Concrete is the second most used material on Earth after water. It is an essential component of our built infrastructure used in buildings, roads, bridges, pipes, dams, mining and airport runways. All of the many infrastructure projects on going and planned in Australia will use concrete.
Optimising the design of concrete structures, the management of these assets, the durability and eventual disposal is essential for cost effectiveness and safety. At the same time concrete is a significant source of greenhouse gases and a major contributor to our national carbon foot print which needs to be addressed. Australia has a wealth of innovative academic research groups who are working on these issues but moving from the laboratory to industrial scale is step rarely taken in Australia. The aim of the SmartCrete CRC is to overcome this problem. We will bring together concrete end users with producers and academic researchers to move a broad range of innovations in concrete use, management and disposal from the laboratory to the construction site.
A fundamental element of the current vision incorporates five programs representing a Whole of Life approach to the stages in the concrete product cycle each containing a number of activities.
Engineered Solutions This program is concerned with improving the way we engineer concrete structures and includes development of smart cladding, reduced noise pavements, 3-d printed concrete structures, lightweight concretes and safety in design.
Asset Management This program is concerned with the way we manage our concrete assets and includes development of sensing systems to monitor structural health and usage and inform lifetime models.
Sustainability This program includes the development of self-healing, fire resistance stronger and more durable concrete.
Disposal This program includes recycling and reuse.
Environmental This program includes bio-concrete, use of artificial aggregate, CO2 absorbing concrete, luminescent concrete, energy producing concrete, waste disposal in concrete and cement less concrete.
SmartCrete CRC will leverage the multi-million dollar investments in research infrastructure made by the Australian Government over the last five years providing a cross program State of the art virtual laboratory for use by CRC members.
Access to best practice research and development facilities covering atomic and molecular analysis, mechanical testing and tomographic imaging, will provide CRC members with a single point of capacity and capability for structured end use research and commercialisation programs.
Total Partners 56 and growing