Design and Performance of 3D Printable UHPC Using Locally Available Materials

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The lack of internal reinforcement and the overdependency of Portland cement can limit the development of 3D printing (3DP) technology in construction, most notably in specific structures where large quantities of raw materials must be procured from greater distances. This study aims to address these challenges by developing eco-friendly 3D printable ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) capable of high strengths and toughness using optimal amounts of locally available materials (such as fly ash, slag cement, silica fume, and conventional sand). A novel step-by-step methodology is proposed to adopt these indigenous materials and optimize fiber volume for successfully developing this fiber-reinforced 3D printable mixture, starting from cement paste, then mortar, and fiber-reinforced mortar. In the first step, the binder combinations seek to optimize flow properties at the paste level. The optimized binder candidates were then narrowed down based on the radar chart approach at the mortar level, including superplasticizer (SP) demand, 3-d compressive strength, setting time, rheological property, and fluid filtration. In the third step, the fiber was incorporated into the mortar made with the selected binder combination and its key fresh and hardened properties were evaluated in terms of the fiber type, content, and length. The printability of the non-proprietary UHPC mixtures was verified by a simple extrusion-based 3D printer. Developing such print materials with high strength and impact resistance can improve the robustness and cost-effectiveness of 3DP construction, and extend 3DP technology to remote, isolated, and expeditionary environments.

Keywords: 3D printing, fiber reinforcement, locally available material, mixture design

How to Cite: Li, H. , Addai-Nimoh, A. & Khayat, K. (2023) “Design and Performance of 3D Printable UHPC Using Locally Available Materials”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete. 3(1). doi: