SGL and university partners visit Singapore construction groups

Academic and industry partners in Germany and Singapore have banded together to exploit the potential for education and research in Singapore, particularly with respect electric vehicle technologies.

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In mid-April, a delegation led by SGL Group - The Carbon Co. (Wiesbaden, Germany) presented a series of application-based workshops on carbon fiber in the construction industry to leading representatives of state construction bodies in Singapore: the Building & Construction Authority (BCA), the Housing & Development Board (HDB), JTC Corp. and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Energy Research Institute. SGL was joined during the three-day visit by experts from Germany’s leading textile concrete research institutes at Dresden University of Technology and RWTH Aachen University; the Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV) Department for High-performance Materials in the Construction Industry; and the SGL Group Corporate Research Div. The latter demonstrated the current state of technology by referencing existing projects and showed new possibilities for using SGL’s trademarked CARBOCRETE (carbon fiber-reinforced concrete) in urban building projects under tropical climate conditions.

The presenters emphasized that because CARBOCRETE is reinforced by carbon fibers instead of steel rebar and mesh, it forms a lighter panel and the fibers won’t corrode, even in Singapore’s extremely high humidity. The result, SGL contends, is not only greater durability, but also less expense because unnecessarily thick concrete outer layers are not required to protect steel reinforcement.

SGL reports that sustainability and material savings were particularly attractive to the workshop participants. In Singapore, even the sand for concrete has to be imported. The government, therefore, is seeking innovative concepts for energy and resource efficiency and backing them with state funding. Singapore’s practice of systematically promoting science and technology while guaranteeing protection of intellectual property and recognizing certification standards has, according to SGL, not only made it “an Asian science metropolis but also a center for applied product research.” The result is exemplified in Singapore’s diverse architecture.

SGL says its next step is to identify pilot applications for carbon fiber-reinforced concrete and, with further assistance from the state bodies it met with, to find partners for joint projects in Singapore.