IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Reinforced hydrogels prove stronger than steel

April 1, 2017

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a new material that is 25 times tougher than glass fiber fabric, 100 times tougher than hydrogels, and five times stronger than carbon steel, based on the amount of energy needed to destroy them. “The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly,” says …

A well-shaded hotel

Hotels offer comfort, convenience and panache for entertainment events. In order to make the best use of an outdoor gathering space on its grounds, the Wickham Park Hotel in Wickham, Australia, worked with Shade To Order Pty Ltd. of Gateshead, Australia, to create a sheltering tensile fabric structure. The architectural fabric installation needed to cover …

New addition at Iceland airport cuts the glare

Iceland’s international Keflavik Airport has added a new 4,700-square meter terminal, and designers are using a unique light-filtering façade that relies on fabric. Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects, Frederiksberg, Denmark, and Teikin Architects, Reykjavik, Iceland, specified Sefar aluminum-coated and copper-printed mesh fabrics to help screen out solar glare, reduce heat gain and mitigate HVAC loads. The …

Flexing their fabric muscles

Researchers at Linköping University and the University of Borås in Sweden have created what they’re calling “wearable artificial muscles” by coating fabric with electro active polymers that stretch and flex when an electric current is applied. The researchers layered the fibers in a way that increases the overall strength of the flexibility such that it …

Sunset paradise

Imagine sitting poolside on a beautiful summer afternoon outside your luxury home just before sunset. If you are imagining the scenario without a custom contoured awning, the sun will be in your eyes and sweat will be on your brow. Sunmaster of Naples, Naples, Fla., helped a client achieve the perfect afternoon pool and second-story …

Gaudi-inspired design includes interactive responses

Design studio SOFTlab, New York, N.Y., invited the collaboration of IBM’s supercomputer Watson to help design a unique installation for the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Spain. The installation was suspended from the ceiling and involved attaching more than 3,000 aluminum “petals” that were covered with dichroic film to a network of aluminum …

An ancient structure can now host modern events

The structure once known as the Cistercian Abbey in Dargun, Germany, has a storied past. Located in the far north of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the structure was built in the 13th Century as a Gothic monastery complex. Constructed of stone and brick, the building suffered major damage during World War II, leaving it …

New superconducting tape not just for wind turbines

The European research project Eurotape has developed a material that has the ability to channel electricity with no resistance and little power loss. The researchers are promoting the superconducting tape for use in wind energy applications, but it could be adapted to architectural use.