Intersections Between the Academy and Practice, Papers from the 2016 AIA/ACSA Intersections Symposium

Digitally-driven Fabrication of Fiber-reinforced Composite Panels for Complex Shaped Envelopes

Intersections Proceedings

Author(s): Daniel Chung & Kihong Ku

Composite materials have been explored in architecture for their high performance characteristics that allow customization of functional properties of lightness, strength, stiffness and fracture toughness. Particularly, engineering advancements and better understanding of fiber composites have resulted in growing applications for architectural structures and envelopes. As most new developments inmaterial fabrication start outside the realm of architecture such as in automobile and aeronautical industries, there is need to advance knowledge in architectural design to take advantage of new fabrication technologies. The authors introduce results of new digitally driven fabrication methods for fiber-reinforced composite sandwich panels for complex shaped buildings. This presentation discussed the material properties, manufacturing methods and fabrication techniques needed to develop a proof of concept system using off-the-shelf production technology that ultimately can be packaged into a mobile containerized facility for on-site panel production. The researchers conducted experiments focusing on developing a digitally controlled deformable mold to create composite relief structures for highly customized geometrical façade components. Research findings of production materials, fabrication methods and assembly techniques, are discussed to offer insights into novel opportunities for architectural composite panel fabrication and commercialization.

Volume Editors
Rashida Ng & Jeff Goldstein