LED dome, Gallery Eléphant Paname, Paris_

This project consisted of providing the structural calculations for a giant carbon fibre dome, incorporating thousands of LED lights. The "new" dome is installed on the inside of an existing antique stone dome. The lightweight carbon structure has been built as a second skin and carries its own weight. It therefore does not add any additional stress to the existing structure. 

Quay, Hoboken_

Together with Vink BVBA, Solico worked on the quay bridge for Umicore. The bridge is 120 meters long and is made 100% of composite material. The bridge is composed of several parts which were assembled using bolts, nuts and connection profiles. Corrosion resistance was a key element for choosing composite material for this project. This characteristic will also help in ensuring low maintenance costs. 

Pedestrian and bicycle bridges_

In cooperation with W.B. BIJL B.V., Solico has developed a flexible pedestrian bridge concept, assembled from pultrusion profiles. To date, multiple bridges have been produced and installed. The bridges are put to good use on a daily basis. 

Design and engineering of composite products is our core business_

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Chemical/corrosion resistance

Composite materials are resistant to a lot of chemical products such as acids, hydroxides, crude oil, etc. Corrosion resistance against salt and seawater is excellent.

Lightweight

The specific weight of composites varies between 1.5 and 2.0 compared to 2.7 to 7.8 for aluminium and steel.

Cost effectiveness

Though composite materials themselves are slightly more expensive than metals, combining properties such as insulation and weight savings often results in a cost effective product.

Aesthetics

Slender constructions and seamless façades are examples of aesthetics driven design. These type of structures are impossible to construct with traditional materials.

Limited thermal expansion

Thermal expansion of composite materials can be tuned. Depending on the fiber used it can vary between 0 and 30 where steel has an alpha of 12.

Insulation

Typical GRP lambda values are 1, compared to 50 for steel and 237 for aluminium, which results in excellent insulation properties.

High strength

In general, fiber reinforced plastics outperform metals (e.g. steel and aluminium) in strength.

Low maintenance

Steel structures typically require periodic maintenance such as conservation and paint systems to prevent corrosion. Composites are not susceptible to corrosion resulting in lower Life-cycle costs.

Integration of functions

By combining functions such as strength and insulation in one product, a composite solution is often more cost effective than the sum of traditional solutions.

High stiffness to weight ratio

The stiffness to weight ratio of a high modulus carbon fiber construction is typically 5 times higher than steel or aluminium.

Non-magnetic

The non-magnetic properties of glassfiber reinforced composites are a major advantage especially in sonar and radar applications.

Freedom of geometry

Double curved shapes are easily produced in composite materials at almost no extra cost. For production of limited series the relatively low moulding costs are an additional benefit.

Fatigue

The fatigue resistance of composites is much better than that of metals. Of course fatigue failure also occurs in GRP and CFRP and has to be analysed in detail.

Sonar/Radar Transparency

Composites are very well known for their transparency to radar and low damping properties.