Project description: Anagennisi is a collaborative project funded under the FP7 European funding network
Total budget: 4.5M €
Duration: 42 months
Lead Partner: The University of Sheffield – Construction Innovation Research Group
Project Coordinator: Professor Kypros Pilakoutas


An estimated one billion tyres are discarded each year. Post-Consumer tyre arisings for EU countries (2010) are 3.4M tonnes per year. At the moment nearly 50% of all recycled tyres/components still end up as fuel, in low grade applications or in landfill. All tyre constituents (rubber, high strength steel cord and wire, high strength textile reinforcement) are high quality materials and deserve to be reused for their relevant properties.

Construction is the highest user of materials with concrete being the most popular structural material. Concrete is inherently brittle in compression (unless suitably confined) and weak in tension and, hence, it is normally reinforced with steel bars or fibres. The authors believe that highly confined rubberised concrete can lead to highly deformable concrete elements and structures and that tyre steel and textile fibres can be used as concrete reinforcement to control shrinkage cracking.

IMG_1360The aim of Anagennisi project is to develop innovative solutions to reuse all tyre components in high value innovative concrete applications with reduced environmental impact.

To achieve this aim, Anagennisi project will have to overcome scientific and technological challenges in:

  • Development of novel confined rubberised concrete materials and reinforcement
  • Development of high deformability RC elements suitable for integral bridge elements and base isolation systems for vibrations and seismic applications
  • Development of concrete mixes using recycled steel fibres for use in various applications such as slabs on grade, suspended slabs, precast concrete elements and pumpable self compacting concrete or screed
  • Development of concrete mixes using recycled tyre polymer fibres for crack control
  • Development of novel concrete applications using combinations of the different tyre by-products
  • Undertaking demonstrations projects using the developed materials/applications
  • Development and implementation of standardised LCA/LCCA protocols


The project comprises 5 technical work packages (WP1 to WP5), 1 dissemination work package (WP6), and 1 management work package. A brief description if provided below.

WP1 – Preparatory Studies 

An initial work package WP1 will aim to set the scene and for the main technology development WPs 2, 3 and 4. The WP will undertake some initial analytical work and pilot studies to determine the desired properties from the three tyre constituent materials. The work of this WP is also aimed to minimise the risk of the following scientific and technological developments. This WP will pilot basic technological innovations and ensure that enough materials are produced for the work of other WPs. The key challenges are the determination of the properties required and to find the correct candidate materials.

Key Objectives

To develop raw materials extracted from post-consumer tyres so as to be used in concrete applications. The key challenges are the determination of the properties required and to find the correct candidate materials.


Task 1.1 will present the results of the pilot study on rubberised concrete and concepts for developing highly deformable elements.

The material requirements for high deformability elements will be examined using section analysis software and general FEA package ABAQUS. The effect to concrete strength loss due to addition of rubber (in different quantities and crumb size) will be quantified through pilot studies on the compressive properties of unconfined concrete.

Task 1.2 will present the State of the art on FRC, SFRC FRC and fibre blend FRC.

A literature review on the current state of the art on the use of steel and polymeric fibres in FRC. The review will identify the properties and standards for testing these fibres, as well as current design guidelines for the range of different applications. The review will then investigate the use of RTSF and in particular examine the characterisation of RTSF,since it appears that most studies use unclassified fibres, with which it is very difficult to make future comparisons.

Task 1.3 will present the results of the Pilot Study on Confined Rubberised Concrete

The selected mixes from T1.1 will then be examined during a follow on pilot study under different levels of effective confinement ratios. The best solutions in terms of highest axial capacity and deformation as well as ability to sustain acceptable lateral strain will be selected for more in-depth studies.

Task 1.4 will present the Analytical Study on Deformable Elements.

Based on the constitutive relationships developed in T1.3, the performance of different elements will be assessed using section analysis software and the general FEA packages ANSYS and ABAQUS. The results will be used to develop simple design rules for the design of the deformable elements that conform to the criteria established in T1.1 and to be tested in WP2.

Task 1.5 will present the Analytical Study on FRC and Design recommendations.

The studies of T1.2 will be extended to the structural level using FEA packages ANSYS and ABAQUS. The best material properties for structural uses of FRC will be determined, having in mind the material combinations proposed.

Task 1.6 will present the Preliminary LCA.

This task aims to assess the environmental impact and economic cost of the recycled materials derived from tyre recycling as well as of the developed rubberised concrete elements and fibre reinforced concrete mixes. This task includes a life cycle assessment and a life cycle cost analysis for these materials and concrete mixes.

Task 1.7 will be characterised materials of sufficient quantities for the purposes of the project (several hundred kg).

Whilst rubber crumb is already a product of tyre recycling, the processing of the RTSF is still work in progress and both Twincon and ADRIA are working on the EU Ecoinnovation project Twincletoes to develop clear and sorted RTSF at industrial quantities.

WP2 –  CRC for High Deformability Elements

The most challenging task of developing highly deformable concrete using highly confined rubberised concrete will be addressed in WP2. The work package will examine experimentally the behaviour of unconfined and confined concrete and develop a range of innovative applications for highly deformable elements.

Key Objectives

To develop rubberised concrete mixes suitable for the manufacturing of durable, high-deformability elements.

To develop high-deformability elements that can be used as energy-dissipating integral structural components.


Task 2.1: Material Development and Characterisation

Suitable types of reinforcement and modified concrete mixes will be developed and tested to determine their basic physical and mechanical properties and meet the criteria defined in WP1.

Task 2.2: Long-term Performance and Durability testing

The long term performance of the flexural and jacket reinforcements will be assessed using accelerated durability tests based on fib bulletin 40 protocol.

Task 2.3: Constitutive material modelling: Constitutive models to describe short and long-behaviour

A multi-scale constitutive model will be developed to describe short and long-term behaviour of the selected modified concretes for implementation in finite element packages.

Task 2.4: Medium Scale Tests

Medium scale confined column specimens will be manufactured and tested to assess:

  1. short term performance under combined axial and bending load;
  2. long-term creep resistance under sustained axial load;
  3. fatigue resistance to repeated loading.
Task 2.5: Large ScaleTests

Two large columns will be tested in cyclic bending under different axial load conditions to demonstrate their performance in a typical highway bridge application.

Task 2.6: Shake table tests

Two series of shake table tests will be carried out at TU Iasi to examine the seismic performance of large scale specimens and help improve their design.

Task 2.7: Design Guidelines and Examples

Guidelines and examples will be developed to enable practicing engineers to design high-deformability elements using the newly developed solutions. The behaviour of these elements at elevated temperature and in fire, including means of fire protection, will be discussed, and their sustainability credentials and economic benefits will be critically assessed.

WP3 – New Uses for RTSF Concrete Applications

Key Objectives

To explore new and develop previously tested applications for RTSF in concrete and develop suitable design guidelines for rapid adoption by the construction industry.

To develop innovative applications using well sorted waste steel from tyres as well as fibre blends, creating high end value products by fully utilising the strength and significantly improved environmental profile of RTSF in concrete.


Task 3.1: Fibre blends for shrinkage control and structural applications

To determine the blends with the optimum mechanical characteristics (defined in WP1) wet concrete mixes will be developed (for the first time) using different amounts of manufactured (M) and sorted RTSF fibres. New tests will be developed (Figure right) to study the effect of both restrained shrinkage and auto-healing on the flexural properties (Modulus of rupture, residual strength and Modulus of Elasticity).

Task 3.2: Pumpable and self compacted concrete and mortar

For speed and ease of application, much of today’s concrete is pumped to place. Suitable concrete and mortar SFRC mixes with RTSF and fibre blends will be developed, with emphasis on the fresh properties of concrete. These mixes will have enough mortar, sufficient amount of fines, optimum fibre dosage and will demonstrate high enough slump to ensure good pumpability.

Task 3.3: Precast concrete elements

The technologies developed in Task 3.2, will also be suitable for precast concrete elements. An additional problem encountered in elements cast in thin closed moulds, is the directionality of the fibres due to flow and boundary conditions. Simple tests will be developed to examine these effects using moulds supplied by the industrial partners, and in conjunction with the findings of Task 3.1 on fibre orientation.

Task 3.4: Sprayed concrete

Proof of concept studies by the proposers showed that RTSF can be easily included in sprayed concrete even at high fibre dosages (up to 100kg/m3) with no fibre agglomeration issues. However, it was also found that the mix designs need optimisation and fibre blends to be examined. Furthermore it was concluded that further studies are required to assess the effect of the spraying process on the mechanical properties of SFR sprayed concrete as well as examine durability (Task 3.7) and crack control.

Task 3.5: Screeds

RTSF reinforced screeds will be developed for overlays on new or damaged concrete surfaces. These overlays will be tough, with low shrinkage potential and suitable surface characteristics as well as good adhesion to the base layer. control.

Task 3.6: Slurry infiltrated concrete

Proof of concept studies undertaken by the proposers revealed the suitability of RTSF in security applications. SIFCON containing 600kg/m3 of RTSF were tested against 0.6kg high explosives.The performance of these slabs was similar to that seen in previous studies at USFD on similar sized panels with steel back-plate reinforcement. A more detailed experimental parametric study of the panels is required to better identify the load-response characteristics of the panels.

Task 3.7: Durability studies

Additional properties, beyond mechanical are durability properties and mechanical properties after exposure to aggressive environments. Additional evaluation of the durability properties for selected mixtures will be obtained by comparing the performance in laboratory testing and in real environment through demonstration projects in WP5.

Task 3.8: Design Guidelines and Examples

By using the experience from WP1 and Tasks 3.1 – 3.7, practical guidelines and examples will be developed to enable engineers to design slabs on grade, suspended slabs, screeds, precast concrete elements, SIFCON and spay concrete. The guidelines will include information on material properties and recommended safety factors.

WP4 – Use of RTPF in Concrete

WP4 will aim to find for the first time a use for RTPF in concrete. The main challenges other than cleaning the RTPF are the introduction the fibres into concrete mixes and identification of suitable applications.

Key Objectives

To develop for the first time fibre reinforced concrete mixes reusing waste polymer fibres (developed in WP1) from post-consumer tyres to enhance resistance to shrinkage cracks.

To explore and identify suitable applications for RTPF in concrete and to put an end to the current practice of landfilling this material. Both mixes with RTPF and blends with RTSF and manufactured fibres will be investigated.


Task 4.1: RTPF reinforced concrete

Preliminary (very limited) research performed by the proposers, showed that the main benefit from adding RTPF in concrete is the control of shrinkage cracking (especially plastic) as well as a decrease in permeability. To confirm and extend these preliminary findings this task will investigate a variety of mixes with RTPF as well as blends with RTPF, RTSF and manufactured (M) fibres (identified in Task 3.1 of WP3).

Task 4.2: RTPF Sprayed concrete

RTPF due to its size and flexibility it is expected to benefit sprayed concrete by minimising rebound and increasing toughness. To confirm this testing will be made on in-situ prepared specimens (similar to those in the Figure on the left) and will be extended to extraction of cores for tests assessing the compressive strength, flexural strength, energy absorption.

Task 4.3: Screeds

RTPF reinforced screeds will be developed for overlays on new or damaged concrete surfaces. These overlays will be tough, with low shrinkage potential and suitable surface characteristics as well as good adhesion to the base layer.

Task 4.4: Durability studies

Previous research performed by the proposers showed that the incorporation of RTPF in concrete/mortar could reduce permeability and this will be confirmed by a series of water permeability tests. Other aspects of durability will also be investigated with tests on capillary absorption, chloride diffusion and freeze-thaw resistance. Finally resistance to accidental fire will be studied in terms of residual compressive strength, flexural strength and modulus of elasticity on preloaded elements to include the phenomenon of transient strain.

Task 4.5: Physical Model, design guidelines and examples

By using the experience from all previous sub work packages,a physical model will be developed to take into account the effect of fibres on the behaviour of cracked concrete. This model will be calibrated against the experimental results obtained from literature and results obtained in Task 4.1.

WP5 – Demonstration Projects and LCA/LCCA

WP5 will also put all the knowledge developed by the project into practice since it is important for industry and the users to see that the tyre by-products can be used in advanced applications. A range of well monitored mini Demonstration projects will be attempted.

Key Objectives

To put all the knowledge developed by the project into practice, thorough a series of mini demonstration projects, since it is important for industry and the end users to see that the tyre by-products can be used to develop advanced solutions in construction.
To undertake LCA/LCCA for the new applications.


Task 5.1: Demonstrations

A minimum of 5 mini (possibly 8) demonstration projects (MDP) will be undertaken depending on the materials developed, availability of sites at the right time and the approval of the infrastructure owners. The typical applications are shown below.

Integral bridge pier: COMSA

Part of an integral structure utilising flexible elements will be constructed. The site of the demonstration will be in one of COMSA’s sites in Europe and will comprise the construction of piers of a long bridge (at least 100m).

Hybrid fibre reinforced slab on grade: TWINCON, DULEX

Two internal steel fibre reinforced concrete ground bearing jointless floor slabs using blends of RTSF and manufactured fibres will be constructed. The location of the first site will be in UK while the second in Croatia, to allow diversity in terms of both economy and environment.

Hybrid fibre sprayed concrete: COMSA, WERKOS

Tunnel linings either with manual spraying orby using robots with blends of RTSF and manufactured fibres will be constructed. COMSA will construct a segment in Spain.

Hybrid fibre precast concrete elements: COMSA, GRADMONT, ZEBRA

RTSF and optimised in Task 3.3 will be constructed. The design will be based on the design guidelines developed in Tasks 3.8 and 4.5.

Hybrid fibre reinforced screed repair for a damaged industrial floor: TWINCON

Two screeds reinforced with short RTSFand RTPF will be applied on damaged slabs on grade to produce extremely wear resistant smooth and dense surfaces in a suitable site in UK. The mix design will be based on the optimisation undertaken in Tasks 3.5 and 4.3 while the structural design will be based on the guidelines developed in Tasks 3.8 and 4.5.

Task 5.2: Monitoring of demonstration projects

This task will provide integrated assessment/ monitoring systems tailored to the specifics of the different relevant demonstration projects described in Task 5.1. This will include the development of special multi measurement systems that will aid validation and updating of the design methodologies developed in Tasks 2.7, 3.8 and 4.5.

Task 5.3: Life cycle assessment (LCA) and a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA)

This task will assess the environmental and cost assessment of the demonstrations developed by WP5 (these will also include insitu emission measurements by utilising equipment available at CUT).

WP6 – Dissemination and Knowledge Management

Key Objectives

To disseminate the project scientific and technological findings to a wider audience for the benefit of other construction (transport) engineering companies, recyclers, end-users and clients, as well as academic and research actors.


Task 6.1: Dissemination website

The aim of this task is to develop and maintain a dissemination website (Deliverable 6.1) which will hold public information of the project that could be freely available for download.

Task 6.2: Industrial and end-user targeted dissemination

Within task 6.2, the consortium will adopt the EC guidance to undertake successfully outreach activities in order to communicate and engage (at different levels) with actors beyond the research community. Amongst other, these activities will include:

  • Quarterly bulletins and annual newsletters
  • 4 Annual industrial seminars
  • At least 4 public lectures
Task 6.3: Dissemination scientific advances

The consortium will continuously write articles in high-profile scientific journals in the field of surface transport, concrete and environmental engineering and in professional magazines to inform the scientific community of the project findings and to raise awareness among practitioners.

Task 6.4: Media online database and media training

This task will be lead by the PLO. The aim of the task is to establish and continuously maintain (Deliverable 6.8) an online media database, which would be publicly available. This database will include all the non-confidential multimedia material developed by the project (including images, videos, non-technical briefs) that could be used by the public for the production of presentations, TV clips and videos (educational and for the general public).

Task 6.5: Exploitation Agreement

An Exploitation Agreement will be prepared by the Exploitation Manager (EM) to define the mechanisms for protecting the Foreground IP.

Task 6.6: Technology Implementation Plan

Task 6.6 will establish a plan (Deliverable 6.6) for the use and dissemination of foreground (including socio-economic impact and target groups for the results of the research). This plan will be used to determine additional applications for the developed technologies and to assist dissemination and exploitation.

WP7 – Project Management

Key Objectives

To optimise the application of technical and administrative resources within the project and among the consortium, and to ensure compliance with the project and WP objectives; and to undertake risk assessment and management.

To implement a Quality Plan within the project and the European Commission and to verify that all aspects of the EC requirements for communication and reporting are met.


Task 7.1: Preparation of Quality Manual

A Quality Manual will be developed to provide good practice guidelines for the main activities of the project.

Task 7.2: Risk management and contingency planning

A risk management strategy will be developed to ensure project risks are minimised. The Project Co-ordinator (PC) and WP7 leader will use these data to identify risks which require special attention.

Task 7.3: Secure management web-site for administrative coordination

This task will include the development of an effective ICT strategy and a restricted access website (Deliverable 7.2) to act as an effective management tool to track and monitor project progress and ensure that all deliverables and milestones are met and all reports are prepared in accordance with contractual requirements. Risk management and contingency plans will be developed if necessary.

Task 7.4: Plenary technical and management meetings

An inaugural meeting and eight plenary technical and management meetings (listed here) will be held during the project aiming to meet at all major industrial facilities. Additional technical meetings may be called by the WP Leaders, especially at the critical stage of each WP.