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Development of sustainable and durable composite concrete for coastal defence structures for the marine environment

Project Description

"Both in-situ and precast concrete are used in a wide range of applications along the coast. In ports and harbours, concrete often forms the main structural body of quays, used in caissons, blockwork or diaphragm wall-structures. Whatever form of substructure construction is used, concrete is invariably used for the quay deck. In addition, the outstanding durability and aesthetic quality of factory produced elements adds to their suitability for marine environments.
Precast concrete can be an economic alternative to large blocks of armourstone, a material which invariably needs importing into the UK.
The impact or cost of the bio-deterioration of concrete is difficult to assess since the mechanisms of bio-deterioration usually work to accelerate the mechanisms of more conventional deterioration. The effects of bio-deterioration are heavily dependent on climactic and environmental conditions. There is a tendency in the engineering community to focus on the more conventional causes of deterioration but biological processes can have a significant effect on the serviceable life of concrete structures.
In this project a sustainable composite material concrete will be developed that has different shaped blocks with good durability. This will include properties that help the blocks resists the aggressive marine environment, and bio-deterioration by macro algae and other seaweeds (common geochemical mechanism of concrete decay). During the research both methods for stimulating microbial activity to improve material properties will be employed, as well as methods to alter material properties to prevent microbial activity.
The expected outcomes of this project are the training of student in cross-disciplinary topics and different techniques used by civil engineering and biology, and the development of new methods and materials with the potential for commercialisation.

1 - Amziane, S., Sonebi, M., “Overview on Bio-based Building Material made with plant Aggregate”, RILEM Technical Letters, Vol. 1, 2016, pp. 31-38.
2 - Amziane, S., Sonebi, M., K. Charlet, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on “Bio-Based Building Materials”, ICBBM-2017, Proceedings PRO 119, Ed. Amziane, S., Sonebi, M., Clermont-Ferrand (France), 21-23 June 2017, RILEM Publications s.a.r.l., 710 p.
3 - Dal Lago, B., Taylor, S., Deegan, P., Ferrara, L., Sonebi, M., Crossett, P., Pattarini, A., “Full-scale testing and numerical analysis of a precast fibre reinforced self-compacting concrete slab pre-stressed with basalt fibre reinforced polymer bars”, Journal Composites Part B, Engineering, Vol. 128, July 2017, pp. 120-133."

Funding Notes

This studentship is available to UK and other EU nationals and provides funding for tuition fees and stipend, subject to eligibility.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject.


Application Procedure:

(1) Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences;
(2) State name of the lead supervisor as the name of proposed supervisor;
(3) State QUADRAT DTP as intended source of funding;
(4) State the exact project title on the application form.

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