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Hemp is added to concrete, specially developed for 3D printing
Sep 01 , 2022

When it comes to hemp, many people may think of drugs. In fact, hemp is also a very good economic crop. Its stem bark fibers are long and tough, and can be used for weaving linen, spinning threads, making ropes, weaving fishing nets and making paper. It may also be used as an additive to concrete in the future.

Petros Sideris, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, is currently working on 3D printed structures in concrete. Over a period of 5 years, Petros did a lot of structural tests, he calculated and created a lot of building structural models (3D models), also taking into account the effects of different materials on the structure.

When I first heard about concrete 3D printing, I was skeptical. After a week of learning about it, I went in and it was five years,” Petros said. “Because concrete 3D printing doesn’t use rebar, So you need to use special concrete, and there are already some concretes developed for 3D printing. I am trying to add hemp bark fibers to concrete to develop a more environmentally friendly concrete.”

The reason for choosing hemp, Petros said, is mainly for two reasons. First, the toughness of hemp bark fiber is very good, and it can play a role similar to steel when added to concrete. Second, hemp has a strong adsorption capacity, which can Adsorbs harmful substances such as carbon dioxide.

In addition to researching materials, Petros has also done a lot of research on structure and automation. He said: "I think the construction industry has a lot of potential in automation. Because, compared with many other industries, the construction industry may be automated with the lowest level. And 3D printing is expected to increase the degree of automation in the construction industry, so I think 3D printing has great potential in the construction industry.”

"After 3D printing improves the automation of the construction industry, it can naturally save manpower. In addition, 3D printing can also bring two benefits. One is more environmentally friendly. Now, when pouring concrete, formwork is needed, and these formwork may be thrown away after a few times. The second is that more structures can be realized, which gives us more possibilities to optimize the function of the house from the structural aspect.” Petros said.

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