In Finland, students will recreate one of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic engineering plans: a massive bridge originally made of stone, but instead of using stone they plan to use ice.
Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci), who lived between 1452 and 1519, was an Italian polymath, meaning that he had expertise in a significant number of different subject areas including: painting, sculpture, science, mathematics, architecture, engineering, anatomy, botany, astronomy, and so on.
Da Vinci made the plans for the stone bridge in 1502. The massive bridge – which is about 240 metres long (790 feet) – would span the Bosphorus strait, a natural strait located in north-western Turkey and which separates Europe from Asia.
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology said that da Vinci’s bridge only experiences compressive loads, compared with most real bridges which are subject to both tensile forces and compressive loads. Tensile strengths resist tension or being pulled apart, while compressive strengths resist compression or being pushed together. All the elements in Leonardo da Vinci’s bridge get shorter with applied force, the researchers explained. The bridge was never build, despite its bold and intricate design.
Students and researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have already begun their project called “Bridge in Ice.” The construction stared December 28 in Juuka, Finland, where da Vinci’s massive bridge will be brought to life into the modern era.
The bridge will be completed mid-February and will have a length of 35 metres (115 feet). The team plans to drive a car over the ice bridge to test its strength. According to them, the bridge will be strong enough for pedestrians to walk across it.
To build the bridge, the team will make huge balloon-like moulds with a mixture of water and paper fibre. The mixture – which freezes almost instantly – is ten times as tough and strong as regular frozen water, according to the team of students and researchers.
Maarten Arntz, a student at the Eindhoven University of Technology, said that designing the balloons is quite a difficult task. To estimate the forces on balloon production – such as snow and wind – they made a 3D computer model, Arntz explained.
The bridge will require no less than nine hundred tons of ice. About 150 student engineers from all across Europe will aid the construction of the ice bridge. One team member stated that the low temperatures in Juuka (minus 20 degrees Celsius or minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) are perfect for construction. The team will have to work continuously – but in shifts – otherwise their equipment will freeze.
In 2014, the same team recreated Antoni Gaudí’s iconic church Sagrada Familia (located in Barcelona, Spain) in ice.
Image Source: joinfo