Aecom has produced a graphene arch using additive anufacturing techniques. It believes the method could reduce the time and cost of installing digital signalling systems and transform the digitisation of transport networks.
The company’s CNCTArch is designed to drive down the costs associated with installing digital signalling systems on transport networks. Using a graphene arch that sits over rail tracks eliminates the need to attach new digital equipment to existing infrastructure.
Graphene is famously super-light and super-strong. The 4.5-metre high, lightweight arch is being tested on outdoor track at Network Rail’s workforce development centre in Bristol.Aecom employees came up with the concept of CNCTArch in response to its transport clients’ challenges around the cost and time of digitising the signalling systems on their networks.
The company looked at replacing the traditional bolt and screws method of deploying digital systems in tunnels, which takes four shifts to install, by developing an arch on which the digital technology is attached, that doesn’t bolt to any existing infrastructure and takes only one shift to install. The CNCTArch can be used in both tunnels and open environments and has the potential to transform the deployment of digital traffic management systems, Aecom believes.