Audi wind-tunnel sensor arm_

Designing a sensor arm that does not vibrate when holding it next to an Audi sports car driving at 250Km/h in the "Ingolstadt" windtunnel, was not an easy task. But with the appropriate composite designs, calculations and material(s), Solico has been able to deliver this project according to the expectations of the customer. 

Exterior façade - Municipal Office, Utrecht_

Solico engineered the new exterior façade of the municipality of Utrecht. One of the challenges was to ensure the correct calculations for the different sizes of the façade panels. Upon completion, this construction was one of the largest composite façades in Europe (approx. 17,500 m2 comprising of 1,200 composite elements).

The various advantages of composite material such as lightweight, sustainability, freedom of geometry and fire resistance have been critical factors for this project. 

Superstructures for yachts_

Weight problems in yacht building often occur near the end of the structural construction phase. The increased weight combined with stability requirements demands lightweight superstructures. Multiple superstructures have to date been designed by Solico.

Design and engineering of composite products is our core business_

The largest independent composite engineering company in the Benelux.

Our vast experience is the best start for the success of your product.

Independence from production methods and suppliers results in the best design.

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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.

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.

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.

High strength

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

Sonar/Radar Transparency

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

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.

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.

Insulation

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

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.

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.

Aesthetics

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

Non-magnetic

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

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.