Wednesday, January 5, 2022

News: Engineers enable centrepiece artwork for Dubai Expo


Engineering specialists at Brier Solutions in Rotherham have provided the ingenuity for a bold and creative piece of artwork on display at The Dubai Expo 2020.

Based at the AMP Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Brier is a turnkey engineering solutions provider committed to enabling clients to succeed through innovative design, problem-solving and attention to detail.

The Dubai Expo 2020, rearranged due to the Covid-19 pandemic, recently had a grand opening that was watched by millions across the globe. Over nine million guests are expected to visit in person before the closing ceremony in March 2022.

The organisers of Expo 2020 sought a bold and creative piece of artwork which would sit in "Terra - The Sustainability Pavilion", one of three pavilions at the event which has the key theme of sustainability.

Commissioned by the Expo 2020 organisation, British artist Mat Collishaw created "Equinox" and Brier Solution’s involvement in the creation of this centrepiece started back in 2019 when they were approached by The White Wall Company. The White Wall Company are art fabricators who work with some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists and gallery spaces creating show-stopping sculptures and exhibitions.

The centrepiece is a giant lotus flower, featuring an orbit of insects, spinning on its vertical axis. Its petals act as ‘shutters’ – animating the insects within as they appear to fly, eat and pollinate in perfect harmony. The sculpture needed to consist of a flower that would raise and lower by a metre, spin at 60 RPM and have 18 petals that would open and close, changing the diameter from 2m to 3.2m. The stem, supporting the flower, needed to be as slender as possible and facilitate the raising and lowering. All this needed to happen in a tight envelope and be as elegant and refined as possible.

Brier engineers had to come up with something invisible and seamless.

With motors being too bulky, the solution was found using hydraulics; a single hydraulic cylinder mounted in the stem for the raise/lower operation, three mini cylinders mounted directly to a bespoke manifold in the top section to actuate the opening/closing mechanism and a single hydraulic motor to drive a small slew ring for the rotation.

It was also important for the engineers to choose parts that provide reliable, squeak-free and wobble-free operation over the required lifetime.

Brier Solutions website

Images: Dubai 2020


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