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Engineering Materials
Slideshow: Architects Make Curves With Carbon Composites
5/3/2013

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Composites are helping architects to make highly unusual curved and freeform shapes in large buildings in the Middle East, such as the Sidra Hospital under construction in Qatar on the Arabian peninsula. Roofing panels up to 15m to 25m (49 ft to 82 ft) long have been made with the material.   (Source: Affan Innovative Structures)
Composites are helping architects to make highly unusual curved and freeform shapes in large buildings in the Middle East, such as the Sidra Hospital under construction in Qatar on the Arabian peninsula. Roofing panels up to 15m to 25m (49 ft to 82 ft) long have been made with the material.
(Source: Affan Innovative Structures)

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William K.
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Curvy buildings, today's fad application
William K.   5/6/2013 9:40:14 PM
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So the very most trendy architects are designing all sorts of curvy buildings for  the very rich. That is fine, but I wonder who will be the ones revising these buildings in five years when the fad has passed and a different style is in vogue. 

I also wonder about space utilization efficiency. which I guess does not matter yet in Duabi. Probably we would not see these in HongKong, at least not may of them, and none at all in tokyo, for certain.

But it is a good show of what can be done with the new materials. I wonder what they will look like after ten years of bright sunshine, though.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Outside the building box
Elizabeth M   5/7/2013 3:51:53 AM
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Yes, Ann, you're right. Things that seem so cutting edge during one era seem completely outdated and strange 10 or 20 years down the line. With how quickly things move these days that time frame could be even sooner.

Debera Harward
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Re: Outside the building box
Debera Harward   5/7/2013 5:51:15 AM
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Yes, Elizebeth, you are correct these days technology is changing soo rapidly that after some times it completely seems to be outdated.What if some issues comes in a buildiing constructed with carbon composites after some years and ths technology becomes outdated then wht will  be the user doing in this case .

Debera Harward
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Re: Outside the building box
Debera Harward   5/7/2013 5:51:15 AM
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Yes, Elizebeth, you are correct these days technology is changing soo rapidly that after some times it completely seems to be outdated.What if some issues comes in a buildiing constructed with carbon composites after some years and ths technology becomes outdated then wht will  be the user doing in this case .

AnandY
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Re: Outside the building box
AnandY   5/7/2013 6:21:51 AM
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True, that technology get outdated within few years. But maintenance is also one of the major factor. In conventional structure maintenance is very less once constructed. Is this the same with carbon structures?

AnandY
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Carbon composite to strength pipelines
AnandY   5/7/2013 6:26:01 AM
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Can carbon composite sheets be used to provide strength to water pipelines which run underground? These pipelines face the problem like corrosion, breakage, etc. If these carbon composites in anyway strengthen the pipelines then it will be great.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Outside the building box
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 12:45:14 PM
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Chuck, I agree about the mechanical properties. I was surprised to see these materials used in this app, but I probably shouldn't have, seeing what's been done with them elsewhere: seawalls, pontoons, etc.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Economics of new material
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 12:46:08 PM
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Greg, carbon composites are still more expensive than steel or concrete, but the factor varies depending on a lot of different variables. Debera also has a good point about repairability issues which haven't yet been solved.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Curvy buildings, today's fad application
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 12:53:22 PM
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I don't think the hospital shown in these photos can be classified as a building for the very rich. I find it interesting that some people are mentioning these curved building designs as fads that will pass--how is that different from the blocky building designs, which will also be a passing fad if curves take over? Each phase can be considered a fad; there are certainly a lot of curvy buildings in Shanghai.



bobjengr
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CARBON COMPOSITES AND ARCHITECTS
bobjengr   5/7/2013 5:56:02 PM
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Excellent post Ann--very informative.  The two stats you mentioned regarding weight reduction (85%) and additional strength (1.9 to 2.0 times steel) was eye-opening to me for this material.    I went online and pulled up the web site for Affan Innovative Structures and they seem to have cornered the market for this type of product.   Several years ago I was in Dubai and was astounded that every building looked about 20 minutes old.  They are at least well maintained.  Another very interesting fact was most high-rise buildings had their own power generation facilities; i.e. GE and Pratt & Whitney gas turbines running on natural gas.  I probably would not recognize the place now.  Again, excellent post.

 

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