Bridge made of composite

Sweden’s first road bridge made with composite materials

Sweden’s first bridge made with composite materials will soon be in place. The benefits are many, including shorter construction time, high strength and minimal maintenance.

During 2016 the Swedish Transport Administration will build Sweden’s first bridge in composite materials in Linghem, outside of Linköping. Compared to a traditional bridge in steel and concrete there are many benefits.

Shorter construction process and reduced costs

Besides higher strength and minimal maintenance, the bridge will be lighter and the foundation smaller. This speeds up the construction process which reduces the costs. 

The temporary traffic solutions that bridge projects require also have an impact on energy consumption and the environment. With the shorter construction time, it is expected that energy consumption will be 50 percent lower. The light composite material consists of glass fibre and carbon fibre, and construction time is estimated at one month, which can be compared to six months with conventional construction.

A TripleUse collaboration

Swerea has led the project for developing the technical specifications and construction principles. Work has been conducted under Triple Use, a cross-sector project financed by Vinnova and LIGHTer, the strategic innovation programme for lightweight engineering.

Per Hansson, bridge specialist at the Swedish Transport Administration, is satisfied with the collaboration.

“This has been a very important and exciting, futureoriented project that is giving us guideline values for future bridges,” Per Hansson explains.

In a follow-up project, testing and development will be conducted of new composite materials. The results will be put to use in future bridge projects.