Innovativcluster Automotive Quality Saar; Fraunhofer-Institut für zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP Saarbrücken
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At the Saar Automotive Quality Innovation Cluster, procedures for nondestructive materials testing are developed and applied, primarily for the benefit of customers in the automotive industry. In addition to the necessary enlargement of a testing hall, three office storeys and a spacious entrance area with conference room were added to the complex in 2011 to give the prestigious institute a new look in keeping with its corporate image. It is thus no accident that the new structure resembles the pistons of a Wankel engine or a belt drive. Not only the design language, but also the materials used were derived from the automotive industry: glass, high-gloss painted sheet metal and plastics. With the help of so-called “light building elements”, concepts relevant to the institute’s work, such as using x-rays and other methods to render objects transparent and hence test them without destruction, could be translated into architecture. Extremely lightweight polycarbonate sheets were deployed in various translucencies from “crystalline” to “opaque” in the facade of the testing hall and to shade the office floors from the sun, lending the building highly differentiated degrees of transparency.