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ACCIONA takes part in 5th edition of Madrid’s Civil Engineering Week

  • A free exhibition called “The Innovation Tunnel” was held in Plaza de Callao in Madrid from 1 to 6 October. ACCIONA exhibited two scale models – one of the Pajares Tunnel and another of the Faro de Valencia, the world’s first maritime lighthouse constructed entirely from composite materials
  • ACCIONA’s participation in the event included a school workshop that focused on the use of composite materials in construction

ACCIONA took part in the fifth edition of Madrid’s Civil Engineering Week (SICMA) from 1 to 6 October, which set out to show people the relevance of civil engineering works and infrastructures, as well as aspects of their management and usefulness in everyday life.

Civil Engineering Week took place in Plaza de Callao, one of the capital’s most emblematic spaces, under the slogan “We innovate to progress”, where the free exhibition called The Innovation Tunnel was set up.

The opening of the event, which took place in the Palacio de la Prensa building in Madrid on 1 October, was attended by various representatives from ACCIONA’s construction business such as Justo Vicente, Managing Director for Spain and Portugal; Jose Luis Álvarez Poyatos, Technical Services Manager, and David Madrigal, head of engineering.

Also present were leading figures from the sector, such as the dean of the Madrid chapter of the civil engineering association, Lola Ortiz, and various political representatives from Madrid city council, the regional government of Madrid and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

More than 33,000 people took part in this fifth edition of Madrid’s Civil Engineering Week, which involved more than 65 companies, institutions and an honorary committee chaired by HM King Felipe VI.


“The Innovation Tunnel” Exhibition

“The Innovation Tunnel” exhibition consisted of a large 225 m2 dome that displayed innovative elements that Spanish civil engineers have developed in the field of materials, constructions, transport and the management of renewable energy.

Inside, ACCIONA allowed visitors to learn about innovative materials in the construction of high-speed tunnels using a scale model of the Pajares Tunnel and the panels made from composite materials that were used as a waterproof lining.

Another scale model displayed by ACCIONA in the exhibition was the world’s first maritime lighthouse constructed solely from composite materials that is also self-sufficient in terms of energy generated from renewable sources. The company constructed this project in the port of Valencia.

Visitor numbers to the Innovation Tunnel exceeded the Civil Engineering Association’s forecasts, with more than 31,000 people visiting the exhibition.


School workshop on composite materials

Various workshops were held during the week at the same location in Plaza de Callao for audiences of all ages, consisting of logic games and manual activities such as assembling an inverted dome, construction with new materials and a collaborative construction workshop for children.

ACCIONA organised one of these workshops, focused on new materials, on Friday 4 October.

This activity, which involved various researchers from ACCIONA’s technology centre for its construction business, helped a group of fourth-year secondary school students to learn about the advantages of using composite materials (FRP) in the infrastructure sector, such as less corrosion and lightweight materials.

The workshop also highlighted different types of fibre reinforcement and the families of resins and additives that are used, as well as the different types of processes that allow these infrastructures to be manufactured.

Participants were able to see the different steps of manufacturing a to-scale girder via the process of infusion; compare the weight of a steel girder with one made from composite materials; and see examples of armour made from composite materials, as well as a waterproof panel such as those used in the high-speed Pajares Tunnel and in the Quito metro.

Two videos were also shown during the workshop. One showed the manufacturing process and installation of the Faro de Valencia lighthouse, constructed entirely from composite materials, and another showed the manufacturing of the waterproof panels for the Pajares Tunnel. These videos illustrated the diverse manufacturing processes (infusion, RTM, pultrusion) and the versatility offered by the use of these new materials.

At the end of the workshop, small-scale girders made from composite materials were given out as a memento of the activity.

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