A total of 1600 sun panels in sizes ranging from 1.5 meters up to 4 meters were supplied and fitted to complete the façade of the new BBVA headquarters building in Madrid. To meet the required UNE-EN 13501-1 fire standard for the building, the composite panels were vacuum infused using Scott Bader’s (Northamptonshire, U.K.) matched fire retardant laminate system, comprising of Crestapol 1212 high performance urethane acrylate resin with intumescent in-mold spray Crystic FIREGUARD 75PA (IMS) EXCEL fire protection gelcoat.
All of the panels were produced by Innova Composite, a Spanish composite parts manufacturer. The sun 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 personnel from Scott Bader who provided both materials selection and processing advice.
The infused, fire resistant (FR) composite sun panels had to meet all the local building regulations and construction specifications stipulated, overseen by Permasteelisa, the appointed contractor for the new BBVA building construction project. Innova Composite had to ensure that installed sun panels achieved the ‘low flammability’ fire rating, according to UNE-EN 13501-1 European standard for products used in construction, while also meeting all the other design and performance in use criteria.
The technical requirements for the sun panels were met by Innova Composite using a custom designed glass fiber and PET foam core, filled resin sandwich system. The laminate construction is a combination of Crestapol 1212 with 170 parts per hundred of resin by weight of alumina trihydride (ATH) filler to meet the low flammability fire regulation, with Owens Corning’s Unifilo CFM (Continuous Filament Mats) 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.