The processing of cement-based building materials is the technological core in the construction and maintenance of structures. Although formability in the fresh state offers almost unlimited possibilities for shaping the structures and development of new construction techniques, today only a tiny fraction of this enormous potential is used. Lack of a scientific framework for mastering rheology-based processes is a major obstacle for developing novel and highly innovative construction technologies, such as 3D printing with concrete, as well as for solving current technical challenges, such as pumping to extreme heights.
The reason behind the shortcomings of the rheological framework is the extremely high complexity of the cementitious systems. The high chemical reactivity of mineral binders leads, only seconds after the addition of water, to changes in the particle morphology, the dissolution of larger and formation of new nanoscale particles, and severe alteration in the chemistry of the carrier liquid. Both the newly formed nanoparticles and the carrier liquid interact in turn with granular raw materials up to several centimetres in size (multiscale). Also, cementitious suspensions are always complex multi-phase systems which contain organic admixtures and air pores in addition to water and various mineral particles. Finally, casting and processing of cementitious materials are carried out under an enormous range of deformation rates, which result in extremely high demands of characterisation and simulation methods.
The goal of the priority program is to ascertain and describe the scientific fundamentals for understanding and consecutively designing rheology-based construction processes as well as for developing innovative, sustainable building materials and associated pioneering processing technologies. These goals are approached in a systematic scientific program that is categorized into three modules as follows:
Module I. Interaction of Reactive Particles
Research objectives are:
- Determination of force-distance relationships on particles of various type, size, shape under consideration of hydration;
- Quantification and modelling of morphological changes of binder and other fine particles as a result of hydration and/or alterations in the composition of the carrying fluid, e.g. by precipitation reactions and particle generation;
- Derivation of structure-effect relationships for prediction of the influence of superplasticizers on the particle interaction;
- Adapting numerical methods to simulate the particle interaction under consideration of electrostatic and steric effects.
Module II. Deformation Behavior of Fresh Concrete
Research objectives are:
- Modelling of macroscopic flow behavior based on particle interactions;
- Development of appropriate methods for rheology-based mix design;
- Analysis of rheology of homogeneous and locally segregated suspensions;
- Investigation of rheology of suspensions containing fibers.
Module III. Constitutive Relationships and Methods for Describing and Influencing Technological Processes
Research objectives are:
- Study of pumping behavior of suspensions under special consideration of flow-induced segregation/particle migration;
- Investigation of filling behavior of concrete in a formwork as an analogy to the open channel flow;
- Analysis of placement by means of a nozzle, e.g. spaying or 3D printing;
- Development of physically motivated, applicable test and prediction methods for rheological material behavior in specific processing scenarios.
Funding proposals (completed)
In March 2016, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Opus Fluidum Futurum – Rheology of reactive, multiscale, multiphase construction materials”. The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.
Young scientists with recent doctoral degrees (postdocs) are encouraged to submit applications. To effectively and sustainably promote the goal of gender equality in research, optimally leverage the full potential of female researchers in the research system and achieve universal gender equality within this system, the member organisations of the DFG continue to uphold the “Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality” and take suitable measures to implement these standards and make them viable for the long term. Further information is available here.
Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by the
3rd of April 2020 (postponed until 29th of April 2020!). The anticipated start date of projects should be January 2021. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. Please include a title page with your name, your address, and the title of your project in your application. If you would like to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2005” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.
In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. Please also refer to the guidelines for submitting proposals which are published at the website of the Priority Programme. In addition to submitting your proposal to the DFG, please send an electronic version (pdf format) to the Priority Programme office. Researchers considering to submit proposals should contact the coordinator prior to submission to ascertain that proposals fit the scientific scope of the programme.
Important information on Research Data Management within the second funding period
The Central Project plans to heave the synergetic research on a new level within the second funding period of SPP 2005 by establishing forward-looking data management approaches in our collaborative project. This initiative is very much in agreement with the data management strategy of the DFG. With respect to the individual proposals, it is necessary to consider the following points:
- The costs related to the data management will be partly covered by the central project and partly by the individual/joint projects. Therefore, the applicants are recommended to apply for corresponding funding. Concerning data management, according to DFG, the applicants “… may request funding for costs associated with the use of relevant infrastructures. Financial support is available for staff costs, project-related hardware, software, and usage fees”; see Handling of Research Data by DFG.
- The central project will provide a multi-user license for data management software. At the same time, the participating groups will individually apply for data management funds to cover the costs of the necessary device-related drivers to connect to the SPP2005-server, where the data management software will be installed. The funds to be applied for may differ depending on the nature of your project, available equipment, and the planed degree of your involvement.
Further information, e.g., about the offer and approximate costs, is available on request.
For this purpose, please send a short notice to firstname.lastname@example.org
The full version of the call for proposals is available in German here.
Access to the elan portal of the DFG is via elan.dfg.de
The DFG forms are available under the following link www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/forms_guidelines