Pontarolo Engineering S.p.a has always been engaged in industrial research related to innovative building systems and technologies and therefore has a vast experience in the sector, confirmed by the indisputable success of the developed systems. The most important research conducted recently by the company, which produced immediate and significant results on the practical level, are undoubtedly those concerning the improvement of products such as Cupolex, Pontex and Climablock. Here is a list of our main research projects:
- Study and development of innovative building systems such as: "Cupolex", an aerated structural dome flooring system made of modular elements acting as forms suitable to admit the concrete pouring, and an ancillary product, "Pontex", which combined with the "Cupolex" system, renders the concrete slab self-bearing. These products are used for the creation of aerated under-slab cavities, are suitable for the dispersion of radon and other harmful gasses and provide space for running services and systems which fulfil geologic conditions, as well as the requirements of Italian and foreign legislation. A new highly specialised finite element calculation and testing software is provided as well.
- Establishment of a laboratory for conducting research on special building materials of thermo calorimetric type for the DSC analysis of plastic materials, devices for conducting mechanical compression/stress-rupture tests on "Cupolex" elements and the manufacturing of a concrete tank for real scale stress-rupture tests on slabs created with the "Cupolex" system.
- Study and development of new interaction models of aerated structural flooring systems with the soil with subsequent stress-rupture tests conducted on slabs created with the "Cupolex" system and analysis of the obtained results. In February 2000 "Cupolex" was awarded the "XII° Trofeo Internacional de la Construccion" in Spain and in October 2003 Pontarolo Engineering S.p.a. has received the "Construction Association's Innovative Product/Technology Award" of the Toronto Construction Association (Canada).
- Study and development of the retractable pole, named "Stopper", acting as a traffic deterrent. The original manual 9.4 version has been improved and replaced by the automatic 9.6 version (operated by a remote control device, a magnetic card, etc.). The idea was to create an "intelligent" retractable pole by using a microchip able to select the inputs sent to the pole and control its movement. Furthermore, the microchip may be programmed in order to recognise vehicles not authorised for transit on certain days and deny them access by means of the Stopper. Our research on the Stopper has been presented for a contest organised by the Foundation of the Savings Bank of Udine and Pordenone (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone), which, in cooperation with the University of Udine, Industrialists' Association of the Province of Udine and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of the Province of Udine, decided to confer 3 awards for scientific and applied research to young entrepreneurs who have distinguished themselves by their originality and by the scientific value of technologic innovations they developed. Our remote controlled system with the intelligent microchip, which can be used in both urban and non-urban areas, was awarded the first place at the said contest as a significant technologic innovation by the Committee for Research and Innovation in Companies of the aforementioned Foundation.
- Study and development of an innovative building method for the creation of a new type of walls with forms named "Climablock" and a new type of floor partitioning made of cells to be inserted in a concrete structure pursuant to the Ordinance of the President of the Council of Ministers no. 3274 of 30th March 2003 and the new standards on soundproofing and energy saving.
Due to the distinctiveness and the peculiarity of this sector, apart from the activities conducted in the company's internal research office (a respectable facility engaged in applied research), the company has established a long-term cooperation as well as a trusting relationship with external bodies, all of which has contributed to the achievement of the present success.