Internal Curing of 3D Printed Engineering Cementitious Composites: Paving the Way for Sustainable and Durable Infrastructure in the Southwest Climates

Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is considered the next industrial revolution, allowing for the flexible production of industrial products. This emerging technology can aid engineers and architects in creating complex representational models economically and quickly during the design phase of an infrastructure project. When it comes to selecting materials for 3D printing of infrastructures, Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) have several potential benefits. ECC is a novel class of high-performance fiber-reinforced material with demonstrated exceptional properties. This study aims to investigate the feasibility of using internal curing of ECC materials for 3D printing, on a small scale. The goal is to construct durable infrastructures by adapting novel 3D printing technology for the future of transportation construction. A complementary goal is to examine the internal curing potential of the ECC materials used for 3D printing. The specific objectives of this research are to: (1) Advance the application of innovative manufacturing techniques, 3D printing in this case, in transportation infrastructure projects in low-humidity regions like New Mexico; (2) Modify ECC mixes developed by the Principal Investigator to enhance their mechanical and durability performance by incorporating internal curing agents, specifically lightweight aggregates. In pursuit of sustainability, a 50% weight substitution of cement with suitable alternatives (fly ash and slag) will be pursued; (3) Investigate the effect of different types (local New Mexico pumice and expanded glass) and contents of internal curing agents (across three distinct substitution levels for normal weight aggregates, comprising 25%, 50%, and 100% replacement) on the performance of ECC for transportation infrastructure; (4) Ensure printable ECC mixes performance by thoroughly examining fresh properties including water content, extrudability, and buildability for 3D printing by 3D printing in a zigzag pattern and printing a wall; (5) Assess the feasibility of designing an ECC mix suitable for 3D printing infrastructure in arid conditions. This will be achieved by evaluating mechanical properties, including compressive, flexural, and tensile strength, across three distinct curing regimes. The goal is to establish an ECC composition demonstrating robust mechanical performance and durability within dry environments, enhancing its suitability for 3D-printed infrastructure applications; (6) Explore the sustainability and economic viability of the 3D-printing process and the ECC used for transportation infrastructure projects. The outputs include the exploration and potential development of internal curing methods for optimizing 3D printable cementitious mixes tailored to infrastructure construction. These outputs will contribute to a better understanding of enhancing material properties through internal curing techniques.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $160000
  • Contract Numbers:


    CY1-UNM- 02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Southern Plains Transportation Center

    University of Oklahoma
    201 Stephenson Pkwy, Suite 4200
    Norman, OK  United States  73019
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Denise

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Albuquerque, NM  United States  87131-0001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hojati, Maryam

  • Start Date: 20231001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01899464
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southern Plains Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348306 , CY1-UNM- 02
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2023 5:47PM