methods based on fibre optics that enable high-resolution temperature and strain measurements along the entire length of a light conductor.