Projects projects

Name: 3D Printed Foamed Geopolymer for Building Technology Applications (3D-FOAM)

Project duration: 01.06.2022 – 31.05.2025

Keywords: geopolymer, waste-free technologies, porous materials, card-resistant materials, 3D printed building materials

Short description of the project: The main challenge is to develop waste-free technologies for 3D printing, where construction waste products such as clay bricks, aerated concrete, obsolete cement, etc. could be used as raw materials. The project aims to develop foamed materials by additive manufacturing – 3D printing technology, with a particular focus on geopolymer composites and hybrid geopolymer composites with tailored properties for additive manufacturing that could be used as insulating materials. The expected outcome of the project is a new class of materials with high thermal properties and at the same time non-flammable (heat resistant, thermal barriers). The main expected properties are: controlled pore structure, low density, high thermal resistance, good mechanical properties, fire-resistant, better incorporation into the structure compared to traditional insulating materials, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Project partners: Technical University of Kraków (Poland), University of Miskolc (Hungary), National University of Ilan (Taiwan).

Post-doc research projects

Project title: ‘Implementation of a Multi-scale Nonlinear Viscoelastic and Viscoplastic Material Model with the Finite Element Method’

Postdoctoral researcher/project promoter: Līva Pupure

Project supervisor: Prof. Leonīds Pakrastiņš

Project duration: 01.01.2021.-30.06.2023. (30 months)

Project funding: 111 504.90 EUR including ERDF funding 94779.16 EUR (85%), state budget funding 11150.49 EUR (10%) and Riga Technical University funding 5 575.25 EUR (5%).

Project Summary:
The scientific objective of the project is the implementation of a multiscale nonlinear viscoelastic and viscoplastic material model in the finite element method (FEM). The implemented model would enable the development of industries such as biocomposites, high temperature composites, material curing and shrinkage, thus enabling more efficient use of advanced materials and reducing production costs, lowering carbon emissions and using more environmentally friendly materials. The scientific objective of the project fits within the Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3), which aims to increase innovation capacity, to build an innovation system that promotes and supports technological progress in the economy. The RIS3 strategy has as its core objective an economic transformation towards high added value, productivity and more efficient use of resources. The Science, Technological Development and Innovation Guidelines 2014-2020 also emphasise that programmes and projects implemented with public budget funds should be focused on priority areas, one of which is “Innovative and Advanced Materials and Smart Technologies – Multifunctional Materials and Composites”, which corresponds directly to the scientific theme of the proposed project. The main objective of the project is to develop a new tool to assist in the characterisation of this non-linearity.

Main expected results:
The final outcome will be the development of a commercialisable product with a technical maturity level of 6. From the results of the project, 2 full scientific publications, 2 conference publications, 3 conference presentations and 1 national or international project application will be developed and submitted, further investigating the time-dependent properties in more depth.

Keywords: engineering & technology, mechanics, nonlinear material properties, finite element modelling, composite materials

Project title: ‘Experimental investigation of creep and shrinkage deformation of new concrete and cement composites’

Postdoctoral researcher/project promoter: Andīna Sprince

Scientific supervisor: Leonīds Pakrastiņš

Project period: 01.05.2020 to 30.04.2023 (36 months)

Project funding: 133,805.88 EUR including ERDF funding 113,734.99 EUR (85%), state budget funding 13,380.58 EUR (10%) and Riga Technical University funding 6,690.31 EUR (5%).

Project Summary: 

The aim of the research project is to experimentally determine the long-term properties of new concrete and cement composites (NCCC) – creep deformation in compression and tension, and shrinkage deformation – using a new method of deformation determination – quantitative image analysis (QIA), which will be a new approach to deformation determination.

In the design of buildings and civil engineering structures, it is necessary to predict the performance of structural elements and the evolution of possible effects throughout their service life. Creep deformations occur in structures under sustained loads and can cause excessive deflection, cracking, instability, buckling, loss of prestress and other anomalies. Since the beginning of the 20th century, researchers and cement engineering composite technologists have been working on the development of new and different types of structural multi-component concrete and cement engineering composites, creating cement composite matrices that are much stronger, more durable and more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, there is insufficient information on the long-term properties of such new engineered concrete and cement composites, as existing standardised methods for determining creep strains under compressive loading are inadequate for newly developed concrete and cement composites.

To address the scientific problem, the project proposes to apply a digital image analysis (QIA) method for the determination of long-term properties, which has not been used for this purpose so far. The application and use of the QIA method would also solve the problem of recording micro-deformations caused by tensile loading, and it should also be mentioned that this new approach could potentially allow the monitoring of long-term deformations of existing structures. It is proposed to use new testing equipment, to apply a new specimen shape and to experimentally validate the method by determining the long-term tensile and compressive properties of newly developed concrete and cementitious engineering composites using new creep lever jigs in tension and adapted creep lever jigs in compression, as well as by applying new specimen shapes for the determination of creep deformations in tension.

The achievement of the scientific objective will contribute to the development of new, more promising and more environmentally friendly multi-component engineering composites of concrete and cement and to the design of safer, more rational stress-field compliant structures whose long-term performance can be more accurately predicted and evaluated.

Expected output of the research:

  • presented at 2 international scientific conferences;
  • published in 2 international scientific conference proceedings, which will be indexed in the Scopus database;
  • published in 2 peer-reviewed scientific journals with a citation rate higher than the industry average (IF=1.721), which will be indexed in the Scopus database;
  • published in 2 popular science articles on the internet and/or in print journals;
  • submitted at least 1 patent application;
  • developed 1 scientific description and recommendations.

Keywords: new concrete and cement composites, creep and shrinkage deformation, long-term properties.


  • Literature analysis on methods for determination of long-term properties of different concrete and cement composites under different stress states, their operating ranges, as well as on concrete and cement composites to be tested in them.
  • In-depth literature review, study of quantitative image analysis (QIA) methods used in research, their operating ranges, applications for scientific research purposes, review and analysis of the technical support used in them.
  • As part of the competence development, several remote workshops organised by BrightTALK on the correct use of different photographic equipment, the correct set-up of technical parameters to perform the necessary measurements, and the processing of the resulting images-measurements were attended.
  • Knowledge transfer to students through advice on scientific work.
  • The first experimental studies were carried out in good time. As a result of the experiments, geopolymer concretes were designed and produced. 20 cylindrical specimens were cast and used for experimental tests.

Project title: ‘Monitoring of building load-bearing structures at vibrations induced by the external environment’

Postdoctoral researcher/project promoter: Līga Gaile

Project supervisor: Jānis Šliseris

Project implementation period: 01.01.2020 to 31.12.2022 (36 months)

Project funding: 133,805.88 EUR including ERDF funding 113,734.99 EUR (85%), state budget funding 13,380.58 EUR (10%) and Riga Technical University funding 6,690.31 EUR (5%).

Project Summary: 

The scientific objective of the research project is to evaluate the applicability of vibration-based methods (VBM) for detecting and warning about changes in the technical condition of low- and medium-rise building structures under the influence of ambient excitation oscillations.

The main objectives of the research are: to assess numerically and experimentally the sensitivity of rigid buildings to different sources of environmental fluctuations (transport, railways, wind); to investigate the effects of different modern measuring devices (e.g, The development of equivalent models and the use of machine learning algorithms for problem solving; optimisation of the locations of measurement equipment and definition of the parameters to be measured for continuous monitoring of the buildings under study; development of recommendations to industry on the use of VBM for monitoring the technical condition of rigid buildings (2-12 storeys); case studies.

The expected outputs of the project are 2 original journal publications (citation index reaching at least 50% of the industry average citation index) and 2 original conference publications indexed in Scopus and/or Web of Science databases, as well as 2 popular scientific publications and the development of recommendations to the industry on the application of VBM for structural monitoring of low and medium-rise buildings.

Keywords: Building load-bearing structures, vibration-based methods, technical condition assessment.


  • In order to develop new skills and improve competence, several online training courses on the open source programming language “Python” which is an interpretable object-oriented scripting high-level programming language have been completed.
  • Selection of sensor calibration methods and development of a suitable calibration algorithm in open source Python, applying the newly acquired skills.
  • Creation of static and dynamic calibration benches for sensors. Experimental acquisition of initial ambient oscillation data for two buildings.
  • Investigation of sensor noise mitigation algorithms and development and testing of “wavelet” transform for noise mitigation in Python code with experimentally obtained data.

Latvian Research Council projects

Title: Long-term properties of innovative cementitious composite materials under different stress and strain conditions

Project leader: Dr. Leonīds Pakrastiņš

Keywords: creep, innovative cement composites, long-term properties

Project objective: to develop a methodology for creep deformation determination under different stress conditions and to adapt creep test rigs, measurement technology depending on the specimen shape. The measurements will be carried out for innovative cement composites which cannot be tested according to existing standards and test methodologies, thus obtaining the long-term properties of these composites. Based on the experimental data obtained, a new empirical prediction model will be developed to determine the long-term properties.

The project will obtain actual values of creep stress in different stress-strain states, different strength values, modulus of elasticity for new innovative cementitious composites under laboratory conditions, which cannot be determined by current standardised methods and calculation models. Such properties have not been previously determined for these materials. In order to determine the properties of the long-life material, specimens of different ages, geometries and loading will be produced. Testing will be carried out on the completed test benches to determine the creep strains in different stress-strain states. A new specimen geometry approach will be used to determine the creep strain under different stress-strain conditions. A new approach to creep strain will be used. Based on the experimental results, a new empirical prediction model will be developed for the long-term properties of new innovative cementitious composite materials.

More information on the project can be found here.