Folded Cardboard Sandwiches for Load-bearing Architectural Components

The high resource demand of the building sector clearly indicates the need to search for alternative, renewable and energy-efficient materials. This work presents paper-laminated sandwich elements with a core of corrugated paperboard that can serve as architectural components with a load-bearing capacity after a linear folding process. Conventional methods either use paper tubes or glued layers of honeycomb panels. In contrast, the folded components are extremely lightweight, provide the material strength exactly where it is statically required and offer many possibilities for design variants. After removing stripes of the paper lamination, the sandwich can be folded in a linear way at this position. Without the resistance of the missing paper, the sandwich core can be easily compressed. The final angle of the folding correlates with the width of the removed paper stripe. As such, this angle can be described by a simple geometric equation. The geometrical basis for the production of folded sandwich elements was established and many profile types were generated such as triangular, square or rectangular shapes. The method allows the easy planning and fast production of components that can be used in the construction sector. A triangle profile was used to create a load-bearing frame as supporting structure for an experimental building. This first permanent building completely made of corrugated cardboard was evaluated in a two-year test to confirm the efficiency of the developed components. In addition to the frame shown in this paper, large-scale sandwich elements with a core of folded components can be used to fabricate lightweight ceilings and large-scale sandwich components. The method enables the efficient production of linearly folded cardboard elements which can replace normal wooden components like beams, pillars or frames and bring a fully recycled material in the context of architectural construction.


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