Sustainable technologies and closed-cycle production are increasingly going beyond the bounds of theoretical possibilities and are getting into the sphere of actual use. Recyclable materials, zero waste technologies and low-energy processes are turning into real-life projects.
The illustration is a bridge constructed with the use of sustainable materials and installed in the business district of Amsterdam, Schiphol Logistics Park, close to the huge Amsterdam airport.
The biobased bridge came into life owing to the cooperation of TU Delft, FiberCore Europe (the Netherlands) and Schiphol Logistics Park. They joined forced to overcome some technological constraints since these materials had never been used in a bridge construction before.
Basalt fibres supplied by Mafic SA, biobased polyester resin and balsa are the main raw materials. The result is a so-called bio-basalt balsa (B3) bridge of 15 meters long and 2 meters wide.
Basalt composite was used to construct a bridge deck. Advantages of fiber reinforced plastic compared to traditional building materials are its high strength, low energy requirement during construction, low maintenance requirement and long service life.
It is both a safe and sustainable building material that is not subject to rot or corrosion. As a result, the material is expected to last for at least a hundred years, the designers assure.
The greatest advantage of the use of the basalt fiber compared to other technical fibers (such as fiberglass) is the strength of the material. Because less material is needed the result is a lightweight bridge. In addition, basalt fiber is fully recyclable: the fiber can be melted and extracted and reused after the end of the service life of the bridge.
FiberCore Europe used to specialize in the aerospace technologies. At a present time the company applies its sustainable high-tech technologies to the civil engineering sector. FiberCore Europe has already implemented over 500 building projects in the Netherlands, including the longest bridge and the world’s largest lock gate made of fiber-reinforced material.
According to the company specialists, the customers began to show great interest in fiber reinforced composites and their use for sustainable development.
Mafic S.A., globally known basalt fiber and basalt fiber based products producer, is an investor of the unique bridge construction, supplying fiber to produce basalt composite.
Recently Mafic has announced cooperation with Michelman, inc., focused on development of contemporary innovative basalt fiber based composites.