Effect of Red Mud, Nanoclay, and Natural Fiber on Fresh and Rheological Properties of Three-Dimensional Concrete Printing

M. Sonebi, M. Dedenis, S. Amziane, Ahmed Abdalqader, A. Perrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a revolutionary technique, which recently has gained a growing interest in the field of civil engineering and the construction industry. Despite being in its infancy, 3D concrete printing is believed to reshape the future of the construction industry because it has the potential to significantly reduce both the cost and time of construction. For example, savings between 35 and 60% of the overall cost of construction can be achieved by using this technique due to the possibility of relinquishing the formwork. Moreover, this innovation would free up the architectural gesture by offering a wider possibility of shapes. However, key challenges should be addressed to make this technique commercially viable. The effect of mixture composition on the rheological properties of the printed concrete/mortar is vital and should be thoroughly investigated. This paper investigates the effect of using red mud, nanoclay, and natural fibers on the fresh and rheological properties of 3D-printed mortar. The rheological properties were evaluated using the penetrometer test, flow table test, and cylindrical slump test. The estimated yield stress values were then calculated based on the cylindrical slump test. Further, relationships between the tested parameters were established. The main findings of this study indicate that the use of an optimum dosage of a nanoclay was beneficial to attain the required cohesion, stability, and constructability of the printed mortar. The use of natural fibers reduced pulp flow by improving cohesion with a denser fiber network and reducing the cracks. With respect to red mud, it may be appropriate for printable mortar, but more testing is still required to optimize its use in a printable mixture. A printability box to define the suitability of mixtures for 3D printing was also established for these mixtures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-110
JournalACI Materials Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2021


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