Deliberate Deformation of Concrete in the Fresh State: Crack Risk and Efficient Production of Curved Precast Elements

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The production of double-curved precast concrete elements for cladding or shell structures requires expensive CNC (computer numerical control)-milled formwork. As an alternative method, the innovative flexible mould for economically efficient and sustainable production of such elements is discussed in this paper. This method comprises the use of a flexible, CNC-controlled formwork, which is filled with self-compacting concrete. After a short period of thixotropic stabilization in the fresh state, the flexible mould is then deformed into its desired geometry, typically having a strong curvature radius of only a few metres in one or two direction(s). After hardening and de-moulding, the flexible mould can be reused for elements with the same or different curved geometry. The present paper describes the outcomes of a study focussing on two aspects relevant for the abovementioned production method: effect of change of rheological properties in the first 90 min after casting and assessment of the risk of cracking and development of cracks during the deformation process. In an experimental study the following parameters were modified: radius of deformation, moment of deformation in time, panel thickness and water-cement ratio. The presence of cracks after deformation was investigated quantitatively, using a petrographic technology. The results show that for the application of the flexible mould method the plastic stage of concrete is important to be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigh Tech Concrete: Where Technology and Engineering Meet
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 fib Symposium, held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 12–14, 2017
EditorsD. Hordijk, M. Lukovic
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-59471-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Eventfib Symposium 2017: High tech concrete: Where technology and engineering meet! - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 12 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


Conferencefib Symposium 2017
Internet address


  • Flexible mould
  • self-compacting concrete
  • Deformation
  • Cracks
  • Precast façade panels

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