Green technology to manufacture artificial reefs to improve ecosystems in degraded environments
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The pieces that have left the laboratories of the ETSI of Roads, Canals and Ports will be placed in the funds of four cities, corresponding to the countries that participate in this European project called 3DPARE.

The research group of Construction Technology (GITECO) of the University of Cantabria, coordinated by Professor Daniel Castro, is manufacturing with a 3D printer adapted for it artificial reefs that can be used in degraded environments, such as ports, to recover the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.

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For the moment, reefs have traveled to Caen (France), Bournemouth (United Kingdom) and Porto (Portugal), while those corresponding to Santander are finished, the UC said in a statement.

In March, simultaneously on the same days, the 36 designed pieces will be anchored, which are four identical sets combining two types of materials and four different shapes, in addition to control parts. Thus they are completed the first two phases of the project.

In a first, the most suitable materials were developed in terms of strength, durability, plasticity, ease of printing.

For this, the characteristics of more than 150 samples were analyzed, using normal cement and also mortars with geopolymers, taking advantage of residues such as shell shells, recycled glass, fly ash, etc.

«We have taken into account that the material has a low carbon footprint«, Explains Castro. Of those 150 samples, the UC researchers selected the best six and printed some slabs, which they then cut in the form of prismatic specimens to analyze their behavior in the marine environment.

They submerged in Puertochico and the other three locations, extracting samples per month, at three months and at six, to measure the resistance in each term and the amount of biofilm and adhered biomass.

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