In a new development, researchers at the polytechnic University have come up with a new system to manufacture beams. This aims to revolutionize construction, engineering, and architecture sectors. Manufactured with 3D printed plastic pieces, the individual pieces can be assembled how lego pieces are assembled. This structure helps to add a high-performance layer of concrete in areas that are most compressed.
According to its creators, the structure has several advantages. First, it weighs up to 80% less than metallic or concrete beams. This implies heavy cranes or lorries are not required carry and install them, thus, helps to save money and time on labor and materials.
Another advantage of these beams is that they can be printed and assembled in situ. Owing to this feature, the installation of the beams can be carried out regardless of location. In addition, the beams are manufactured using recycled plastic as raw material that helps in two ways: it gives a new life to the product and helps move toward sustainable construction.
“Importantly, the development of the beam is work of three years. In fact, the goal behind developing the beams was to propose an alternative to currently used reinforced concrete beams. Moreover, reinforced concrete beams are made using raw material carved out for the length of the piece, which are hard to transport and require expensive installation,” stated one of the research associates. The outcome is a result of numerous hours of tests and trials. To obtain optimum results, it involved the combination of 3D printing, concrete, and plastics. The system patented by its founders last October.
Interestingly, the novelty of the beam lies in its polymeric profile.