In the category of unusual applications, DSM announced that it will collaborate with Royal HaskoningDHV on a 3D printed footbridge using recyclable composite materials.
This material is a lightweight 3D printable fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP). The footbridge will be installed at Kralingse Bos park, Rotterdam.
Mozafar Said, Asset Manager from the City of Rotterdam, said: “The city of Rotterdam is proud to be a leader in the smart and circular use of composite bridges. Together with Royal HaskoningDHV and DSM, we continue to push the frontiers of sustainability for bridges using thermoplastics.
“The 3D printed FRP footbridge aligns with our city’s ambitious sustainability targets to reduce carbon footprint and promote liveability and we are proud to be the first city to test, print and install it. We see the use of composite bridges as a smart solution to replacing our older constructions. With more than 1000 bridges in Rotterdam, we are constantly looking to push the boundaries to develop the next generation of bridges which will be more sustainable with lower maintenance and lifecycle costs.”
The footbridge is made from a fiber reinforced thermoplastic called Arnite which combines high performance with circularity.
Patrick Duis, Senior Application Development Specialist Additive Manufacturing at DSM added: “The printed circular composite bridge enables the transition to a more sustainable and circular type of bridges with minimal wear and tear. Now that we have the new circular composite of recyclable source material along with the required performance properties available to us, we can start taking the environment-friendly design of the infrastructure to the next level.”
The city of Rotterdam infrastructure experts in composite bridges will be closely involved in the design and build process.
Sensors could also be included into the footbridge to build a digital twin of the bridge. The sensors can predict and optimize maintenance, ensuring safety and extend the life span of the bridge. It is estimated the footbridge will be installed and in use by the end of 2020.