3D2BGreen is a three-year 3D concrete printing research project, set up in June 2019 by BESIX,
start-up ResourceFull, the engineering company Witteveen+Bos and Knowledge Institute Ghent
University. The research
focuses on developing sustainable concrete mixtures suitable for the printing of breakwater units.
expertise of the project partners results in new, innovative and more sustainable solutions in
As the major construction cost of a breakwater unit is related to the logistic resources needed to
breakwater units from the yard to the construction site, the possibility to print it in situ,
possibly even below
the water level, would be very advantageous. Moreover, 3D printing would allow to define a
breakwater unit, with more complex and optimized shapes in line with local wave patterns and sea
addition, the layered surface, own to the 3D print technique, would allow for additional energy
However, printing such massive units is a real challenge as the high binder contents currently used
mixtures would cause thermal cracking in addition to the drying shrinkage cracks which are related
to this automated
production technique. To guarantee the durability of the unit in a marine environment, the research
partners want to
develop a printable mixture which answers all requirements to print the contour or both the contour
and the infill
pattern of the breakwater unit.
The environmental impact of the mixture will also be taken into account. In case only the contour is
sustainable filling material will be developed. Its sustainability in the marine environment will be
increased through improvement of the interlayer. Once these challenges are tackled, scale model
will be printed to investigate their durability and mechanical and hydraulic performance.
Read here the press release of this initiative.