Vicat 3-D ink at the service of sea biodiversity
Printed in 3D with the concrete ink solution developed by Vicat, 32 biomimetic artificial reefs have been submerged off the Saint-Agathe coasts on May 27th and 28th 2019. The aim ? Marking off the coast zone and hosting local sea biodiversity.
As a future investment program managed by Agde city, the Récif’lab project aims at rearranging the St Agathe coast while adding new environmental functions to a fragile sea area, protected and classified Natura 2000. Among the actions undertaken, 32 artificial reefs have been processed in concrete 3-D print. This operation is a global première, unique by its size.
As a replacement solution for the usual beacons made of ballasted tyres and rusty chains, these new structures will hold the surface beacons marking the 300 m distance from the shores. Imagined by Seaboost company, this solution would reduce the upkeep and management of these marking devices.
The aim of this operation was to put up and sustainable environment-friendly solution. Beyond their mooring function, the submerged 1,4t each 3-D reefs will form a real ecological barrier, acting as shelters as well as nursery to a whole sea ecosystem. The biomimetic design inspired by natural coral reefs is made of a multitude of cavities of various sizes perfectly adapted to Mediterranean coast fauna and flora.
The concrete 3-D ink and the innovative 3-D printing technology make it possible to create reefs on a large scale. Layer after layer, the ink developed thanks to the technical expertise of our teams is laid to obtain the requested geometries. A special formula ensures an increased resistance to the material and a rheology adjusted to the printing process.
The know-how and 3-D printing technique of our partner XtreeE paired with Vicat ink solution have made it possible to match the project’s environmental priorities. Conventional methods would never have achieved neither such a result nor such a volume of created habitat.
To fight global warming and in order to preserve local biodiversity, concrete 3-D printing appears today as a solution with a high ecological potential.
With Seaboost and XtreeE, innovative partners experts in their own fields, Vicat teams are happy and proud to have contributed to this exemplary environmental project for Agde city.