The new digital banking group BBVA has chosen composite panels made from a Scott Bader material to shield the building from the sun and to keep its headquarters in Madrid cool, while minimising air conditioning energy use.
A total of 1,600 panels in lengths ranging from 1.5 metres up to four metres were supplied and fitted to complete the façade of the new building.
The composite panels were vacuum infused using Scott Bader's matched fire retardant laminate system, comprising of Crestapol 1212 high performance urethane acrylate resin with intumescent in-mould spray Crystic Fireguard 75PA (IMS) Excel fire protection gelcoat to meet the required European fire standard for the building.
All of the panels were produced by Innova Composite, a leading Spanish composite parts manufacturer.
The panel composite design specification was developed by the external specialist composites consultant, José Cristos, who worked closely with the Innova Composite production team, as well as technical support from Scott Bader which provided both materials selection and processing advice.
The technical requirements for the panels were met by Innova Composite using a custom designed, glass fibre and PET foam core, filled resin sandwich system. The laminate construction is a combination of Crestapol 1212 with 170 parts per 100 of resin by weight of alumina trihydride (ATH) filler to meet the low flammability fire regulation, with Owens Corning's Unifilo continuous filament materials glass reinforcement on either side of a thermoplastics PET foam core.
This sandwich design format infused with the Crestapol 1212 resin provided the strength, stiffness and weight target for the panels across the size range. While absolute weight was not critical, the overall lower panel weight achieved enabled savings to be made in the specification of the mechanical fixing system, as well as on site during construction as the lighter panels needed less installation time.
For Innova, using Crestapol 1212 infusion and in-mould spray Crystic Fireguard 75PA (IMS) Excel intumescent FR gelcoat provided the desired combination of production benefits and the mechanical and fire performance properties needed for this external building application. There were productivity gains from being able to spray the specialty fire-rated intumescent gelcoat and being able to rapidly mould the relatively high number of panels required as a consequence of the very fast ambient temperature cure rate of the ATH filled Crestapol infusion resin.