CEST & ICE clubs of NITR jointly undertook some research projects focused on enhancing the quality of concrete. Using various reinforcements and accompanied by the quality study of different concrete models under varying laboratory conditions, the initiative was a great learning experience.  

The list of these projects are: 

  • Thirsty Concrete 
  • Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete 
  • Basalt Rebar Reinforced Concrete 

Thirsty Concrete 

Thirsty or pervious concrete is a special kind of concrete with a much higher porosity level. The water from precipitation and other sources percolate through the top-most concrete layer and get collected underneath systems.  

Thirsty concrete usually consists of cement, coarse aggregate, and water with minimal fine aggregates. The mixture holds a water to cement ratio of 0.3 to 0.4 with a void content of around 20 to 25%. There is no requirement for a slum or air content test because of lower water content. Also, there is no standardized result for the compressive strength test. Its acceptance is based on unit weight or density. Due to its texture, it leads to a lower workability condition. 

This technology offers an excellent solution for flood control, surface water run-off, and groundwater recharge. Though its usage is limited, its addition to the construction industry has helped a lot in controlling flood-like situations. 


Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) 

Fibre Reinforced Concrete can be defined as a composite material consisting of mixtures of cement, mortar, or concrete and discontinuous, discrete, uniformly dispersed suitable fibres. Glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC) is one kind of fibre-reinforced concrete. It consists of higher strength glass fibres, which increase its integrity. Glass fibres of 1 to 5 cm length and a few microns diameter are thoroughly mixed with cement up to 5% by weight before adding water. The fibres reinforce the concrete and act as the principal load-carrying members. The concrete matrix helps maintain the fibres' orientation and acts as a medium to transfer the loads.  

Although its relative density is similar to ordinary concrete, these GFRC panels are relatively thinner and lighter. Besides having high tensile strength, the high polymer content makes the concrete flexible and resistant to surface distortions. 

Its unique properties can be effectively used to create façade wall panels, bridge and tunnel lining panels, fireplace surrounds, architectural cladding, renovation works, water and drainage works, and much more. However, the damage caused due to abrasion limits its usage to a certain extent. 


Basalt Rebar Reinforced Concrete 

Basalt Rebar reinforcement is an alternative to steel and fibreglass for reinforcing concrete. Basalt Rebar is a kind of bar having spiral winding by basalt strip oiled in a polymeric compound. These are manufactured from basalt fibres by pultrusion technology and have a profiled and sanded surface. Generally, these rebars have a diameter of around 4mm to 6mm, and their length varies from 500 – 800m. They are cut into pieces and rolled up for transportation.  

Basalt rebars are around four times lighter than steel bars, but they have about three times the higher tensile strength. They show a natural resistance to alkali, rust, and acids. Furthermore, these rebars have nearly the same thermal coefficient as that of concrete.  

Basalt rebars are great for constructing MRI or data buildings as they do not induce any fields when exposed to radiation and are also bad conductors of electricity. They are used in marine environments and chemical plants because of their natural corrosion resistance.  


In the words of Bedank Agarwal, Team Lead 

It was the Winter Vacation of NIT Rourkela, aka the chilly December, when we a bunch of 14 CEST and ICE members decided that chilling at home like other mere mortals ain't enough fun. We decided to stay behind and organized a model replication project at our very own structural lab of CE Dept. , NIT Rourkela. 

The permissions were all requested and granted in godspeed, and the work was, at the very least, overwhelming. 

We could replicate various concrete models, basalt reinforcement, glass and plastic fibre reinforced concrete, etc. It boosted our technical as well as ground knowledge. About 7 third years and 7 second years participated in the same, and we all can unanimously assure you the experiences accrued here can never be accumulated in a class. 



In the words of Subham Das, Member of the Team 

From my club seniors, I got to know that there were some projects taken under the banner of CEST & ICE club of NIT Rourkela during the winter vacations. This gave me a chance to nourish my knowledge about the properties of composite materials. In the winter vacation, we worked on Thirsty concrete/Pervious concrete casting and its strength test. As part of the team, our job was to analyze these concrete's material properties through various tests like strength test. We cast as many as 12 cubes. We varied the fine aggregate composition and analyzed (performed the strength test and property) it with 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, and 28 days. We compared the results of the test with standard concrete properties and got our results. As a sophomore, I was not introduced to different concepts of RCC design. In the beginning, I found it very tough to understand, but Manas bhaiya helped us a lot in understanding different methods of RCC design, which we used in our project. We were constantly guided by Bedank bhaiyaSujit bhaiyaManas bhaiya in every aspect of our project.  

Later on, we worked on Plastic Fibre-reinforced concrete and Basalt Rebar reinforced beam. This was a stout learning experience for me. 


We, the CEST and ICE club people, have never left a stone unturned when it comes to pursuing innovation and research. The above projects reiterate the clubs' objective to prepare the best civil engineering minds through a balance of practical and theoretical knowledge. CEST and ICE clubs are indebted to NITR Administration for allowing us to carry out our projects and our respected professors and non-teaching staff without whom the project would not have been possible. 



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