DSM & Rotterdam City pave way for circular composites with first 3D Printed Fiber reinforced plastic footbridge

DSM and Rotterdam are currently collaborating for the design and construction of a new circular composite footbridge. The footbridge is expected to be installed in Rotterdam by the end of 2020, an innovative city acknowledged for the use of composite bridges.

For Rotterdam’s authorities, using composites is a way to further integrate circularity and sustainability. “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 are continuing to push the frontiers of sustainability for bridges, using thermoplastics which will enable greater circularity. The 3D-printed FRP footbridge as a circular composite 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 and circular with lower maintenance and lifecycle costs”, explains Mozafar Said, Asset Manager from the City of Rotterdam

The prototype of this circular composite bridge has been announced in 2019 by  Royal HaskoningDHV. Since then, with the support of DSM and the City of Rotterdam, the project has been further explored with regards to sustainability and circularity.   

The circular composite footbridge would be made up of fiber reinforced thermoplastic called Arnite® which combines high performance with circularity. At the manufacturing level, the team will take into account the stringent requirements of safety for FRP bridge design. Sensors could also be included into the footbridge to build its digital twin. The sensors can predict and optimise maintenance, ensuring safety and extend the life span of the bridge.

Patrick Duis, Senior Application Development Specialist Additive Manufacturing at DSM states: “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.

Remember, you can post free of charge job opportunities in the AM Industry on 3D ADEPT Media or look for a job via our job board. Make sure to follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our weekly newsletter : FacebookTwitterLinkedIn & Instagram ! If you want to be featured in the next issue of our digital magazine or if you hear a story that needs to be heard, make sure to send it to contact@3dadept.com