The Concrete Whisperers

TU research group simulates the ageing of concrete on high-performance computers


Concrete buildings are omnipresent and some of them – like the Jahrhunderthalle in Breslau – are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The building material is considered robust and durable, yet it is subject to ageing processes. Increasingly, the question of how to deal with ailing concrete buildings is being raised, as there is no standard procedure for renovating concrete. Despite its seemingly indestructible appearance, weathering, aging processes and chemical and biological influences considerably affect the material over time. This not only looks unsightly, but also endangers the stability in the long term. Materials research has been working for some time on the question of how best to renovate damaged concrete structures. Solutions are no longer sought only experimentally in the laboratory, but are also determined by theoretical approaches using computer simulations. At the TU Darmstadt, so-called multi-scale models are also used.