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Contractors World INTERNATIONAL - 2016 Vol 7 No 2

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What's New In Plant & Equipment

The Future is Clearer . . . continued

Windows made of the ground-breaking glass could be especially well-suited to use in high-rise office buildings.

Dr Ioannis Papakonstantinou of UCL, project leader, explains:

It’s currently estimated that, because of the obvious difficulties involved, the cost of cleaning a skyscraper’s windows in its first 5 years is the same as the original cost of installing them.
Our glass could drastically cut this expenditure, quite apart from the appeal of lower energy bills and improved occupant productivity thanks to less glare.
As the trend in architecture continues towards the inclusion of more glass, it’s vital that windows are as low-maintenance as possible.

The key is to develop ways of scaling up the nano-manufacturing methods that the UCL team have specially developed to produce the glass, as well as scaling up the vanadium dioxide coating process.

Dr Papakonstantinou says:

We also hope to develop a ‘smart’ film that incorporates our nanostructures and can easily be added to conventional domestic, office, factory and other windows on a DIY basis to deliver the triple benefit of lower energy use, less light reflection and self-cleaning, without significantly affecting aesthetics.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC said:

This project is an example of how investing in excellent research drives innovation to produce tangible benefits. In this case the new technique could deliver both energy savings and cost reductions. A 5-year European Research Council (ERC) starting grant (IntelGlazing) has been awarded to fabricate smart windows on a large scale and test them under realistic, outdoor environmental conditions.

For more information:

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering,
University College
Tel: 020 7679 7302

New Spread Tow Fabric For Superior Damage PerformanceNew Spread Tow Fabric For Superior Damage Performance

Swedish company, Oxeon, has developed a new and improved version of its TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fibre fabric with increased damage performance that outperforms currently used carbon fibre reinforcements in several key categories.

Henrik Blycker, CEO of Oxeon, the makers of TeXtreme says:

We invest a lot of time and effort into understanding this type of material in depth, and in the process we have collected an extensive amount of unique data on Spread Tow fabrics.
     This knowledge we’ve acquired through research projects and working closely as partners with our customers is what sets us apart in making world-class products that improve performance. With our offerings including FEA analysis, lay-up optimization and manufacturing support, this serves as a guarantee of high quality.

Due in part to its interest in TeXtreme Spread Tow reinforcements’ outstanding performance using ultra-thin plies, the European Air TN DAMTEX project developed analytical and FE models to predict impact damage and damage propagation in thin woven composites. Extensive testing has been performed to feed and validate the material models through characterization of fibre failure, delamination and residual strength following an impact event in a drop tower test.

As a result of further testing on these novel materials, a new TeXtreme variant with improved damage performance was developed. Test results from this new material demonstrate improved interlaminar strength, limited damage and excellent CAI results that outperform the current standards in carbon fibre reinforcements.

For more information:


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