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World's longest 3D printed concrete bridge completed

The world’s longest 3D printed concrete bridge has been completed in Shanghai, China by Tsinghua University school of architecture.

The arched pedestrian bridge is 26.3m long, spans 14.4m across a lake and is 3.6m wide.

The university said that the bridge is based on the structure of the ancient Zhaozhou Bridge in China.

Before the final construction was carried out, a 1:4 scale model of the bridge was built and a failure test carried out. From this it said it could show tht the bridge can meet pedestrian loading standards.

Two robotic arm 3D printing systems made the bridge components, taking 450 hours to print the different concrete components.

It cost two thirds of the cost of a traditionally constructed bridge of the same size, said the university.

The bridge has been built in three parts; the bridge arch structure, parapets and the bridge deck.

The bridge arch structure comprises 44, 900mm by 900mm by 1.6m high 3D printed concrete units. The parapet was divided into 68 units for printing. A total of 64 bridge deck units were also made by printing.

The components are all composite materials made of polyethylene fibre concrete with various admixtures.

The bridge is embedded with real-time monitoring systems, including vibrating wire stress monitoring and high-precision strain monitoring system.

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