GRP Walkway, Antucoya project, Chile_

An Industrial GRP walkway for the Antucoya project in Chile: the challenge was to create a composite (corrosion resistant) structure that is safe to walk on and that can withstand earthquakes. The installation of the walkway, as well as the stairs, as reported by the customers, took place without any issues.

Bulk trailer_

Together with our customer, Solico developed a bulk carrier trailer for transporting sludge (residue from the purification of waste water). The integration of the lightweight characteristic in the design offers a larger load capacity. The non-stick surface finish on the inside guarantees a smooth and complete discharge, thereby ensuring an optimal emptying process and leaving minimal amount of residue in the carrier.

Search & Rescue Lifeboat_

Solico engineered a full glass fibre composite wheelhouse for the new KNRM Search & Rescue lifeboat SAR NH1816.

The composite design, with integrated functions, has to ensure the crew safety in all weather and sea conditions, whilst the lifeboat is being operated at maximum speeds. In this case, the comfort of the crew is the limiting factor for the maximum speed rather than the strength of the constructions. 

To verify the lifeboat strength, the heaviest load case, i.e. a roll-over, was performed at Damen Gorichem. After successful tests carried out in December 2013, the lifeboat met the necessary standards and requirements of the customer.

Design and engineering of composite products is our core business_

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High strength

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

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.

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.

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.

Aesthetics

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

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.

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.

Insulation

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

Non-magnetic

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

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.

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.

Lightweight

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

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.

Sonar/Radar Transparency

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