Raina Industries Private Limited, Mumbai, has won the prestigious Founder’s Award in the category 1 “National Award for the Successful Commercialisation of an Indigenous Technology” already on May 11, 2021. The company produces and sells textile-reinforced precast concrete elements for the construction sector. These are eminently resource-saving, because they reduce the concrete consumption, the production energy and the end-of-life-waste by 80 percent. The environmentally friendly material textile-reinforced concrete is suitable for both new construction and renovations. The textile reinforcement structures must be specially designed to absorb the tensile stresses that arise in the component.
Applications of textile-reinforced concrete include façade elements, design structures for smart cities as well as marine and coastal infrastructure. Every year, on the occasion of National Technology Day on 11 May, the Technology Development Board (TVB), a statutory body of the Department of Science & Technology, short DST, awards a series of prizes to industrial companies that successfully commercialise an indigenous technology in India. They each receive prize money of around 28,000 euros and a trophy presented by the President of India.
Dr.-Ing. Mohit Raina, the Managing Director of Raina Industries, has been managing the ITA spin-off Raina Industries Private Limited in Mumbai, India, since 2014 after he completed his doctorate at the Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, short ITA, in Aachen. During his time at ITA, Dr Raina already became enthusiastic about the building material textile-reinforced concrete, short TRC, and is now working successfully to make the advantages of the innovative material public in his home country India.
Here he has access to a large field of activity: The Indian construction industry employs 32 million people and its total market size is estimated at 27.86 billion €. The construction industry contributes 11 percent to India’s Gross Domestic Product , short GDP. Currently, large quantities of steel-reinforced concrete are used for buildings across India.
A major challenge for steel-reinforced concrete is the corrosion resistance of the steel in the coastal areas of India. India has a coastline of 7,517 km and 4500 km of inland waterways. The temperature in the coastal regions often exceeds 30 °C (86 °F) and is associated with high humidity. The average annual rainfall in this region is between 1000 and 3000 mm. These extreme climatic conditions have a great influence on the reinforced structures. Therefore, the reinforced structures need to be replaced and restored every few years. A sustainable material to solve this problem is not available in India.
To overcome the shortcomings, new advanced sustainable materials have been developed in Germany in the last decade. In the field of precast concrete elements, the concept of textile reinforced concrete (TRC) has been established in Germany. In this process, the reinforcing steel is replaced by textiles made of continuous fibres of glass or carbon. TRC offers a solution that goes beyond the state of the art of short-fibre reinforced concrete. The advantages of TRC in detail:
- Reduction of concrete consumption by approximately 85 percent
- Reduction of the grey energy of the component, i.e. lower production costs, lower transport costs, lower assembly and application costs by approximately 83 percent
- Reduction of end-of-life waste by approximately 80 percent.
Other examples of Raina Industries’ success: In addition to facade elements and street furniture, a major impact was created through the manufacture and installation of modular toilets under the Swaach Bharat Mission. The modular toilets, launched under the brand name Mo-To, are mainly made of high quality textile reinforced concrete.