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Functional Surfaces

Functional Surfaces

Type of project:
PhD.–project under Marie Curie – Research Training Network, Nanocem

Responsible part:
University of Aberdeen

Recent technical innovations in concrete technology have opened exciting new opportunities for developing, for routine production, SMART multifunctional concretes capable of self-cleaning, atmospheric pollution mitigation and optimisation of indoor air quality (temperature and humidity). The focus of this activity is on modification of concrete surfaces by targeted deposition of surface functional additives. The activity will compliment and enhance the application of existing research on pore structure engineering by utilising external as well as internal surfaces as deposition substrates for appropriate functional additives. Groups in NANOCEM are currently working on catalysts for self-cleaning and NOx reduction (Aberdeen, CTG), on optimum air-void distribution, transport processes and aesthetics (DTI) and together with Aalborg Portland (Project 15), are strongly placed to optimise these technologies and forward towards practical concretes.

Objective and Innovation : This project aims to adapt innovative technologies, e.g. from microbial ecology, self-segregating polymers, controlled-release materials, for application in a new generation of environment responsive structural materials. Properties to be targeted include depth-graded pore structures, concretes with enhanced optical translucency (photocatalytic applications) and integration of phase change materials for temperature and humidity control. Surrey provides imaging capabilities to monitor deposition of functional materials providing means of assessing effectiveness of dispersion. Collaboration with CTG will provide the means to develop materials that control the physical and chemical functionality of concrete to surfaces exposed to external stimuli.

Project period:

Aalborg Portland
Danish Technological Institute
University of Aberdeen
University of Surrey


Relation to the Danish Concrete Counsel focus areas:
1. Efficiency and economics
2. Aesthetics, function, and flexibility  x
3. Environment, work environment, and indoor climate  x
4. Recruitment, education, and R&D