Materials science is innovating textiles in every sector, most notably construction. The textile composites used to construct buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure are changing every day. B&W Fiberglass is proud to play a role in this fast-moving industry; our fiberglass composites are the foundation of some of the most cutting-edge textiles in structural technology.
We’re always eager to learn more about the latest innovations in this space. Here are three construction textile composite developments we’re keeping a close eye on.
- The Nipigon River Bridge
In Ontario, GFRP technology is being put to the test. This year caps off a multi-year bridge replacement project over the Nipigon River, the result of which is the world’s first cable-stayed bridge containing glass fiber reinforced polymer-concrete deck panels. The particular GFRP-C used utilizes both the strength and durability of vinyl resin and boron-free glass fibers. Cable bridges are notoriously difficult to repair, making traditional concrete an unsuitable decking choice since it degrades over time. In contrast, GFRP-C’s extreme durability means that the bridge can potentially go well over 100+ years without significant repairs, decreasing time-cost and inconvenience for the Canadians who use it.
- Sandwich Construction for Water Shuttles
Urban ferry services are growing in popularity, but ferries require significant maintenance and upkeep to stay functional. Although GFRP textiles have long been used for boatbuilding, ferries have traditionally been made of aluminum or steel because they need to be strong enough to withstand heavy wake and constant use. In the Netherlands, a new twin-hull design made using layered GFRP sandwich panels may just be the future of ferry travel. In tests of GFRP-hulled Waterbus ferries, the boats fared better against direct strikes, displaced less water, and proved more energy efficient than their metal counterparts. Why the change in materials? Computer-controlled mixing and vacuum infusion now make GFRP as cost-effective as traditional boatbuilding components.
- Composite Dome at the Grand Mosque
The world’s largest sliding dome is currently under construction in Mecca. The roof – an architectural feat in its own right – is made possible by cutting-edge GFRP technology. A sliding steel frame will be clad in glass fiber reinforced polymer panels, then supported by electrical wheels which can “open” the dome to the sky. The new dome will simultaneously make the Mosque more eco-friendly by reducing its need for HVAC and create an even more spiritual experience for the some 15+ million people who make the Haj pilgrimage each year.
The market for innovative textile composites featuring glass fiber is shifting every year; What’s cutting-edge today will seem commonplace tomorrow. B&W Fiberglass is lucky to work hand-in-hand with some of the most technologically advanced construction organizations in the world.
Want to find out more about our glass textile solutions? We’re not just a producer…we’re a partner.
Reach out to our team today.