DreamDome system is based on a sandwich shell structure action and relies on several key principals:
- compound curve (that is a dome curved in all directions)
- lightweight composite sandwich panel materials (structural skins either side of a structural foam core)
- monolithic shell structure (when all the parts are fixed together the structure becomes one piece)
We utilize the inherent strength of the compound curve with the inherent strength of hi-strength fibre reinforced coatings either side of a foam core forming a sandwich panel. When a sandwich panel is formed in the shape of a compound curve it becomes extremely strong. The foam core in addition to being part of the structural action is also the insulation. The core can be varied in thickness along with the structural coatings allowing a diversity of both thermal and structural performance depending on the desired outcome.
Definition of a Sandwich Panel (Wikipedia)
A sandwich panel is a structure made of three layers: low-density core inserted in between two relatively thin skin layers. This sandwich setup allows us to achieve excellent mechanical performance at minimal weight. The rigidity of a sandwich panel is achieved thanks to the interaction of its components under flexural load applied to the panel. The core takes the shear loads and creates a distance between the skins which take the in-plane stresses, one skin in tension, the other in compression.
The DreamDome arrives as a complete Kit to your site. A number of orange peel shaped segments are fabricated using lightweight composite materials in a sandwich panel.
State of Art Engineering Design – Finite Element Analysis
DreamDome designs its structures using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software. A 3D model of the structure is built in the FEA software. Inside the software, the individual mechanical properties of the different materials are entered and then we apply loads such as wind and earthquake to test that the structure is capable of handling the loads that we are intending to design for. The FEA model indicates very clearly how the structure behaves under load and where and when (at what loading) it fails. This is the first step in the structural engineering process. Many times, to verify our FEA model we have built a full-scale prototype structure and then tested it in a university engineering lab.
We use the latest technology and hi-tech materials to achieve the highest performance for the least cost
Structural skins – are comprised of layers of fiberglass chopped mat and other woven glass fabrics bonded with high-performance resins to create ultra tough structural skins which are coated on the inside and outside surface with a very hard wearing GEL coat designed for high UV resistance and fire resistance.
PET foam core – The main reason we use a PET foam core is because it is 100% recyclable.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is considered as an engineering plastic due to its excellent mechanical and thermal properties. However, due to its high demand in textile, bottle and packaging industry, it has become a commodity plastic in terms of price and availability. Furthermore thanks to bottle industry, it is also the most recycled plastic material in the world and so-called post-consumer PET material (r-PET) is available globally with annual capacity of 5 million tons (EU 1 million).
Green Building Directives & LCA and PET Foam
Armacell engineered foams – Life Cycle Assessment of PET foam
Gurit® G-PET™ RECYCLABLE STRUCTURAL FOAM
NOTE: Polystyrene and polyurethane foams used extensively in construction and across many other industries are NOT recyclable
Fiberglass is the reinforcing material we use for the sandwich panel structural skins. The type of fiberglass we use is known as e-glass. E-glass is used extensively in the fiberglass industry and is well proven in the marine industry and for vehicles requiring high strength. comes in several forms. see DowCorning M705 chopped strand Mat Mechanical Properties
DreamDome uses basalt, carbon and aramid fibers for special applications where “Super” strength is required.