The focus of the group is fundamental understanding of materials’ behavior, prediction of materials’ and structures’ performance and control of durability-related challenges within the service life of civil structures. Cement-based materials, metals (incl. steel) and composite materials are within the scope of research and education. Major degradation and ageing phenomena for civil structures as chloride and carbonation-induced steel corrosion, microbiologically induced corrosion, alkali-silica-reaction, concrete carbonation and freeze-thaw damage are dealt with through implementing knowledge and expertise of main scientific fields as: cement-based chemistry and microstructure, electrochemistry and corrosion, concrete material science, coatings technology. Studying materials’ behavior and control of materials’ degradation starts at the nano/micro level towards performance at the engineering level, involving cement hydration and microstructure development, interface and surface properties, electrochemical, physico-chemical and micro-mechanical behavior, ion- and water-transport, permeability/diffusivity. In view of knowledge-based design for durable civil structures, an emphasis is given to novel approaches for tailoring materials’ properties and performance and sensor technology, targeting risk-free built environment. Nano-materials, hybrid (incl. polymer & bio-polymer-based) composites and wastes, separately employed or in a synergetic application with pulse technology, self-healing concepts and cathodic protection are within the scope for degradation-control of civil structures.
The group is responsible for the master courses
“Repair and maintenance of construction materials” where topics are: Degradation of concrete, metals, paint systems, wood, polymers and bitumen/asphalt; Maintenance technology, strategies and management quality systems and certification
“Forensic Building materials engineering”, where topics are: Importance of materials characterization, essentials of forensic research; Damage types, cracks, physical and chemical durability problems; Sampling and specimen preparation for analytical research; Electron microscopy and microanalysis; Building material problems from practice - case studies.