TIET Newsletter
Nov 2018

In this Issue
  • Concrete printing in 3-D will put an end to boring buildings
  • Simple, scalable wireless system uses the RFID tags on products to sense contamination
  • Searching for new bridge forms that can span further
  • TIET Updates

Concrete printing in 3-D will put an end to boring buildings

Construction has suffered for decades from remarkably poor productivity compared to other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing which have increased productivity 10-15 times since the 1950s. That's because construction remains largely manual, while manufacturing and other industries have made significant progress in the use of digital, sensing and automation technologies. But now with advancements in 3D printing techniques, the research groups see 3-D-printed concrete as a possible solution to this problem. The technique will likely also give architects the freedom to inject more creativity into their designs for new structures. Modern civil infrastructure is almost entirely built with concrete and more than 20 billion tons of concrete is used per year. The construction industry is facing a number of serious problems, including low labour efficiency and high accident rates at construction sites. There are also difficulties in quality control at construction sites, high levels of waste and carbon emissions, cost blow-outs, and challenges in managing large work sites with a vanishing skilled workforce. Disruptive technologies such as 3-D concrete printing can offer solutions.
3-D construction uses additive manufacturing techniques, which means objects are constructed by adding layers of material. Conventional approaches to construction involve casting concrete into a mould (known as formwork). But additive construction combines digital technology and new insights from materials technology to allow free-form construction without the use of formwork. Free-form additive construction could enhance architectural expression. The cost of producing a structural component would not be tied to the shape, so construction could be freed from the rectangular designs that are so familiar in current building architecture.3-D concrete printing is being explored for use in the construction of houses, bridges, buildings and even wind turbine towers. This 3-D-printed concrete house was built in 24 hours during a harsh Russian winter. It was the first such house to be built in a single location.

Simple, scalable wireless system uses the RFID tags on products to sense contamination
MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination—with no hardware modifications needed. With the simple, scalable system, the researchers hope to bring food-safety detection to the general public. The researchers' system, called RFIQ, includes a reader that senses minute changes in wireless signals emitted from RFID tags when the signals interact with food. For this study they focused on baby formula and alcohol, but in the future, consumers might have their own reader and software to conduct food-safety sensing before buying virtually any product. Systems could also be implemented in supermarket back rooms or in smart fridges to continuously ping an RFID tag to automatically detect food spoilage, the researchers say.

The technology hinges on the fact that certain changes in the signals emitted from an RFID tag correspond to levels of certain contaminants within that product. A machine-learning model "learns" those correlations and, given a new material, can predict if the material is pure or tainted, and at what concentration. In experiments, the system detected baby formula laced with melamine with 96 percent accuracy.
Searching for new bridge forms that can span further
A bridge's span is the distance of suspended roadway between towers, with the current world record standing at just under 2km. The most popular form for long spans is the suspension bridge form, as used for the Humber Bridge, though the cable-stayed bridge form, where cables directly connect the tower to the roadway -- such as used in the recently constructed Queensferry Crossing in Scotland -- is becoming increasingly popular. As bridge spans become longer, a rapidly growing proportion of the structure is needed just to carry the bridge's own weight, rather than the traffic crossing it. This can create a vicious cycle: a relatively small increase in span requires use of significantly more material, leading to a heavier structure that requires yet more material to support it. This also sets a limit on how long a bridge span can be; beyond this limit a bridge simply cannot carry its own weight. One option is to use stronger, lighter materials. However, steel remains the preferred choice because it is tough, readily available and relatively cheap. So the only other way to increase span is change the bridge's design. Professor Matthew Gilbert from the University of Sheffield, who led the research, said: "The suspension bridge has been around for hundreds of years and while we've been able to build longer spans through incremental improvements, we've never stopped to look to see if it's actually the best form to use. Our research has shown that more structurally efficient forms do exist, which might open the door to significantly longer bridge spans in the future." The technique devised by the team draws on theory developed by Professor Gilbert's namesake, Davies Gilbert, who in the early 19th Century used mathematical theory to persuade Thomas Telford that the suspension cables in his original design for the Menai Strait bridge in North Wales followed too shallow a curve. He also proposed a 'catenary of equal stress' showing the optimal shape of a cable accounting for the presence of gravity loads.

By incorporating this early 19th century theory into a modern mathematical optimization model, the team have identified bridge concepts that require the minimum possible volume of material, potentially making significantly longer spans feasible. For a 5km span, which is likely to be required to build the 14km Strait of Gibraltar crossing, a traditional suspension bridge design would require far more material, making it at least 73 per cent heavier than the optimal design. In contrast, the proposed two- and three-spoke designs would be just 12 and 6 percent heavier, making them potentially much more economical to build. The new bridge forms require less material principally because the forces from the deck are transmitted more efficiently through the bridge superstructure to the foundations. This is achieved by keeping the load paths short, and avoiding sharp corners between tensile and compressive elements. The team emphasise that their research is just the first step, and that the ideas cannot be developed immediately for construction of a mega span bridge. The current model considers only gravity loads and does not yet consider dynamic forces arising from traffic or wind loading. Further work is also required to address construction and maintenance issues.
  • TIET conducted a 3D printing workshop for K-12 schools in Gurugram. With the name 3D Printing Boot Camp 2018, it was a two day workshop for K-12 schools in which students from two schools took part. The students learned the process of 3D printing through AutoCAD. The objective of this workshop was to promote and kindle innovation at the early stage so that the students can carry the learning toward their future.

  • TIET is planning to launch various courses in 3D Printing and Robotics for students of K-12 schools in NCR. Also, TIET is developing new courses on Project Estimation, Automation, and Simulation.

Textbook Overvieww
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New Releases
CADCIM announces the release of  Learning SOLIDWORKS 2018: A Project Based Approach; Autodesk 3ds Max 2019: A Comprehensive Guide, 19th Edition;  Exploring Autodesk Revit 2019 for MEP, 6th Edition; Creo Parametric 5.0 for Designers, 5th Edition; Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019 for Designers, 19th Edition; AutoCAD 2019: A Problem-Solving Approach, Basic and Intermediate, 25th Edition; Exploring Autodesk Revit 2019 for Structure, 9th Edition; Exploring Autodesk Revit 2019 for Architecture, 15th Edition; Blender 2.79 for Digital Artists; Autodesk Fusion 360: A Tutorial Approach; Solid Edge ST10 for Designers, 15th Edition; NX 12.0 for Designers, 11th Edition; SOLIDWORKS 2018 for Designers, 16th Edition; Introducing PHP/MySQL...More

Upcoming Textbooks
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***The news items contained in this newsletter have been compiled from various publications and restructured to make our readers familiar with emerging technologies. TIET does not claim any copyright of these items.

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