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Penn Students Study Focus on UHPC in Partnership with Precasters

Students created mock ups that use inspiration from travel to Denmark and trips to precaster to challenge themselves with exciting precast materials

This fall, MM, through monies provided by the PCI Foundation grant, engaged students in Ultra High‐Performance Concrete (UHPC), challenging students to design precast panels of minimum thickness and non‐standard shape grammars. Student teams were provided a 5x10 of 1/8” sheet steel, which they had use to create a formwork which would be used to cast two (2) panels. In addition to the sheet steel, which was cut and formed using Northeast Precast’s state of the art CNC plasma cutters at their vineland, NJ plant, students were able to use foam inserts, which were produced at Penn facilities. We conducted three (3) day trips to NEP’s plant, the first in late‐ September 2022 served as an introduction to the NEP’s facilities and team; and the second in early‐November was our pour day. The time between saw a flurry of intensity, with student‐NEP teams designing panels, formwork, and the workflow that would produce both. While much of the fabrication of formwork occurred in the time leading up to pour day, all students were present to do final formwork assembly, including fastening, caulking, and general preparation. They also mixed the UHPC and poured the panels. The final visit was in the beginning of December, which was our final presentations/panel reveal – no images of the final panels were shared with the students, so

their first interaction with their work was that day at the plant. Guests for the final presentation included Peter Finsen, FPCI, and former PCI Board member; Dawn Decker, Executive Director of PCI Mid‐Atlantic; and Penn faculty

members Ezio Blasetti and Drew Busmire.

Click on the document below to read the full report on the studio (use the square at the bottom left to get it to your full screen).


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