Reinforced concrete construction developed into one of the most economically important construction methods in the 20th century. As a result, the load-bearing behavior of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures has already been extensively studied. The need for future research is now increasingly directed towards a more efficient and progressive use of the raw materials. The latter requires that the load-bearing mechanisms - especially in real-scale structural components – to be identified and computationally determined in more detail. In order to avoid capacity shortages in the construction industry, radical changes are also required in the production of load-bearing structures. Here, digital overall processes and new construction methods play a key role. In addition to the traditional research topics in the areas of shear force and punching shear behavior or fatigue, research at the IMB is focused on modular construction methods and automated, additive manufacturing processes.

Steel-reinforced footing in real scale (2,7 x 3,0 x 0,65 m3) (left) and 16,5 m long post-tensioned concrete girder (right)

With a large number of government-funded research projects, the IMB is constantly investigating the fundamental load-bearing mechanisms and reserves of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures as well as new manufacturing processes for reinforced concrete. Particular attention is paid to the quantification of different concrete and steel structural load-bearing mechanisms, which are essential for refining analytical and numerical models. In addition to the research projects, the IMB realizes various industry projects in which new and not yet regulated construction methods are used with special approvals.

The tasks in the research area steel-reinforced and prestressed concrete include:

-   Acquisition of research and industry projects incl. submission of proposals
-   Planning, execution and evaluation of experimental investigations
-   Numerical investigations using finite element software
-   Derivation of analytical models and design approaches
-   Method development for the production of innovative components, for experimental investigations and for evaluation of tests
-   Supervision of industry projects with general construction approvals
-   Participation in technical committees and working groups
-   Presentation of results at national and international conferences and in technical journals
-   Assistance in undergraduate and graduate teaching


Model of a prefabricated segmental bridge in construction state (left) and additive manufacturing of concrete (right)

Selected projects in the research area steel-reinforced and prestressed concrete: