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)
This is really cool to see, Ann. These buildings are much sexier than blocky buildings and it's interesting the composites are helping to make it possible. I was just in Sevilla, Spain, over the weekend and saw a similarly curved building that represents cutting-edge architecture for that city. (It really stood out from the other buildings in the city, which as you can imagine are quite old and ornate.) I don't know much about it but maybe now I will research it and find out if composites were used there, too. Maybe I missed it in the story, but does climate have anything to do with the use of composites? The climate in Sevilla is very dry and hot generally, just like the Middle East.
Greg M Jung, you are correct their are still certain factors that keep us away from carbon fibre first one is the cost factor secondly there exist reliability issues.What if the crack or some damage occurs on particular object will it be repairable?
From the last paragraph it implies that Carbon Composites are still much more expensive than traditional steel or concrete processes. Would this factor be 2X or more? If so, then in the near future Carbon Composite techniques will still be limited to specialty applications where steel or concrete can't be used (unless a customer in a very wealthy location like Dubai wants to make a aesthetic statement and money is not the primary decision criteria).
Even though these materials are being used in non-load-bearing applications, they must have considerable flexural strength. The structure in the secon slide looks like it would be subject to som high wind loading.
How refreshing, Ann, to see these currvy buildings. I'd love to see more of this in the U.S. Is there any reason these materials are being used for buildings outside the U.S.? Is it because we're not building a lot of buildings these days
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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