The world's strongest construction material
Aktualisiert: 22. März 2020
Design flexibility, faster installation time and very little maintenance mean huge cost savings ... but why does composite have such a small market share?
Since 1982 – when I was 16 I started to pimp/refit my first Flying Dutchman and build my first self-designed radio-controlled model sailing yacht, I found working with composite materials extremely fascinating.
Especially carbon is not only strong, but also looks very nice when painted with a clear coat.
In 1984 I won an architecture prize at school, and as a result of my experience with the boats, the roof of the house was a wood/foam/wood composite structure. In 1998 we produced the world's largest telephone directory, which was approved by the Guinness Book of Records. We calculated the structure of the pages in carbon, but the German building authorities informed us that they will not give permission for carbon.
The weight of the structure increased from 12t to 28t, the installation time and cost was three times as long as calculated. It was planned to do a roadshow through Germany, but after Frankfurt, Hamburg and Kiel the client stopped this because of the high installation costs. Carbon composite would have been much, much cheaper. Nowadays the German building authorities are more open for modern materials in architecture. I believe that with the growing understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of this great material/construction method, many markets will benefit. Aerospace, automotive, marine and rail transport are already heavily influenced by the use of composite materials in manufacturing, but the share will also grow rapidly in architecture, construction and energy.
The Qatari Mosque in Mekka/Makkah, domes made by Enata.
The perforated dome (made by Enata) inside the Qatari Mosque in Makkah/Mekka.
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Production of the dome of the Qatari Mosque at Enata/Dubai.