Growing living and multifunctional mycelium composites for large-scale formwork applications using robotic abrasive wire-cutting

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Abstract

This paper presents four key developments that are leading to the scalability of the fabrication processes of mycelium material. We develop a biological and digital fabrication pipeline for (1) growing large mycelium composite blocks, (2) on-site robotic wire-cutting, (3) using mycelium materials as a multi-functional formwork, and (4) implementing the self-healing of fungal organisms. The purpose of the research is to investigate the processing approaches, variable material handling and materials properties of large biohybrid (composed of biological and non-biological material) foam blocks. The robotic tool provides the freedom to shape and structure this novel biological material and opens the possibility of making unique architectural modules. For the first time, mycelium materials are robotically wire-cut in situ, which results in two demonstrators. Departing from an application-based intention, we test the compatibility of thermal insulating mycelium formwork with a concrete slab. As such, we combine two different materials with hybrid physical and architectural properties. Additionally, we investigated the self-healing and living properties of mycelium components after robotic implementation. The combination of microbiological systems and fibrous substrates creates a unique class of bioactive composite materials, with potential applications at in the construction sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122732
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Volume283
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021

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