Circularity of steel-composite constructions

Themes: Materials, Structural Engineering


A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

In the construction sector adaptability, demountability and reusability of construction materials are central challenges to increase the sustainability of the sector. Reusing the construction is a costly option which often involves refurbishing and taking down parts of the building to make it fit for its new purpose. Demolishing the building in order to recycle the materials takes a lot of time and is very costly. Therefore the researcher aims to develop a technical solution that assists in design for deconstruction as well as reuse of the materials, in particular of multi-storey steel-composite structures.

The solution the researcher is working on focusses on the connection between prefabricated concrete decks and steel beams by means of  demountable shear connectors, which are embedded in the concrete deck. The innovative idea is to increase the diameter of the bolt hole in the steel flange to increase the probability of alignment of the embedded part of the connector and the external injection bolt.. Subsequently, the external injection bolt is kept into place by filling-up the bolt-to-hole clearance with a patented reinforced epoxy resin, which adds strength and stiffness to the construction. The bolt hole diameter allows for sufficient room to safely remove the  the external bolt when deconstructing the building without damaging the structural components.

What's next?

The next step for this project is to use this construction method in an actual building. Besides, the researcher is looking for other opportunities and applications where the reinforced epoxy resin can be used.

Ir. Martin Nijgh


Prof. dr. Milan Veljkovic

Additional information

Flatpack Buildings