Carbon fiber booms for sailing yachts are a challenge for every engineer. The booms are typically designed to withstand gigantic loads. From afar, it seems that these booms have an easy job of sustaining such strains. The use of composite material combined with the correct designs and calculations offer here an elegant solution. Solico has engineered multiple carbon fiber booms that are currently being used in various yachts and has as well assisted in the production details and designs of various projects. 

Façade 'Stedelijk’ museum Amsterdam_

Materialising an architect's dream of a seamless façade of more than 100 meters in length is not an easy task. An aluminium façade of this dimension would expand far too much and is not suitable for this aim. The custom-engineered new façade is produced from carbon and aramid fibres, that have been sponsored by Teijin. The added value of using this material, with ultra low thermal expansion, is the ability to maintain its form and strength despite the varying weather conditions. 

Swimming pool staircase, Roeselare_

Composite material is a perfect solution against corrosion. In an environment with a high percentage of chlorine and humidity, the risk of rusting is compelling. Therefore, the use of composite materials provides a good alternative to traditional materials. Solico collaborated with Vink BVBA and provided the structural calculations for the staircase leading to the slide of the swimming pool.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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

Sonar/Radar Transparency

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

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.


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


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.

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.

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.


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

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.