How can a virtual concrete laboratory contributeto the solving of problems?

Control of the concrete mixing and manufacturing process

Many problems in concrete technology result from a complex interaction or a complex mutual influencing of material, process technology and construction (some interactions are illustrated schematically in fig. 1). On account of the large number of influencing variables and the usually fuzzily defined boundary conditions of the system, finding the optimum parameter combinations to solve a problem always represents a big challenge. The approach is usually purely empirical, based on previous experience and subjective estimation, with no clear conception of the actually existing interrelationships. The optimisation process can be considerably facilitated and accelerated by the use of numerical simulation analyses. Also, more findings are frequently gained by means of numerical simulation than from an experiment whose parameters are only controllable to a limited extent. It appears to be a particularly exciting concept to create a virtual concrete laboratory that could be used as a universal, cost and time-saving tool, based on numerical modelling and simulation, in the optimisation of the production, transport and compaction of concrete [1, 2].

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