The main objective of the action is to develop a new generation of guidelines/recommendations to predict/evaluate the service life of cement based materials and structures in Europe by integrating the most recent developments in experimental and numerical approaches, with particular focus concrete performance from early ages. These guidelines will focus on material and structural behaviour, and recently developed tools to assist design at two levels: (i) experimental techniques; and (ii) numerical simulation methods. This will be achieved through networking activities of mutual validation and benchmarking, development of new products together with industrial partners (experimental techniques and software) and parallel drafting of documents that can open the path to faster standardization. The networking activities will surely bring about innovations that would be unattainable by individual participants.

In the pursuit of the main general aim stated above, the following more specific objectives/deliverables have been considered:

  • To systematize knowledge on the use and relative performance of testing techniques for characterization of CBM since early ages, and to assist in drafting recommendations on new and existing test procedures;
  • To establish a strong link between the opportunities provided by recent/new developments in experimental techniques and the increasingly capable/complex simulation models that are under development (focusing on multiscale and multiphysics approaches). This is a fundamental step towards the establishment of new generation guidelines based on new technological opportunities;
  • To collect and contribute to up-to-date knowledge on numerical modelling assumptions, parameter choices and strategies for the evaluation of CBM and structures at both early ages and throughout the service life. The collected knowledge will help to establish advanced guidelines for modelling;
  • To update existing recommendations and norms for testing and modelling CBM during their service life, and propose new recommendations and norms for recently devised experimental techniques;
  • To promote integrated initiatives between equipment manufacturing companies and R&D institutions, so as to develop new products for the European market;
  • To support the creation of technical/scientific committees (while bridging activities with RILEM and fib), and initiate joint research grant proposals that assist further deepening of the objectives of this COST Action;
  • To disseminate outcome of the above objectives so as to achieve the highest possible impact to the European construction sector.