Zühlke helped us a great deal by rapidly finding good solutions to development problems.
Researchers from Gramazio Kohler Research (GKR) and the Institute for Building Materials (IfB) at ETH Zurich are producing curved reinforced concrete columns for the façade of the NEST Unit DFAB HOUSE as part of the National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication. Since each column is a single piece, they are to be drawn using the new dynamic slip-forming construction method, in which the concrete is moulded with a specially developed movable sleeve. The aim of this process is to simplify the casting of varying shapes. But it has its downside: The concrete does not flow through the sleeve as intended, which results in casting flaws. The researchers get Zühlke on board to optimise the process.
Zühlke’s specialist further develops the forming unit in rapid iteration steps. This makes it possible to test the use of different materials, concepts and designs in an agile way. At the same time, Zühlke supports the researchers in specifying the requirements for the casting process.
Zühlke assists the researchers in overcoming obstacles in the process. This includes the material and properties of the movable forming unit as well as the smooth casting of the liquid concrete. As a result, the researchers can implement a process that not only helps to advance the variety of forms in concrete construction, but also reduces production costs.
Senior Head Competence Unit