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Techtextil addresses architects, construction engineers and planners

The event will introduce architects, building owners, construction engineers and planners to a wide range of fibre-based materials.

4th April 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt


The forthcoming Techtextil trade fair, which is set to take place from 9-12 May in Frankfurt, Germany, will bring together the latest innovations in construction, from textile-based fascia panels over the Bosporus to the German Future Prize 2016 for carbon concrete and the highest glass-fibre membrane project in the world.

The event will introduce architects, building owners, construction engineers and planners to a wide range of fibre-based materials for the Buildtech sector. This year more than 500 of the over 1,400 exhibitors will be showcasing products for this application area.

Lightweight construction

Werner Sobek is a star architect, currently contracted by the industrial group ThyssenKrupp to apply a glass-fibre wrap to an almost 250 metres high elevator testing tower in Rottweil, Baden Württemberg, which also happens to be the world’s highest membrane project.

Glass-fibre wrap. © Werner Sobek

“It is almost impossible to imagine any new engineering approach to lightweight construction and design that would not require textile-based materials,” said Werner Sobek. Designed to reduce the tower’s warming, the spiral-shaped fibre wrap has an irregular surface that dampens wind flow and so reduces vibration

The textile manufacturer from Krefeld and a Techtextil exhibitor Verseidag supplies the necessary special fabric. “Cooperation with textile companies like Verseidag is part of my everyday working life, just as cooperation with steel or concrete suppliers,” said Werner Sobek.

‘Staying’ power

One of the first research projects for textile-reinforced concrete began at the Technical University of Dresden in 1992. The idea was to use fibre fabric instead of steel to reinforce the concrete. Almost a quarter of a century later this construction material, now known as carbon concrete, has been awarded the German Future Prize 2016, the country’s most prestigious prize for innovation.

The team of award winners also included Prof Chokri Cherif, Director of the Institute for Textile Machines and High-Performance Textile Materials Technology (ITM) at the TU Dresden. At the forthcoming Techtextil the institute will be presenting a further development of this award-winning material to incorporate an additional sensory function.

Carbon concrete. © ITM

“We want to show how in the future textile-reinforced concrete will enable us to monitor buildings from the inside out for stresses such as elongation, temperature and cracks,” explained Prof Cherif. The researchers do this by harnessing carbon fibres’ conductivity: mechanical and thermal stresses in a building generate measurable changes in resistance that can be measured by textile sensors incorporated into carbon concrete components. On the ATM stand a bridge demonstrator is used to show how these additional sensory benefits of the carbon reinforcement work.

Fibre-based bridge components

The Yavuz-Sultan-Selim Bridge over the Bosporus near Istanbul, completed in the summer of 2016, will play an indirect role in supporting Techtextil: solidian, an exhibitor from Albstadt, in Baden-Württemberg, supplied glass and carbon reinforcements for the fascia panels of the 320 metres high bridge pillars.

“We received the parameters and conducted a complete static recalculation using textile-reinforced concrete,” explained Karle, from solidian. “We ended up being significantly below the maximum permitted weight.”

Fibre-based bridge components. © Fibrobeton

Now over a surface area of 3,200 square metres, fascia panels made from textile-reinforced concrete soar over the straits between Europe and Asia. Techtextil gives Karle and his team at solidian the opportunity to present lightweight construction solutions to an international trade audience and bring them up to speed with the know-how underpinning them.

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