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The Longest-span Prefabricated 3D-printed Concrete Bridge Completed at HEBUT

Translator: 国际交流与合作处 Editor: release date :2019-10-18

On October 13th, a prefabricated 3D-printed Zhaozhou Bridge was completed on the Beichen Campus of HEBUT by the team of Prof. Ma Guowei, vice-president of HEBUT and dean of the School of Civil and Transportation Engineering. President Han Xu and more than 150 scholars from 10 countries and regions attended the inauguration.

In Prof. Ma’s remarks, his team have been inspired by the 3D-printing building techniques including BIM virtual simulation, modern intelligent monitoring, modular printing, optimized assembly design for joints, and prefabricated construction, which rejuvenates this traditional bridge with a touch of modernity. The 3D-print bridge has also made significant achievement in modern design, materials functionalization, construction virtualization, modular assembly, and intelligent monitoring.

        Compared with traditional construction, 3D printing saves about 1/3 of building materials and 2/3 of manpower, and brings no increasing costs for more complex structures. It considerably reduces pollution, builds irregular concrete structures rapidly and flexibly without any templates and creates a unique 3D-specific surface during the process. Meanwhile, 3D printing will also contribute to protecting ancient buildings by printing damaged or missing parts. At the same time, many built-in sensors offer a 24-hour health monitoring of the bridge, which not only ensures safety but reflects intelligent integration as well.

Concrete 3D printing is a new additive manufacturing technique which stacks cement-matrix composites layer by layer. It is developing rapidly in the fields of buildings, bridges and infrastructures for its templatelessness, automation, speed and flexibility, and has shown a promising future. The success of 3D-printed Zhaozhou Bridge has marked a major step towards production-education-research integration based on green and intelligent construction ideas. This achievement will promote a more ecological, industrial and intelligent building industry, thus advancing national construction industrialization.

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Translated by Xie Jinyun, revised by and proofread by Shi Gengshan