Royal HaskoningDHV along with CEAD and DSM have designed the first lightweight 3D printed FRP pedestrian bridge prototype with the use of composite material. The combination of glass-filled thermoplastic PET (Arnite) and continuous glass fibers offer high strength with extreme versatility and sustainability.
Maurice Kardas, a Business Development Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV commented, “This partnership is bringing about a paradigm shift in the way we think about the form and function of bridges in our society. FRP bridges are already well known for having a longer lifetime expectancy with lower life cycle costs compared to steel bridges. What’s new here is the use of a new 3D printing technology, enabling us to print large scale continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic parts. Using the new composite thermoplastic material, we will be ushering in a new era for sustainability and push the boundaries of bridge functionality even further.
By including sensors in the design, we are able to build a digital twin of the bridge. These sensors can predict and optimise maintenance, ensure safety and extend the life span of our bridges. It can also incorporate new functionalities such as monitoring vital environmental aspects and improve the decision-making process for maintenance and inspection via dynamic real-time reports on the condition of the fridge. In collaboration with these industry leaders, we are transforming the traditional playbook when it comes to bridge design and construction.”
The generative design and predictive modeling expertise of the company together broadened the design freedom. It uses only the precise amount of material required and hence delivers an optimised printing process which results in improved mechanical performance and efficient bridge design.
Patrick Duis, Segment Leader Additive Manufacturing at DSMadded, “Using a material such as Arnite has huge benefits for the construction of bridges. Rather than using traditional materials such as steel or concrete, these bridges can be used more sustainable and offer greater flexibility in design using recyclable materials. We know that designs previously deemed challenging or impossible to produce with other manufacturing methods are now possible with 3D printing, and we’re excited to be playing our part in this partnership.”
Maarten Logtenberg, CEO of CEAD concluded, “3D printing has evolved dramatically over the years. This 3D printed bridge prototype demonstrates the huge strides that we are making which will transform the future of this industry, not only speeding up construction, but also making the process more cost and time efficient, We developed this technology for exactly these industry applications, making them more sustainable and easier to manufacture.”
The role of Royal HaskoningDHV took the form of bridge designer, CEAD developed the largest composite 3D printer and DSM provides the innovative composite material. The companies, DSM and CEAD are also working together on predictive modelling to optimise material and printing process.
Source: Net Composites