Thermoplastic Radial Pulbraiding for a Fiber Composite Structure

Thermoplastic Radial Pulbraiding for a Fiber Composite Structure

Evan Greenberg (M.Sc.)

2007 – 2008

               This research aims to investigate a novel fabrication technique for the design and construction of a pulbraided glass fiber composite structure in a resin matrix. The need for a new technique is situated within three lines of context – speculative research, current fabrication and construction processes, and built work. By analyzing the Carbon Tower by Peter Testa as well as the dissertation Adaptive Growth of Fiber Composite Structures by Christina Doumpioti – two projects that employ fiber composites in the design of architectural structures – this body of research can build upon these references while reacting to potential in fabrication and construction unrecognized or previously neglected. In exploring three traditional fabrication processes in concrete, timber, and steel, it is possible to situate the necessity for a novel technique that reacts to problem areas in the most common fabrication and construction practices in architecture. Finally, the Korkeasaari Viewing Tower in Helsinki, Finland is considered as a built project of modest scale in which an experimental form is constructed in a traditional manner, unsuccessfully achieving platforms, joints, and openings in its structure.

With this context comes the basis for the necessity of a novel fabrication technique. By understanding current fiber composite fabrication techniques used in other industries, the technological groundwork can be laid for their adaptation, and ultimately the invention of a novel technique. Because design and construction currently follows traditional and commonplace practices, it is necessary to investigate current techniques, and thus the potential for a novel fabrication technique that combines material, tooling, and structure into one cohesive design and on-site construction process of a fiber composite structure.