Textile reinforced concrete – new materials for construction applications

Sustainable construction with light carbon materials

Bridges, arenas, parking garages, houses, silos, towers for wind turbines, etc. - our world is made of concrete. In most cases concrete is reinforced with steel, which unfortunately also has the drawback of being susceptible to corrosion and fatigue. This results in high maintenance and repair costs. The signs are clear: We urgently need high performance construction materials to adequately meet our needs.

SIGRATEX® Carbon grid - the grid shaped reinforcing mat is easy to work with and embed into the concrete matrix

A tried and tested concept to eliminate these drawbacks is the textile reinforcement of concrete. For approximately 20 years, leading scientists have been working with the idea of improving the world of concrete by using high performance fibers, developing so-called "textile concrete".

High performance fibers, typically in the form of grid shaped textiles, are integrated into the concrete structure by lamination or casting. These fibers could include especially alkaline resistant glass fibers, or carbon fibers. The chemical resistance of carbon fibers makes them particularly suitable for concrete reinforcement, in addition to their outstanding tensile strength, high modulus of elasticity, and low density. This innovative combination of materials has many advantages:

  • Corrosion resistant reinforcement
  • Can be freely positioned in alignment with the direction of force and close to the surface of the component
  • Light, thin, load bearing components from approx. 10-15 mm
  • High efficiency due to low material consumption
  • High quality fine grained concrete surfaces with great freedom of design in terms of surface structure and color
  • Easy processing and high degree of freedom in form

Numerous innovative projects have been realized in recent years. In 2014, the first general building approval for carbon reinforcement was approved by the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt) (Allg. bauaufsichtliche Zulassung Z-31.10-182, DIBt, Berlin, 06.06.2014).

Fiber reinforcement, coupled with concrete building and construction, is so advanced technically that you won’t have to wait long for applications to gain a foothold commercially. Whether it’s in new building or the maintenance of older structures, fiber composite technology offers many new options for civil engineering.

The SGL Group has over 10 years of experience in the field of carbon reinforcement, and we continue to focus on the further development of fiber composite technology in the construction industry.

In addition to textile reinforcement, other methods of reinforcing concrete structures with continuous fibers are becoming increasingly popular, for example:

  • Fiber reinforced rebar
  • Adhesion of untensioned and prestressed strips
  • Prestressing tendons

While the concrete shows its strength under pressure, the carbon fiber, with its outstanding tensile characteristics, is a worthy counterpart. Together, these two materials form a dynamic duo!

As a member of the C3 - Carbon Concrete Composites , we are pooling our expertise in carbon fiber materials with our partners, and further developing composite materials for specific applications.

German sustainability award presented to the C³ project

Germany's largest construction research project, C³-Carbon Concrete Composite, was awarded the German Sustainability Award in the category of “Research”. The ambitious project, in which more than 130 partners are working on the research and establishment of new carbon reinforced concrete materials, was chosen from 87 research projects "from all major German research centers and numerous smaller scientific institutions". As a basis for awarding prize, the foundation Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V. highlighted the fact that establishing the new building material C³, and development of a new construction methods, offers a promising approach to bring about a paradigm shift in the construction industry, and thus in urban development.

 "It is a great honor for us, that our topic has been received with such appreciation. We are convinced, that in approximately 10 years, we will be able to replace about 20 percent of steel reinforced concrete with carbon reinforced concrete", said Prof. Klaus Raps, Vice Chairman of C³- Carbon Concrete Composite e.V.

 The research prize, which was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and awarded this year for the eighth time, was entitled "The Year of Science 2015 - City of the Future". It focused on research for sustainable development in municipal areas. The C³ project sets an example of a resource conserving construction method. Carbon reinforced concrete enables sustainable, flexible and long lasting construction and paves the way for a completely new design style in architecture and urban development.

Cathodic protection from corrosion with carbon textiles

Cathodic protection (CP) is a method of corrosion control which can be used to protect reinforcement materials in concrete structures. In CP systems, an electrical voltage causes a potential shift of the metal reinforcement to become cathodic. This can suppress anodic iron dissolution and thus extend the life of the structure. Various types of anodes are used for the protection and repair of steel reinforced concrete components, most generally consisting of mixed metal oxide coated titanium. Carbon fibers and carbon fiber grids are promising new materials for CP anodes due to their electrical conductivity and good mechanical properties.


Are you ready to head in a new direction? Please contact us: Be it customized reinforcement fibers, new textiles, or fiber composite materials - we look forward to redefining the boundaries of building and architecture with you.

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