Building Materials and Process Engineering

  • Material Investigations
  • Material Processing
  • Innovative Products

Material, Processes and Machines

The Building Materials and Process Engineering research field investigates and develops the scientific and technical bases for the extraction of raw materials and the production and processing of building materials. Its tasks and responsibilities essentially result from the close interaction between materials, processes and equipment. The only way to implement effective new solutions or improve existing processes is thus to adopt a holistic view and to engage in close collaboration between the fields of materials science, process engineering and mechanical engineering.

Concrete and other mixes

In a multitude of projects, an exceedingly wide range of concrete and other mixes are being developed and improved with respect to their material characteristics and workability parameters. Materials include conventional ready-mixed and cast-in-place concrete, self-compacting and ultra-high-performance concrete (SCC and UHPC), fibre-reinforced concrete as well as textile, light-weight, aerated and foam concretes, mineral foams, compounds for dry mortar products, soil mortar and plastic-bound polymer concrete.

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.

Regenerative raw materials

Furthermore, increasing efforts are being made to conserve primary resources and to promote building with regenerative raw materials. Related research activities pertain not only to wood, but also to the use of hemp, miscanthus and various types of grain.