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3D Printed Graphene Arch

Graphene Info reports on a recent 3D printed graphene arch created by the global infrastructure services firm Aecom.  Apparently, this arch will be “one of the UK’s first 3D printed commercial products made from graphene-reinforced polymer.”

Using additive manufacturing to create this graphene arch, Aecom believes “the method could reduce the time and cost of installing digital signaling systems and transform the digitization of transport networks.  The 4.5-meter high, lightweight arch is being tested on outdoor track at Network Rail’s workforce development center in Bristol.”

The arch, dubbed CNCTArch, “is designed to drive down the costs associated with installing digital signaling systems on transport networks. Using a graphene arch, which sits over rail tracks eliminates the need to attach new digital equipment to existing infrastructure.”

The CNCTArch was developed by Aecom engineers “in response to the company’s transport clients’ challenges around the cost and time of digitizing the signaling systems on their networks. The company looked at replacing the traditional bolt and screws method of deploying digital systems in tunnels, which takes four shifts to install, by developing an arch on which the digital technology is attached, which doesn’t bolt to any existing infrastructure and takes only one shift to install.”

The CNCTArch was designed with versatility in mind.  Indeed, it “can be used in both tunnels and open environments and has the potential to transform the deployment of digital traffic management systems.”  The Arch is currently undergoing a six-month trial period.

“Aecom has partnered with UK engineering firm Scaled to develop the detailed design and prototypes of the CNCTArch using large-scale 3D-printing techniques. Scaled uses its 3D printer, one of the largest in Europe, to print the product in the new graphene-reinforced polymer, which is supplied by Aecom’s materials partner Versarien.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Graphene Info

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