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
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Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
Engineers trying to keep track of the ever-ballooning number of materials and machines for additive manufacturing and 3D printing now have some relief: a free searchable database with more than 350 machines and 450 different materials.
At JEC Europe Dow Automotive introduced a new ultra-fast, under-60-second molding cycle time for its commercial-grade VORAFORCE 5300 epoxy resin matrix for carbon composites. It's aimed at high-volume automotive manufacturing.
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