Fire retardant prepregs enable Museum of the Future's 3D façade panels

Notus Composites to supply fire retardant prepregs for the 3D façade panels of the Museum of the Future in Dubai. 

The Museum of the Future currently under construction in Dubai (U.A.E.) is torus-shaped structure with an impressive façade comprised of 1,020 fire retardant composite panels The complex building is more than a visually stunning architectural design — it’s a good example of the benefits of building with advanced composites. 

Lightweight carbon and glass fiber prepregs are combined with a stainless steel outer cladding to produce the building’s exterior. Each of the building’s 3D cladding panels is unique with Arabic calligraphy molded into each individual panel. 

Related Stories

The building was designed by architectural firm Killa Design (Dubai, U.A.E.), engineered by BuroHappold (Bath, U.K.) and with BAM International (The Hague, The Netherlands) as the main contractor. 

“A building with this complexity has never been done before — not with this shape of the facade and the superstructure,” says Derek Bourke, Building Information Modelling (BIM) manager for BAM International. 

Prepreg solutions provider Notus Composites (Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E.) and Affan Innovative Structures (Dubai, U.A.E.) are working together to provide the materials and finished composite panels that will make up the exterior, incorporating more than 600,000 square meters of multiaxial glass and carbon prepreg

The prepregs are laminated in CNC milled molds at Affan’s Dubai factory. Glazing and finishes are then added, and the panels are delivered for installation. 

Fire performance of the prepregs has been approved by the Dubai Civil Defence (DCD). Notus Composites’ products are known for outstanding fire performance. The company’s epoxy and phenolic prepregs have been tested and certified to architectural industry standards. The company’s epoxy FR materials have passed the NFPA 285 test in accordance with DCD standards, and have also received Class A results for ASTM E84. According to Notus Composites, its FR epoxy system also provides equivalent or better performance to less sustainable polyester products.

“We are pleased to be working together with Notus Composites on this prestigious project,” says Dr. Affan, CEO of Affan Innovative Structures. “The company’s local presence, ability to quickly customize products and DCD approved fire resistance solutions make them a strong and reliable partner.”

Dubai’s Museum of the Future is due to open in 2019.