Rotterdam paves way for circular composites with world’s first 3D printed FRP footbridge

Royal HaskoningDHV, DSM and City of Rotterdam, are collaborating to design and build of a new circular composite footbridge which will be installed in Rotterdam.

The circular composite footbridge is made from a fibre reinforced thermoplastic called Arnite which combines high performance with circularity.

It will be installed at Kralingse Bos park, the green heart of Rotterdam showing  the transition towards the next generation of bridges, offering high performance with extreme versatility, circularity and sustainability.

The city of Rotterdam infrastructure experts in composite bridges will be closely involved in the design and build process and the footbridge will be developed in line with the highest standards of safety for FRP bridge design.

Sensors could also be included into the footbridge to build a digital twin of the bridge. The sensors can predict and optimise maintenance, ensuring safety and extend the life span of the bridge.

It is estimated the footbridge will be installed and in use by the end of 2020.

Mozafar Said, Asset Manager from the City of Rotterdam, said: “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.”

Maurice Kardas, Business Development Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV, announced: “We announced the prototype of this circular composite bridge in 2019 and with the vision and support of our partners DSM and the City of Rotterdam we can now take this one step further.”