3D printed plastic beams are stronger than steel
Engineers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in Spain, developed plastic beams with 3D printing that are more resistant than those of steel and concrete. In addition to the high resistance, the creation also presents greater versatility. That’s because the beams are made in small blocks that are easy to transport and that are assembled on site – somewhat reminiscent of Lego blocks.
Its versatility makes it possible to install it even in places of difficult access. In fact, although they do not have metallic components, the plastic beams are reinforced with elements that provide rigidity to the structure. According to engineers, this factor generates numerous technical benefits.
The main one is the weight: 80% less than metal or concrete beams, eliminating the need for cranes and trucks for transportation and installation. This alone saves time and money, both in material and labor.
“Our objective was to propose an alternative to the current reinforced concrete beams. They are made with profiles built along the length of the part, which require expensive installation and are difficult to transport,” said the team’s professor and coordinator, José Ramón Albiol. It is worth remembering that, because they are made of plastic, the beams still collaborate for recycling, collaborating for more sustainable constructions.