Saertex supplies NCF materials for Real Madrid’s stadium roof

Draping lightweight materials into the moulds of the 25m beams
Draping lightweight materials into the moulds of the 25m beams

Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is currently the site of a large-scale construction project to transform it into a multi-functional arena.

The conversion work includes installing a sliding roof over the pitch. Saertex supplied the carbon and glass fibre materials for the roof structure’s support beams. Together with its customer, Nanotures, Saertex received the prestigious JEC Innovation Award in Paris for this project.

Construction work has been in progress since 2019 on the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, the home stadium of 14-time European Cup and Champions League winners Real Madrid. The project’s aim is to transform the football stadium situated in the heart of the Spanish capital and which was built back in 1947, into a multi-functional arena with a 360° video screen, a new external façade, and a retractable sliding roof over the pitch.

Impregnating the glass and carbon fiber non-crimp fabrics with resin in vacuum infusion

During the course of February 2023, the 36 lightweight beams of this innovative sliding roof structure were installed in the stadium. These mobile roof structure support members were manufactured by Spanish composite specialist Nanotures using carbon and glass fibre materials supplied by Saertex. Opening and closing the roof structure – including the membranes that are still to be installed between the lightweight beams – protects the entire arena against the effects of wind and weather.

“The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is an absolutely iconic venue in world football. And we are very proud that our material has contributed to this gigantic innovation project,” says Daniel Stumpp, head of global marketing at Saertex.

The retractable roof structure above the playing field complements the stadium’s covered seating area, which has also been fully renovated. The 36 lightweight beams of the retractable roof structure each measure 25m in length. In each case, three beams are connected to form main beams that are 75m long. Being part of the movable roof means they must be lightweight and energy-efficient. So the components were manufactured from carbon and glass fibre reinforcements – so called non-crimp fabrics (NCF) - balsa wood and an epoxy resin, using the vacuum infusion process.

Finishing of a 25m long lightweight composite beam for the stadium roof

This year’s prestigious JEC Innovation Awards, one of the most important innovation prizes in the composites industry, were presented in Paris on March 2, 2023. Winning projects in eleven different fields received awards. In the category ‘Building & Civil Engineering’ the award went to Nanotures, Saertex and other partnering companies for the ‘A Composite Roof for the Stadium of Real Madrid’ project.

“A fascinating project, but to also win the most important innovation award in our industry for this is something very special,” said Christoph Geyer CEO at Saertex. “Congratulations to Nanotures and thanks to our many partners. And I would also like to personally thank the many Saertex colleagues who were involved in this project.”

This is the third time in the 25-year tradition of the competition that Saertex has been one of the winners. Following 2014, with the MAPRETEC project in the “Renewable Energy” category, and 2017



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