Friday, May 22, 2015

Textile reinforced concrete gets industry boost

Textile reinforced concrete gets industry boost
Piyush Mishra,TNN | May 19, 2015, 03.04PM IST

AHMEDABAD: Five months after Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (Atira), along with Instut fur Textiltechnik-RWTH Aachen (ITA), Germany set up Innovative and Green Building laboratory - IGB lab for testing and display of Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC), top companies like L&T and Godrej have approached Atira for collaborations for their upcoming projects.

While L&T wants to build jaali structures and houses for its officials using TRC, Godrej Group is in talks for various projects.

Textile reinforced concrete is a type of reinforced concrete in which the usual steel reinforcing bars are replaced by textile materials. Instead of using a metal cage inside the concrete, this technique uses a fabric cage inside the same.

Atira is also going to order Rs 3.5 crore bi-axially warp knitting machine from Germany to enhance the capability of IGB lab. Also the Union ministry of textiles has sanctioned Rs 3.9 crore for TRC testing and awareness. Initially, Atira had also worked with Ultratech Cement for the testing of TRC made products in Indian conditions.

According to experts, TRC is 80% lighter than fibre reinforced composite (FRC) and also stronger.
"In last few months, Atira has also developed further refinements in technology and come out with wall panels made of TRC which is 40% cheaper than conventional brick wall," said Dr Md Safikur Rahman, assistant director, Atira.

Mohit Raina, Indian coordinator for German partners in IGB lab, said: "People in building industry are still conservative. There is a lot of potential for new materials such as TRC. Apart from regular construction, TRC can be used as functional material as well."

A Mumbai-based company is into marketing and production of TRC products and is also working closely with Atira. It is currently developing modular toilets for a US-based company's CSR project. "These toilets are made of TRC and glass fibre reinforced concreted (GFRC) which will be made in factory and installed on site," said Raina.

Mumbai-based real estate player Malpani Group is also planning to use street furniture made of TRC for its upcoming projects.

TRC can also be used for curved structures and in comparison to FRC, it gives extra carpet area to builders.

However, the TRC technology will still need approvals from rating agencies before it is used for housing projects.

Source: TOI

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