ASCC researchers awarded Best Paper for work on 3D printed highway culverts by the Society of Plastics Engineers

Dr. Sunil Bhandari Bhan, Dr. Roberto Lopez-Anido, James Anderson, and Alexander Mann have been awarded Best Paper at ANTEC21 by the Society of Plastics Engineers Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing Chapter.

Their paper,  “Large-Scale Extrusion-Based 3D Printing for Highway Culvert Rehabilitation” explores the use of large-scale 3D printed thermoplastic polymer composite materials in place of fiberglass reinforced thermosetting epoxy polymers.

This research was a collaboration between the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, the Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center, and the Maine Department of Transportation.


Preview the technology here!

The abstract reads:

A significant problem associated with repairing deteriorating highway culverts is the resultant lowered flow capacity. This can be mitigated by the use of culvert diffusers. Current culvert diffusers are made using fiberglass reinforced thermosetting epoxy polymers, which require custom made molds. This research work explores the use of large-scale 3D printed thermoplastic polymer composite to manufacture culvert diffusers. The research work shows that 3D printing technology reduces the manufacturing time as well as the cost of culvert diffusers. Large-scale 3D printing technology is well-suited for the manufacture of individualized culvert diffusers with unique geometrical designs without the need for molds. 3D printing technology is also capable of using different materials according to environmental requirements. The use of segmental manufacturing in conjunction with large-scale 3D printing enables the manufacturing of culvert diffusers larger than the build envelope of the 3D printer. Different post-processing techniques used for cutting, finishing, and joining the 3D printed segments are discussed.