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Contractors World ASIA & CHINA - 2016 Vol 7 No 5

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Composities & Alternatives

Polycarbonate sheets protect art installation

Polycarbonate sheets protect art installation

An exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London showcases extraordinary feats of engineering that have had a lasting influence on the global community. The central element of the 200 square-meter Elytra Filament Pavilion in the John Madejski Garden is a delicate structure of carbon and glass fibers modeled on the forewing cases of flying beetles, called “elytra.”

Covestro supported this architectural installation by supplying the Makrolon UV solid sheets. Covering an area of over 500 square meters, the eight millimeter-thick, transparent sheets convey a sense of lightness without distracting the observer from the design of the individual elements.

They protect a delicate structure of carbon and glass fibers, which mimic the forewing cases of flying beetles.

Durable and weather-resistant canopy

Thanks to their versatility in processing, the Makrolon UV sheets can be perfectly adapted to the individual fiber composite cells. The high impact resistance and good weather resistance of the UV-protected sheets further ensure that neither hailstones nor sunlight can damage the installation in London.

The pavilion was designed by architects Achim Menges and Moritz Dörstelmann, civil engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer, whose aim was to explore the integration of biomimicry, robotics and new materials in architecture. The pavilion was created using a novel manufacturing technique involving industrial robots that was developed at the University of Stuttgart.

The interactive exhibition will be expanded continuously over the course of the museum’s Engineering Season, through November 6, in response to anonymous data captured by sensors in the canopy on how visitors move underneath it.


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