Initially created for aerospace purposes, materials based on advanced fiber-reinforced thermoset technology are increasingly being considered not only to manufacture specific building elements but also to change the way buildings are conceived, designed and built. Despite being incredibly resistant –almost six times stronger than steel– fiber-reinforced materials are light and easy to handle, allowing the creation of complexly shaped but efficient architectural projects. We spoke with experts from ShapeShift, the creators of the ShapeShell product, in order to deepen our understanding of this technology and learn more about how we can take advantage of its possibilities in our future projects. What is a Thermoset resin and what kind of material does it generate? In combination with advanced fibers, a thermoset resin allows the creation of light-weight organic shapes. Lighter than traditionally recognized structural materials, this material offers lower transport and installation costs, the latter of which can represent up to 50% of the total cost of materials. A fully integrated advanced fiber-reinforced structural assembly reduces the reliance on multiple contractors and removes the need for a crane or other heavy hoisting equipment, as would be required for an equivalent system such as prefabricated concrete planks.
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