- Skanska plans to use 3D printed concrete in its work on HS2, a high-speed rail system reported to cost up to $ 147 billion, under construction in the UK
- The joint venture between Skanska, UK construction company Costain and Austrian construction company Strabag will use a technology called “Printfrastructure” which prints concrete structures on site rather than shipping them in prefabricated panels or mixing and pouring them on site.
- The machine is also capable of entering confined spaces, eliminating the cost of sending people to do the same job. Proof-of-concept studies are slated to begin next spring, according to one Press release HS2.
HS2 officials estimate that this approach of printing the concrete with an internal grid structure can reduce the amount of concrete needed on the proposed 330-mile line, which can cut CO2 emissions by nearly 50% . The train is expected finish his first phase, a line from London to Birmingham, until 2026.
HS2 plans to avoid disrupting public transport that could potentially be impacted by construction, and claims the technology can be deployed alongside busy railways. With one machine doing the work, trains and shuttles could go on uninterrupted, while human building would require either night work or railroad shutdown.
3D printing has taken the world by storm over the past decade and made significant advances in construction. According to a Market analysis July According to Grandview Research, the market is projected to have an average annual growth rate of 91.7% through 2028.
Reducing costs and emissions are some of the great benefits companies consider when considering using 3D printing. Corresponding Construction technology blog Autodesk, 3D printing can enable contractors to work quickly and efficiently. Capable of printing a home in days, the technology reduces manpower and environmental impact from robotic automation and only uses the materials necessary for the job.
In 2019, for example, the New York-based 3D printing company S-Squared 3D Printers claims to have built a 500 square meter house made of concrete in just 12 hours.
“It is important that we give technologies like printfrastructure the opportunity to flourish as it gives the industry the ability to fundamentally change the way projects are implemented,” said Andrew Duck, the temporary work manager of the joint venture, in the HS2 press release.