Experimental exploration of metal cable as reinforcement in 3D printed concrete

F.P. Bos, Z.Y. Ahmed, E.R. Jutinov, T.A.M. Salet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)
310 Downloads (Pure)


The Material Deposition Method (MDM) is enjoying increasing attention as an additive method to create concrete mortar structures characterised by a high degree of form-freedom, a lack of geometrical repetition, and automated construction. Several small-scale structures have been realised around the world, or are under preparation. However, the nature of this construction method is unsuitable for conventional reinforcement methods to achieve ductile failure behaviour. Sometimes, this is solved by combining printing with conventional casting and reinforcing techniques. This study, however, explores an alternative strategy, namely to directly entrain a metal cable in the concrete filament during printing to serve as reinforcement. A device is introduced to apply the reinforcement. Several options for online reinforcement media are compared for printability. Considerations specific to the manufacturing process are discussed. Subsequently, pull-out tests on cast and printed specimens provide an initial characterisation of bond behaviour. Bending tests furthermore show the potential of this reinforcement method. The bond stress of cables in printed concrete was comparable to values reported for smooth rebar but lower than that of the same cables in cast concrete. The scatter in experimental results was high. When sufficient bond length is available, ductile failure behaviour for tension parallel to the filament direction can be achieved, even though cable slip occurs. Further improvements to the process should pave the way to achieve better post-crack resistance, as the concept in itself is feasible
Original languageEnglish
Article number1314
Pages (from-to)1-22
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017


  • 3D concrete printing
  • Cable
  • Chain
  • Entrainment
  • Reinforcement


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