UHP-FRC FOR ARCHITECTURAL COLUMNS WITH NON-EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRIES
Columns articulated by non-Euclidean geometries offer a new type of architecture with formal and structural possibilities. Specifically, branching concrete columnar structures offer a unique opportunity to merge biomimetic structural geometry with new computationally controlled performance criteria. Typical plain concrete does not willingly lend itself to these types of geometries which also make the conventional reinforcing methodology difficult to be practically implemented. In the work shown in this research, the introduction of ultra-high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHP_FRC) allows for a new way of advancing beyond some of the limitations of conventional construction methods which use reinforced concrete. UHP-FRC provides very high compressive and tensile strengths and ductility against compressive forces; moreover, with these mechanical properties, conventional reinforcement can be nearly eliminated. In addition, UHP_FRC’s high flowability allows it to easily satisfy the challenging geometry requirements. The formwork used for these columns presents a unique solution for assembling 2D materials in complex 3D forms. In this research, the two-legged and three-legged branching and twisting scaled columns all rely upon developable geometry that has been cut via a CNC machine out of 1/16th inch polypropylene. The parts are seamed together by hand via a ‘zipper’ connection that is the result of running an algorithmic script on the edge geometry of each edge of adjoining parts. The control of this script is performed through the computational software that facilitates to development of the hexagonal cross-section. The alternating tabs lock the adjacent edges into place to ensure that no moisture or concrete mix escape through the formwork seams. This research examines the progress of this novel UHP-FRC application and the experimental testing results of these columns designed with non-Euclidean geometries.
CALEB @ UT Arlington