Texaco fuel station, Kruibeke_

The Texaco fuel station in Kruibeke, Belgium, is special because of the material used. A structural layer of Polyurea thermoplast has been sprayed over a structural polystyrene foam core. The material and production process chosen enabled the realisation of a double curved shape. Composite materials provide freedom of geometry and good insulation. These properties have definitely been integrated in the design of this building. 

The Stratford Shoal, London_

A shimmering wall of titanium leaves is featured in the Olympic village Metro station of London. The giant tree-like 250m long leaf structures are constructed from GRP skins over GRP frames and cladded on the outside by titanium skins. Composite material was chosen in this case for its durability and lightweight. The colour of the skin shifts from red to gold to blue in response to its context. 

Mine hunters_

Solico engineered numerous modifications and refits for GRP mine hunters, e.g. sonar plugs, modification J-deck, etc...

Design and engineering of composite products is our core business_

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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.

Insulation

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

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.

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.

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.

Non-magnetic

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

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.

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.

Sonar/Radar Transparency

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

Lightweight

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

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.

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.

High strength

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