FRP Structures

A canopy in Kotzia square

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Abstract

The objective of my graduation project was to understand the lack of loadbearing Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) structures and why in most of the example FRP components are being used as cladding. In order to do that I decided to design an FRP loadbearing canopy, which had to be a shell structure with large spans between its support points. In every step of the design process the geometry was tested for its structural efficiency and the goal was to reduce the amount of the needed materials in order to reduce the costs. Furthermore, perforations were created on the canopy so that light can penetrate the canopy and to reduce the needed material. The final step of the optimization of the structure was to find the ideal combination of shell thickness and FRP laminate thickness. The designed canopy that has spans of 40m between some of the support points has a shell thickness of 7cm and plies of laminate of 5mm. When the geometry was optimized issues like panel division, transportation of the panels, water management and drainages, connections between the panels and the production technique of the panels were solved.