Atlanta stadium roof utilizes ETFE panels

November 1, 2017

On Aug. 26, Atlanta fans got to try out the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time when the Falcons hosted the Arizona Cardinals in a preseason NFL game. The two-million-square-foot facility seats 71,000 for football games and can expand to 75,000 for marquee events. Designed by HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning …

Flexible textile sensors for medical use

Researchers at Empa, the materials research institution in Dübendorf, Switzerland, have produced soft optic fibers for sensors that can be embedded in textiles as a thread. Worn next to the skin, the sensors can, for example, monitor whether a hospital patient is developing bedsores. Previously, polymer optic fibers, used in communication technology, weren’t supple enough …

Energy storage systems printed onto fabric

One of the downsides of smart wearables has been the need to carry a battery pack to recharge electronics. Researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom have developed technology that could make the cumbersome packs a thing of the past. The team was able to print a flexible battery-like device known as …

Pineapple pavilion pops up in UK garden

The well-ordered gardens belonging to the grand country houses in Georgian England often included statuary, temples and other architectural details called “eye-catchers,” garden buildings designed to delight visitors. As part of a restoration plan for the walled garden at Great Britain’s National Trust’s Berrington Hall in Herefordshire, it was only fitting to respect that tradition. …

Pigment system reduces fabric surface temperature

What if you could reduce the temperature in a tent or other fabric structure by as much as 30 degrees (F) simply by choice of fabric? A new technology may have the answer. INCA Technology, Atlanta, Ga., has introduced Solar Off-Loading Technology (SOLT), a pigment system that significantly reduces surface temperature. SOLT employs a proprietary …

Liquid storage containers resist Arctic temperatures

Imagine that it’s 50 degrees below zero and there’s an oil spill that needs to be contained. It’s no surprise that the right equipment is critical to success. Enter FASTANK® Arctic, a liquid storage container designed specifically for low arctic conditions. Available from Fast Engineering Ltd., manufacturer of FASTANK portable containment systems, the storage container …

Electricity-generating yarns

October 31, 2017

What if the shirt a patient wears could monitor breathing with no special power-driven applications—because the yarn it’s made of produces electricity? A research team led by scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea are developing these high-tech yarns. The twistron yarns create electricity when twisted and stretched. …

New retractable membrane for an open-air theater

October 1, 2017

The charming town of Tecklenburg, Germany, is home to the largest open-air musical theater in the country. Set against the backdrop of a medieval castle ruin, Freilichtbühne Tecklenburg e.V. stages operettas, musicals, concerts and other events. The 2,300-seat theater features a retractable canopy designed and installed 25 years ago by consulting engineers IPL, now formTL …

IIT Innovation Center uses inflatable ETFE

It’s only appropriate that the design for a building dedicated to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration should itself push the envelope on creativity. So it is with the new Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, currently under construction at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. The institute will be the new …

Natural wallpaper

Take two unique natural materials and put them together, and the result is a stunning tapestry of color for a new wallpaper collection. Omexco, a Belgian designer of high-end wallcoverings, has introduced the one-of-a-kind Rainbows collection, made by weaving recycled sari silk with strips of bakbak (bark of the banana tree). The deep colors of …