First composite panels placed for Amsterdam museum

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Architecture, Museums
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The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will feature large sandwich structures made with carbon fiber and aramid fiber and a vinyl ester resin matrix to form the laminate skins surrounding a foam core.
Posted on: 7/25/2011

Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk Museum, carbon/aramid panels being placed.

Stedelijk Museum rendering

Stedelijk Museum, finished structure rendering.

Teijin (Tokyo, Japan) announced on July 20 that its fibers are being used in the massive composite panels manufactured for installation on the face of the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), creating what is said to be the largest composite building in the world.

A large part of the panels are already in place on what will eventually become known as “The Bathtub.” After coating, the white and seemingly floating construction, with its sleek finish and without any seams or details, will be the counterpart of the adjacent historic brick building from 1895.

Teijin produced and donated the Twaron (aramid fiber) and Tenax (carbon fiber) for the composite used to create the façade. The façade, designed by BenthemCrouwel Architects, consists of a single surface and covers an area of about 3,000m2/32,291 ft2. A solution was required that would minimize thermal expansion of the material in order to obtain a seamless effect. The design, development and production of the façade required creativity and input from several experts.

An analysis provided by the engineering firm Solico showed that an optimal solution would consist of a sandwich construction. The construction consists of an inner skin and outer skin of a composite laminate of resin, strengthened by Twaron and Tenax fibers. Where the resin expands as the temperature rises, both Twaron and Tenax fibers, due to their negative longitudinal thermal expansion coefficient, behave oppositely. The result is a composite panel with minimal thermal expansion.
The composite for the seamless façade of 100m/328 ft expands by only 1mm/0.04 inch per degree Celsius temperature rise. The same façade based on a fiberglass composite or aluminum would expand almost two and a half times as much.

For production of the panels, Teijin provided Twaron and Tenax fibers to Holland Composites. A unidirectional fabric was produced from the fibers as an intermediate product. Holland Composites produced the panels for the façade from the fabrics, vinyl ester resin and a foam core. The inner skin and outer skin of the sandwich construction consist of two Twaron fabrics with a Tenax fabric in between. The fibers are perpendicularly oriented to each other.

In all, the façade consists of 271 loose elements containing 4,850 kg/10,692 lb of Twaron and 4,050 kg/8,929 lb of Tenax. The panels are mounted on site and glued together using a connecting laminate in order for the façade to form a single unit.





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