UCLA engineers have won a $1.5 million NSF grant to develop 3D printed concrete incorporating carbon dioxide as a binder component.
The $1.5 million grant is part of the NSF’s Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future program.
Conventional cement accounts for about 8% of global man-made carbon emissions.
Incorporating carbon dioxide into the manufacturing process could result in new types of concrete possessing a lower carbon footprint.
“Concrete is by far the most manufactured material in the world. However its large carbon footprint is a major detriment toward its continued use in its current form,” notes principal investigator Mathieu Bauchy.
“This grant allows us to leverage recent developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to design a more sustainable product.”
The scientists are hoping to help construction evolve into a knowledge- and data-intensive industry of the 21st century.
UCLA Samueli professors Gaurav Sant and Puneet Gupta, as well as assistant professor Ximin He, are all part of Bauchy’s team and will together conduct simulations and carry out experiments.
According to the university, the scientists will focus on three main areas:
* Understanding and controlling how slurries of cement flow to enable their use in 3D printing.
* Figuring out how to maximize the amount of carbon dioxide being incorporated in this process.
* Using machine learning to discover new 3D printed structures that will offer high load-bearing capabilities, while still being lightweight.
Image and content: UCLA Samueli School of Engineering