It has now been ten years since Future Fibres delivered specialised fibre cables to ACCIONA for its record-breaking footbridge in Cuenca, Spain. At the time of completion, the bridge was the longest of its kind anywhere in the world and earned the global infrastructure and renewable energy innovators their second JEC Innovation Award in the construction category.
While we have rapidly developed our fibre technologies in the years since, cables produced more than a decade ago still stand up to the highest industry standards, which is a testament to the excellence of Future Fibres’ manufacturing processes.
High Performance Cables
The composite fibre cables delivered by Future Fibres were the bridge’s primary load bearing supports. The final design involved 16 lines of cables, laid side by side, to achieve the required 216m long, 3m wide bridge. Each of the eighty 43.4m long carbon cables had a working load of approximately 95 tonnes, a diameter of 42mm, and weighed in at less than 100kg each.
In addition to the reliable load bearing capabilities of our cables, Future Fibres’ composite technology was selected to deliver a wealth of other benefits to ACCIONA, and to maintenance providers for decades after completion.
The intelligent composite construction of our cables delivers a much lighter final product than comparable solutions for this level of load bearing. This meant that cables could be installed by hand, 70% faster than installing traditional metallic supports (which would require mechanical installation). The composite’s resistance to environmental factors and fatigue also delivers a lifetime saving due to reduced maintenance costs and longer service periods, when compared to standard wire and rod systems.
The strength and unshakable reliability of Future Fibres’ product meant that unsupported spans of deck could be increased, the weight and size of the supporting structure was reduced, and installation costs were more than 80% lower than if traditional wire or rod systems were in place.
Facilitating The Vision
Future Fibres’ innovative low-weight composite solution enabled ACCIONA’s design team to conceive a distinctive, contemporary design for this bridge – one which would not have been possible with standard building materials.
As innovators ourselves, it gives us enormous satisfaction when our technology is harnessed to break the mould and produce unique, ground-breaking results.
Civil engineering at its best produces high-performing, safe, practical, cost-saving solutions, but also goes above and beyond to deliver progress, and ultimately improve quality of life for local people.
Future Fibres cables have been used in industries from civil engineering, to aerospace, to architecture, motorsport, defence and beyond – learn more about industrial applications.