Mix design and fresh properties for high-performance printing concrete

This paper presents the experimental results concerning the mix design and fresh properties of a high-performance fibre-reinforced fine-aggregate concrete for printing concrete. This concrete has been designed to be extruded through a nozzle to build layer-by-layer structural components. The printing process is a novel digitally controlled additive manufacturing method which can build architectural and structural components without formwork, unlike conventional concrete construction methods. The most critical fresh properties are shown to be extrudability and buildability, which have mutual relationships with workability and open time. These properties are significantly influenced by the mix proportions and the presence of superplasticiser, retarder, accelerator and polypropylene fibres. An optimum mix is identified and validated by the full-scale manufacture of a bench component.