This fourteen meter long biocomposite Flax bridge is made from a hemp and flax-fiber base and is the result of collaboration between a large number of knowledge institutions and companies.
image : TU/e
In an effort to demonstrate the use of a construction material that is more sustainable than commonly used alternatives, Dutch students have constructed a 14-m (46-ft) long footbridge out of hemp and flax fibers. The so-called “biobridge” is located in Eindhoven, Netherlands and opened to the public on Thursday 27 October at 4.15 pm.
Fibers of hemp and flax are the basic material of the bridge. In order to develop the biocomposite, the fibers were stuck to a biological PLA foam (polylactic acid) core and then a bioresin was sucked into the fiber layers using a vacuum, which produced a very strong girder when hardened.
“There have been previous construction projects with biomaterials, but never before were they bearing structures made entirely of biomaterials,” says TU/e researcher and project leader Rijk Blok. “Through this experiment we hope to learn a lot about the behavior of the biocomposite over the longer term.”
Biocomposite flax bridge’s Goal
The initiators hope that this bridge will show the potential of biocomposite as a sustainable alternative for existing environmentally harmful construction materials. “Using biocomposite in constructions reduces our dependence on finite fossil resources and brings us a step closer to the circular economy in which products and resources are reused,” Blok says. “In time, I expect that we will see more of these materials in our buildings.”
Biocomposite flax bridge : a co-constructed project
The bridge is the result of the 4TU Lighthouse research project ‘B3: Fully Bio-Based composite pedestrian Bridge’. The partners were TU/e (chair Innovative Structural Design), TU Delft, composite company NPSP and the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy, a collaboration between Avans Hogeschool and HZ University of Applied Sciences. The project was co-funded by Stichting Innovatie Alliantie (SIA).
Source : University of Technology Eindhoven (NL)