Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure

Abir Al-Tabbaa, Robert Lark, Kevin Paine, Tony Jefferson, Tim Embley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The resilience of building and civil engineering structures is typically associated with the design of individual elements such that they have sufficient capacity or potential to react in an appropriate manner to adverse events. Traditionally this has been achieved by using ‘robust’ design procedures that focus on defining safety factors for individual adverse events and providing redundancy. As such, construction materials are designed to meet a prescribed specification; material degradation is viewed as inevitable and mitigation necessitates expensive maintenance regimes; ~£40 billion/year is spent in the UK on repair and maintenance of existing, mainly concrete, structures. More recently, based on a better understanding and knowledge of microbiological systems, materials that have the ability to adapt and respond to their environment have been developed. This fundamental change has the potential to facilitate the creation of a wide range of ‘smart’ materials and intelligent structures, including both autogenous and autonomic self‐healing materials and adaptable, self‐sensing and self‐repairing structures, which can transform our infrastructure by embedding resilience in the materials and components of these structures so that rather than being defined by individual events, they can evolve over their lifespan. We therefore advocate that next generation infrastructure will include next generation infrastructure materials based on smart biomimetic construction materials. This paper presents details of the national consortium that is leading international efforts in the development of those next generation infrastructure materials. It presents details of the work done to date, over the past three years, as part of the EPSRC funded project Materials for Life and the plans for work to be done over the next five years as part of a follow-on Programme grant: Resilient Materials for Life.

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure
Abbreviated titleISNGI 2017
CountryUK United Kingdom
CityLondon
Period11/09/1713/09/17

Fingerprint

Biomimetic materials
Self-healing materials
Intelligent structures
Intelligent materials
Safety factor
Civil engineering
Concrete construction
Redundancy
Repair
Specifications
Degradation

Cite this

Al-Tabbaa, A., Lark, R., Paine, K., Jefferson, T., & Embley, T. (2017). Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure. Paper presented at International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, UK United Kingdom.

Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure. / Al-Tabbaa, Abir; Lark, Robert; Paine, Kevin; Jefferson, Tony; Embley, Tim.

2017. Paper presented at International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, UK United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Al-Tabbaa, A, Lark, R, Paine, K, Jefferson, T & Embley, T 2017, 'Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure' Paper presented at International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, UK United Kingdom, 11/09/17 - 13/09/17, .
Al-Tabbaa A, Lark R, Paine K, Jefferson T, Embley T. Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure. 2017. Paper presented at International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, UK United Kingdom.
Al-Tabbaa, Abir ; Lark, Robert ; Paine, Kevin ; Jefferson, Tony ; Embley, Tim. / Smart biomimetic construction materials for next generation infrastructure. Paper presented at International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, London, UK United Kingdom.
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