Stéphanie Staquet
Associate Professor
 +32 2 650 27 58
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Arnaud Deraemaeker
Associate Professor

 +32 2 650 27 25
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Jérôme Carette
Post-doc Researcher

 +32 2 650 27 57
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The BATir (Building, Architecture and Town planning) department is part of Brussels School of Engineering (École polytechnique de Bruxelles) at the ULB (Université libre de Bruxelles). BATir is a multidisciplinary department in charge of research and teaching related to the art of building: construction, architectural engineering, urbanism and spatial and regional planning. It consists of five several research groups, from which two are participating in the project. The laboratory of civil engineering (LGC) is part of the BATir department. Two of its research groups are represented in this project.


Concrete research group

During the last decade, the LGC concrete research group has focused part of its research activities on the early age behaviour of cement-based systems and to the development of smart cement-based composites for enhanced durability. The former field of research integrates the development of original and unique means of characterization of concrete properties, as well as the adaptation of modelling strategies to this specific early age behaviour. Since 2000, the laboratory has been able to get equipped with a range of facilities at the forefront of research in the field of early age behavior of concrete. The LGC is at the cutting edge regarding monitoring of physical and mechanical properties of concrete, mortar and paste since very early age. Its test setups include:

  • A TSTM type testing machine for performing restrained shrinkage and creep tests
  • Two BTJADE devices for measuring autogenous deformation of mortar/concrete
  • A temperature-controlled autoshrink testing system for monitoring volume changes
  • Two ultrasonic pulse transmission (P+S waves) measurements devices
  • Two 100kN vertical dual ball joint testing machines for tensile creep testing
  • Five pairs of INVAR strain gauges (longitudinal and transverse extensometer)
  • An isothermal, two semi-adiabatic and an adiabatic calorimeter
  • An acoustic emission measurement system

Dynamics research group

The Dynamics research group of Arnaud Deraemaeker is specialized in vibration based and ultrasonic based monitoring systems for civil engineering infrastructure. Recently, the team has developed a novel approach for ultrasonic monitoring of concrete based on embedded low-cost piezoelectric transducers. The technique has many advantages with respect to traditional ultrasonic testing using external probes, among which the possibility to measure inside the concrete, the excellent coupling with the host material, and the possibility of automation of the monitoring process over a long period of time.

The method has been successfully used for the monitoring of the Young’s modulus of concrete at very early age, and crack monitoring during bending, compression and pull-out tests. These techniques are based on a pitch-catch method where an emitter generates an ultrasonic wave and the receiver records the wave after it has travelled through the concrete. The previous applications of the technique were based on post-processing of the first period of the wave, also called the ballistic wave. In the framework of this project, the technique will be used to assess early age mechanical properties and to detect the onset of cracking.