The QUIKRETE Companies and the Contour Crafting Corporation (CC Corp) recently entered into a collaboration to develop proprietary concrete used in the automated construction of residential, commercial, industrial and government structures with Contour Crafting technology.
Unlike other mortar-based 3D printable products, the advanced concrete mix produced by QUIKRETE is formulated to include coarse aggregate specifically for use with CC Corp’s proprietary 3D printing system. The first true 3D printing concrete makes building customized structures fast, efficient and affordable.
CC Corp has lead the charge to obtain regulatory acceptance for this innovative construction technique, successfully sheparding Acceptance Criteria AC509 (for 3D printed concrete walls) through the rigorous ICC-ES approval process.
The new concrete under development by QUIKRETE addresses key requirements for printability and constructability, including shape-holding thixotropic properties, as well as rapid setting and dimensional stability features.
With the initial goal of providing low-income housing and homes for disaster relief, a 2,000 square-foot house can potentially be built in a few days, not weeks, for a fraction of the cost of traditional construction. This is accomplished by dispensing the QUIKRETE concrete in layers using CC Corp’s 3D printing technology according to digital architectural models.
“QUIKRETE appreciates the practical approach taken by Contour Crafting to address real-life issues that we can anticipate as we implement this game-changing, concrete-printing technology,” says Chuck Cornman, chief technology officer at The QUIKRETE Companies. “The material properties needed for 3D concrete printing are closely aligned with QUIKRETE’s core technologies in rheological tuning, hydration and set time control, and managing dimensional stability.”
“CC Corp is pleased with the collaboration arrangement with The QUIKRETE Companies as it aspires to create useful construction technologies that offer structurally and economically viable solutions that perform at least as well as the conventional concrete construction practices,” says Behrokh Khoshnevis, CC Corp’s CEO.
After comprehensive testing at an independent accredited lab at the University of Southern California to confirm AC509 compliance, the 3D printing process will be used to construct four low-income housing units as part of a demonstration project sponsored by the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA).
This build will showcase the great potential of the Contour Crafting and QUIKRETE technology in achieving low-cost, sustainable construction to address the homelessness problem in Los Angeles and worldwide. For more information, visit www.contourcrafting.com.