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Russian company’s game-changing printable cement

Russian company’s game-changing printable cement

The world of 3D printing is being explored in a myriad of ways by the international building community. Now, a Russian company has developed a potential gamechanger: eco-friendly cement for 3D printing.



Renca, a Russian start-up founded in 2016 by businessman Andrey Dudnikov and geologist Alex Reggiani, is behind this latest building innovation. The company claims its product, called géobéton (geoconcrete or geocement), holds many properties that give it the edge over conventional Portland cement.





Renca 3D cement

Image: Renca géobéton being printed via the Apis Cor 3D printer.


According to the manufacturers, the material’s production process reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90% compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Géobéton is made from recycled materials - lowering its impact on the environment by as much as 60% against Portland variants. 


Image: A close-up of Renca's geocement.


Renca says géobéton is produced using ash left from burning powdered materials, such as coal. Granulated ore slag, a by-product created by separating metal from its ore, is also used to manufacture the material.


Additionally, the company claims its cement alternative as holding impressive fire resistance and waterproofing characteristics. It also boasts faster setting times. Renca states géobéton gains 50% of its strength in the first days after application, suggesting it could reduce build durations considerably.




Renca 3D printed cement

Image: Renca géobéton being printed via the Apis Cor 3D printer.


When asked how the material is suitable for 3D printing, Dudnikov told UAE-based The National newspaper: “It should be fluid enough for the 3D printer and it should set very quickly. When the first layer is in place, the second layer will come straight after. To achieve this with normal concrete you have to add a lot of additives, so it becomes expensive. 


“With geopolymer concrete, you can adjust the properties of the cement with the amount of raw materials you add. It’s easy to regulate, achieves fast settings and it is easy to use in hot temperatures.”


Renca tested printing the material the Russian-made Apis Cor 3D printer. This printer made headlines earlier in March 2017 by 3D printing a house in just 24 hours.


Géobéton’s potential in hotter climates could prove useful for some ambitious urban planners - such as those in Dubai. The state is aiming to 3D print 25% of its buildings by 2030. Its green credentials, relying on industrial waste products, also points towards 3D printing as a sustainable medium for future construction projects.


Images: © Renca via Facebook



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