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Textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) is a durable and formable building material that is suitable for lightweight construction. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research are replacing conventional textiles like carbon or glass-fiber, with natural fibers that leave a smaller carbon footprint and cost less to make.

Their flax-based textile alternative has a variable stiffness that can be cast to create curved contours, or any desired shape. Researchers can add strands of polymer fiber to the flax to create a tailored hybrid fabric. The final material mix consists of a fine aggregate, water, concrete additives and admixtures, and the natural reinforcing textile. A prototype natural fiber-reinforced concrete bridge will be presented at the 2019 BAU trade fair for architecture, materials, and trade systems.

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