Robert J. Flatt: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt
FieldConstruction Materials
Institut für Baustoffe (IfB)
ETH Zürich, HCP G 25.3
Leopold-Ruzicka-Weg 4
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 28 90
DepartmentCivil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
RelationshipFull Professor

101-0615-01LMaterials III Restricted registration - show details 4 credits4PR. J. Flatt, I. Burgert, P. Lura, H. Richner, F. Wittel
AbstractIntroduction into the basic and practical knowledge of important building materials and testing methods.
ObjectiveIntroduction into the basic and practical knowledge of important building materials and testing methods.
Contento Introduction of material testing equipment, with various examples of experiments on metals (tensile behaviour, hardness, bending and impact loading).
o Theoretical background and practical aspects of concrete technology: mixture design, casting and setting; determination of mechanical properties.
o Properties of bricks and mortar: individual materials and the composite brickwork. Parameters like strength, Young’s modulus, water absorption and thermal conductivity are determined.
o Understanding the characteristic properties of wood: anisotropy, hygroscopic behaviour, shrinkage and swelling, and effect of size on strength. Introduction to test-methods for wood and wood-products.
o Introduction into the basics of scanning electron microscopy: practical exercises with the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM).
o Introduction to fundamentals of Finite Element Methods and their application in examples.
o Introduction to durability of building materials and building structures: assessment of potentials for detecting and locating corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete.
Lecture notesFor each topic a script will be provided, that can be downloaded under
101-0617-00LMaterials IV Information 3 credits2GH. J. Herrmann, I. Burgert, R. J. Flatt, F. Wittel
AbstractThis lecture is focused on current issues of materials research from various fields. It provides an overview on various directions of research on civil engineering materials and is intended to simplify the further choice of courses.
ObjectiveBased on the bachelor courses „Materials I-III“, current, fundamental, and important issues of specific building materials are addressed. Next to aspects of material production, usage and properties, their interaction with the environment e.g. by durability and environmental impact are addressed. This course is intended to simplify the further selection of courses.
ContentThe lecture is segmented into 13 important problems, namely:
1. Materials, Structures, and Sustainability
2. Granular matter: (DEM)
3. Fracture mechanics and size effects in concrete
4. Cyclic failure of asphalt (Fatigue)
5. Mechanics and failure of fiber reinforces materials
6. Wood: from the tree to the beam (multi scale approaches)
7. Transport and degradation in porous building materials
8. Rheology
9. Plasticity
10. Foam (e.g. polymers)
11. Gluing and coating (surfaces)
12. Asbestos, nano particles and hazardous substances
13. Biomimetics in Constructions
Lecture notesdownload from
Literaturedownload from
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will be given in english.