The upkeep, maintenance, and upgrading of aging roads, pipelines, bridges, and public transportation infrastructure is a multi-billion dollar project that federal and local governments around the world face at all times. Keeping up with the demands of our ever-changing world costs money and time, which is why the need to innovate is becoming more and more pressing.
One of the most exciting innovations has come from Toronto architectural firm, Farrow Partners. They proposed a bold solution of “living bridges,” based on bridges like the Rialto in Venice and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, combining infrastructure with human-scale, walkable, mixed-use urban assets.
In its proposal, Farrow Partners reimagines Toronto’s Bloor Viaduct by introducing condominium units, a hotel, retailers and a new linear park topping the bridge – turning the generic high-rise tower design onto its side.
A New Way to Physically Bond Materials
The key to making the project feasible is relying on “NU” GRIP Metal™ technology, whose one-of-a-kind, patented stamping process applies an array of micro-formed hooks to thin-gauge metal sheets, enabling the metal substrate to physically bond with other materials without employing the use of traditional adhesives.
In the Living Bridges proposal, individual housing units would be constructed of layers of GRIP hooked sheet metal, layered and pressed together with sheets of veneered wood infused with a polymer, creating a strong, natural carbon fiber-like material.
The wood fiber and hooked metal layer would be mechanically fused and rolled into the tube-like shapes of the exterior structure, which would be the strongest option compared to other materials of a similar weight. The tubes would then be connected in a chain-like structure across the bridge, above the traffic.
An Affordable Housing Solution
With the housing shortages experienced in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the GRIP Metal™ and Veneer solution offers the best options to make a project like this a reality.
The product’s impressive strength-to-weight capabilities, combined with its form flexibility, would allow the creation of affordable, rapidly implemented housing. It could also be used to create social environments and transportation, which could be built within existing infrastructures.
Meeting a Demand for Change
A division of NUCAP Industries, GRIP Metal™ is dedicated to meeting the rising demand for a changing material environment with its revolutionary mechanical bonding process. Its technology uses fewer raw materials and takes less time to manufacture than other solutions. The ease of process saves time and money, while also providing twice the results for half the work.
Not relying on traditional adhesives also helps make the manufacturing process the greenest it can be by eliminating the use of chemicals, which lend to harmful fumes and VOCs.GRIP Metal™ is also committed to recycling, ensuring that all physical and process-related waste is safely and efficiently recycled, making it the best environmentally-friendly option available.
GRIP Metal™ evolved from a process developed by NUCAP for the global automotive brake industry. Its mechanical attachment product provides designers, engineers, and material scientists with a new way to design and engineer composite products. The process is also realistically scalable and can be used in a variety of manufacturing processes, from the large construction industry to smaller projects such as furniture design, the options are endless.
With this “NU” technology, manufacturers can create composite materials with exceptional structural strength by bonding GRIP Metal™ substrates with diverse materials, such as rubbers, plastics, wood and wood composites, concrete, carbons, glass fibers, papers, friction composite materials and many others.
To learn how GRIP Metal™ can be a bridge to solve your composite material and application challenges, contact our team of engineering and design professionals today.