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Dutch engineers unveil 3D printed concrete bridge

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 01:13

A new cycle bridge linking a ring road around the Dutch village of Gemert is the first to be made from 3D printed concrete, its designers say. Amy Pollock reports.

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Cyclists crossing this bridge in the Dutch village of Gemert won't notice anything unusual. But its designers say it's the world's first 3D printed concrete bridge. It can carry loads of up to 5 tonnes and should still be carrying cyclists in 30 years time. And the team behind it says it's just as strong as a conventional concrete bridge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY PROFESSOR OF STRUCTURAL DESIGN, THEO SALET, SAYING: "In the transverse direction, the bridge is reinforced with steel reinforcement, and the steel reinforcement has been implemented and managed during the printing process." The Eindhoven University of Technology team printed 800 layers of concrete for the design and spooled steel wire through the 3D printer on top of each layer to reinforce it. The bridge, made of six sections, was glued together and lifted into place on site. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY PROFESSOR OF STRUCTURAL DESIGN, THEO SALET, SAYING: "Concrete worldwide is responsible for a lot of carbon dioxide exhaust. And by printing concrete we can just place concrete at those spots where we need it and leave the concrete out where we don't need it, so we use less concrete." The team says their construction method is flexible and quick and it has the potential to be used for many different shapes.

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Dutch engineers unveil 3D printed concrete bridge

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 01:13