“What is special about this bridge is its disruptive innovation in terms of materials and construction processes”, explains Chen Xiaoming, deputy chief engineer of Shanghai Construction Group, who says that the choice of materials was key. After many comparisons and tests, the construction team finally selected an addition of a certain proportion of glass fiber in ASA (an engineering plastic), as well as anti-aging materials, so that the bridge has high weather resistance and high impact strength. It can withstand long-term sun and rain, while meeting the requirements of 3D printing materials and building materials. It has been ensured that the strength and durability of the bridge are in line with national construction industry standards.
“The bridge has a service life of up to 30 years. It can carry 250 kg per square meter, equivalent to a minimum of 4 adults per square meter passing by at the same time”, adds Chen Xiaoming.
3D printing is not only a new way of building, but also a subversion of the traditional architectural model, says the Shanghai Construction Group in a press release. “In the bridge 3D printing site, the printing robot left the scene clean and tidy, without dust and construction waste. In addition to the reduction of human costs and the promotion of green construction, the entire bridge printing process only took less than 40 days: intelligent construction has made a big leap ahead in terms of speed.”
There is a precedent for printing a bridge with 3D technology. In July last year, Tongji University in Shanghai had the world’s first set of 3D printed walking bridges, with two bridges spanning respectively 4 and 11 meters. At the time, however, the two bridges were used only for display, unlike the bridge in Taopu Park which has just been open to public use.
Industries: Building & Civil Engineering