Kira Heins, a researcher studying concrete pipes reinforced with textiles, has received the 2020 Hanns Voith Foundation Prize for her thesis on the subject. The research showed that textile-reinforced concrete is up to 80% lighter and up to six times stronger than traditional steel-reinforced concrete.
In 2020, ITA-doctoral candidate Kira Heins was awarded Hanns Voith Foundation Prize 2020 in the field of New Materials to the tune of € 5,000. Ms Heins received the prize for her Master’s thesis Development and Realisation of Concepts for Manufacturing of Intelligent Textile reinforced Concrete Pipes.
With her work, Ms. Heins is researching the implementation of textile reinforced concrete pipes with leakage detection integrated into the reinforcement for the first time.
Compared to conventional steel-reinforced concrete, high-strength concrete with textile reinforcement is lighter (up to 80%), stronger (up to a factor of 6), more durable (> 80 years) and more resistant against corrosion and is therefore an excellent alternative for conventional building materials.
The reduction of concrete and thus cement content by up to 80 percent facilitates a significant contribution to the sustainable use of resources in the construction industry. Conductive fibres as sensors in the textile reinforcement enable the location of leakages.
This principle paves the way for the development and production of sustainable water pipe systems made of textile concrete.Implementation of sensor-integrated textile concrete pipes in the field of drinking water supply.
Materials with high tensile strengths with negligible elongation properties are reinforced with woven or nonwoven fabrics. The fibres used for making the fabric are of high tenacity like Jute, Glass Fibre, Kevlar, Polypropylene, Polyamides (Nylon) etc. The weaving of the fabric is done either in a coil fashion or in a layer fashion. Molten materials, ceramic clays, plastics or cement concrete are deposited on the base fabric in such a way that the inner fabric is completely wrapped with the concrete or plastic.