Project

InnovaConcrete is a innovative and ambitious project that aims at preserving concrete-based momuments, the most significant, tangible, Cultural Heritage (CH) in the 20th Century.

To achieve this goal, we have recruited an interdisciplinary team presenting a strong scientific background in simulation techniques and nanomaterials synthesis, combined with a wide knowledge of CH conservation from Social Sciences & Humanities disciplines and with a sound industrial perspective.

Specifically, a completely innovative approach will be developed based on producing, by impregnation treatments, C-S-H gel, responsible for the engineering properties of cement paste in cracks of decayed concrete monuments, in situ.

Complementary, multifunctional treatments combining C-S-H production with additional performances (superhydrophobicity and corrosion inhibition) will also be investigated. In addition, cementitious coatings functionalized with inorganic nanotubes will be validated and their performance compared with those corresponding to the impregnation treatments.

Finally, InnovaConcrete will explore a biotechnology based approach: enzyme-assisted self-healing of damaged surfaces.

The optimization of the proposed solutions will be carried out by the use of theoretical tools (multi-scale modelling approaches) together with experimental tools (laboratory and in situ validation).

Five concrete-based monuments, a clear representation of European CH, have been chosen as case studies to validate the performance of the proposed solutions. They have been selected according to scientific and humanistic criteria and because they will be used to study economic and societal effects of the proposals and to promote citizens’ awareness of 20th Century European heritage. Thus, the selection includes monuments with significant numbers of visitors per year, such as the spectacular Centennial Hall building, included in the UNESCO world heritage list and Chillida sculptures. In addition, other buildings and sites that are hardly recognised by citizens as Cultural Heritage, such as Concrete Shell Structures, an important achievement of the post-war modernist movement, and War Memorial Towers, symbols of the collective identity of European citizens, have also selected. Fimally, the Torroja Building has been chosen as a representative model of interdisciplinary collaboration between architecture and engineering during the 20th Century.

The activities required for the future commercialization of the InnovaConcrete products, including standardization, certification, and exploitation strategies, and a life cycle assessment, will be carried out during InnovaConcrete.

A significant participation of SMEs and LEs, including a multinational company leading the concrete technologies market in 100 different counties, guarantee the effective market uptake of the solutions developed in InnovaConcrete.