Safety of Structures
The core expertise of the Building Materials division is the evaluation and development of durable and safe building materials. Since the research of damage mechanisms is a key topic, the focus is on material characterisation, material behaviour and damage prevention.
We study a wide variety of building materials under complex stress conditions in durability tests to assess ageing processes. Particular attention is given to the function of these building materials in the construction (e.g. in joints and facade elements).
Our work includes all aspects of condition assessment and damage diagnosis related to buildings and constructions. We usually carry out our research projects in partnership with construction industry and authorities. We also have a close partnership with many universities and research institutions.
Fields of expertise
In our work we use a multi-scale approach, ranging from questions concerning construction practice on a macroscopic level to fundamental research on a microstructural level.
We apply our interdisciplinary experience to develop new solutions and to solve problems. The focus is on mineral-based building materials used in civil engineering with emphasis on cementitious and earthen building materials as well as on bituminous and other polymer-bound material systems.
- Causes and mechanisms of damage processes induced by various factors (e.g. frost, ASR, sulphate resistance)
- Optimisation of building material properties and systems
- Surface protection for inorganic building materials
- Practical relevance of durability tests
- Condition diagnosis and damage analysis of buildings and road constructions
- Mechanical properties, in particular strength and strain parameters
- Functionality and ageing behaviour in joints as applied in road construction or in structural sealant glazing
- Advancementsin bridge decks and sealants
Range of services/technical equipment
- Chemical-mineralogical analysis (thermoanalysis, IR spectroscopy, X-ray methods, etc.)
- Characterisation of solid micro structure, pore structure, crack pattern/propagation
- Moisture transport characteristics, gas permeability
- Surface topography and wetting behaviour
- Evaluation methods for the effectiveness of surface protection systems
- Rheological properties
- Damage analysis using innovative testing methods (ultrasound analysis, acoustic emission analysis, NMR moisture measurement, photogrammetry, etc.)
- Durability tests under a variety of climate/stress conditions (rain water, UV-radiation, mechanical load, etc.)
- Static and dynamic strength tests (compression/tension/bending)
- Thermo-mechanical test device
- Endurance test devices for creep experiments
Publications of the division