Designing the Perfect Memorial: Sorbothane & the Air Force Memorial

Posted by Evolve July 23, 2019

Client: James Ingo Freed, a well renowned American architect.

Architect James Ingo Freed faced a problem. Tasked with designing the United States Air Force Memorial, he needed high-quality materials to build a sustainable, stable, and visually appealing monument. This monument required excellence in architecture and structural integrity, taking three years and millions of dollars.

When Freed finalized a design, he learned that wind-tunnel tests determined the three metal silver spires could collapse from excessive wind and lead to the complete collapse of the structure. He built boxes that are about 2.5 feet on each side and contained a single 20-inch metal ball to solve the wind issue. Freed then needed to address how to maintain the structural integrity of the memorial. Buildings naturally sway and learning what materials work best to solve movement was difficult.

Sorbothane was the perfect solution. Sorbothane was used to help pad the walls of the boxes, protecting the memorial from any long-term impact the rolling balls would have on the boxes. In addition to preventing the monument from falling apart, Sorbothane reduces any potential noise that visitors may hear. Any clanging noise is reduced to almost nothing thanks to our viscoelastic material!

Learn more by reading an article in the Washington Post by Rick Weiss.