Fiber-Reinforced Polymers in Freeform Structures: A Review
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Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) compositesFreeform structuresBionic structuresBiomimeticsArchitectural geometryDouble-curved surfacesForm-findingStatic equilibrium
Moskaleva, A.; Safonov, A.; Hernández-Montes, E. Fiber-Reinforced Polymers in Freeform Structures: A Review. Buildings 2021, 11, 481. [https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11100481]
This article is a survey discussing the application of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in freeform structures and their impact on the design and shape generation process. The analysis of case studies showed that the use of FRP composites not only helps to overcome some challenges in the construction of objects with complex geometry, but also creates brand new types of structures and design approaches. On the other hand, there is a problem—although FRP materials are frequently used in construction, the shapes of structures and design methods are often traditional and are simply copied from materials such as wood, concrete, and steel. FRP composites have been applied in civil engineering for several decades, since the 1960s, as building envelopes, façade skins, load-bearing structures, and internal and external reinforcement. The article aims to analyze this accumulated experience and to explore the role of FRP materials in the design of buildings with free, complex, fluid, and organic shapes. A new classification of freeform composite structures is proposed. They are classified in this article according to the methodology applied at the conceptual design stage: structures created by using a geometric approach, a form-finding (equilibrium) approach, or a biomimetic approach. Each approach is described in its own separate section, with a thorough literature and state-of-the-art review.