Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have developed a new method that simplifies the construction of sustainable textile-reinforced concrete structures. 

This move is expected to lead to the construction of more environmentally friendly bridges, tunnels and buildings. 

Cement, which is used as a binder in concrete, is produced from limestone that releases stored carbon dioxide (CO₂) during production. 

Worldwide annual cement production is noted to have reached 4.5 billion tonnes, contributing to 8% of global CO₂ emissions.  

Textile reinforcement, using carbon fibre textiles instead of steel, is said to offer a solution by allowing for the creation of lighter structures with a reduced carbon footprint. 

The researchers have published a paper titled Textile reinforced concrete members subjected to tension, bending, and in-plane loads: Experimental study and numerical analyses

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The study, recently published in the Construction and Building Materials journal, details a new modelling technique developed by Karin Lundgren and her team. 

Lundgren is a Concrete Structures professor at Chalmers Department of Architecture. 

Lundgren said: “A great deal of the concrete we use today has the function to act as a protective layer to prevent the steel reinforcement from corroding. If we can use textile reinforcement instead, we can reduce cement consumption and also use less concrete – and thus reduce the climate impact.” 

The research is being supported by the Swedish Research Council and represents a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and Gdansk University of Technology in Poland.