Technology US researchers develop technique to 3D-print buildings out of any soil

tom_mai78101

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A team of researchers at Texas A&M University has demonstrated a way to print a load-bearing structure out of soil.

The soil is combined with a binding additive to make it cohesive and allow it to be extruded by the printer into small clay cubes. It is also strengthened and made waterproof by process known as “zippering” – the formation of microscopic layers on the surface of the clay that means it can bear twice as much weight as the unmodified mixture.

If used at a larger scale, the process would have a smaller carbon footprint than concrete, and the use of local soil would avoid the need to transport building materials to site.

As the chemistry of soils vary, the team aim to create a “toolkit” of additives that can transform any type of soil into printable material.

Sarbajit Banerjee, the project’s principal investigator, said: “The environmental impact of the construction industry is an issue of growing concern. Some researchers have turned to additive manufacturing, or building structures layer by layer, which is often done with a 3D printer.



Read more here. (Global Construction Review)
 
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