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Composite Use In Architectural Applications

Posted on 19 Jul 2014 in Blog | 0 comments


Composites in our everyday life

Our everyday life is impacted by the structures and products we create by using composite. This useful material which has been around for decades, is used for products like bookshelves, parts for high speed vehicles, nautical vessels and anything that requires strength and flexibility.

Additionally, using composite materials allows us to create products that are lightweight and conform to safety requirements set in place. We have also seen a positive change when it comes to using composites in various designs for products. Safety standard requirements previously not met have been achieved and now we see different types of designs for a huge variety of products that are safe and effective.
 

Composite materials in Architecture

 
composites in architecture
 
When designing buildings and other structures, the use of composite materials have allowed architects to use composites that allow for a certain amount of flexibility in their designs. This flexibility allows architects to design buildings and homes which previously could not be created with steel and wood alone. Additionally, the use of composite materials can help builders create a safer structure and at the same time, save money.

As you may know, composites are a combination of materials which when combined create a single material. Once this single composite is created it is used to create a strong and somewhat flexible material for use in a number of unique ways. When composites are used in the building process of free standing dwellings there are a number of factors that must be taken in to consideration.

Factors like weight, durability, loads both static and vibration all must be taken into account. Once these factors are considered, an architect and design team can weigh the pros and cons of creating the structure out of steel or composites or a combination of both. The end result often depends on factors like time and cost as well as the type of structure being developed.

So, you see like other products that use composites, architects must look at the whole picture and the long term effects of using certain materials during construction. Often, composite materials are picked due to their ability to outweigh the pros of working with other materials like wood and steel.
 
composites in architecture
 
Composite materials have in fact been incorporated into architectural designs for quite a while. This has enabled designers of structures to look at the long term effectiveness in both building stability and affordability. Building with materials of a composite nature requires much planning in the design and completion of a building that can withstand weight, sway and loads. With this in mind it’s important for architects and their design teams to begin planning early when drawing up plans.
 

What are the benefits of using composites in architecture

When using composites, the ability to create a structure that is lightweight is one of the determining factor when choosing which material to use. Test on joints are also performed to ensure the material can withstand for a long period of time the load it is accommodating. With all of this taken into consideration, using composite materials in structures is a lengthy painstaking process but, hopefully for the builders and owners has long term benefits.

The use of fiber reinforced polymers has definitely changed the way we as a world build our structures. This relatively new concept of building has opened new doors for companies looking to expand and create modern structures that stay with the times. The last hundred or so years we have mostly seen building created out of wood, steel and masonry. While this type of building is nowhere near being replaced solely by composites, newer flexible and cheaper materials have definitely become a more popular way of constructing homes and buildings.

Furthermore, the designs created by composites can be more appealing to the eye, cheaper to build and maintain and have a longer life. Less degradation of materials is another benefit you will not see with typical steel and wood structures. Additionally, the use of composite materials reaps the benefits of reduced corrosion. While the concept of using fibre reinforced materials in buildings in constantly improving, it will be interesting to see what the next hundred years will bring in both design and stability in our buildings and homes.

This short article touches on a few basic facts and benefits while using fibre reinforced composites in an architectural sense. Architects are still learning the benefits of using this lightweight material in designs and we are sure to see more amazing structures consisting of polymer composites. Take a look at some of the buildings where you live and see if you can see any examples of composite use. You’re sure to be amazed!