The future of elevator design technology is centered on vertical structures and the difficulties and solutions that come with them. The materials and technology used in future elevators, on the other hand, will be the most apparent features. We say this because, without going into science fiction, future elevators will have some quite striking modifications in their appearance.
Maglev Elevator: The elevator that travels sideways
While expanding vertically is a great method to meet increased demand for housing and working spaces, building horizontally will fill in many of the gaps. Given the limits of drilling deep into the earth’s crust, building underground will need long-distance horizontal transit. Elevators must also traverse sideways since their duty is to make vertical and horizontal travel accessible.
Thyssen Krupp began the development of a horizontal-traveling elevator in 2017, using magnetic levitation in the same manner as Maglev trains do. This technology will be implemented in Berlin’s EDGE East Side Tower, which is set to open in 2023.
Following Covid-19, surface hygiene in elevator enclosures has become particularly critical in public elevators. This is due to the fact that elevators in business or public buildings have visitors from all over the world, and you never know who could be infected with the Coronavirus.
As a result, rather than touching manual control panels to reach your desired floor, contemporary elevators may allow you to input your destination using a digital app on your smartphone or a panel outside the elevator cab. After that, based on current traffic conditions, the latter will send you to the appropriate elevator. The doors will automatically open, and all you have to do is enter and stand in a specified area for the length of your journey.
Some elevator systems are contemplating control panels towards the bottom of the elevator wall panel, which would enable you to kick in the desired floor number rather than push it with your fingertips.
Because AI and machine learning are so widely used in electromechanical systems, it should come as no surprise that these technologies will increasingly be used for user-elevator interactions as well. AI and machine learning will increasingly assist elevator maintenance engineers and facility managers by organizing intelligent traffic monitoring and routing, automating maintenance schedules, and raising warnings when certain subsystems overheat or get overloaded. Elevator maintenance firms and those in charge of enforcing elevator design rules will be relieved since these processes will make elevator inspection and certification more convenient and predictable.
Although we are still a long way from using carbon nanotubes or molecular superglue as base materials for elevator wall panels and doors, KONE elevators have been using the ‘Ultrarope,’ which consists of a carbon-fiber core surrounded by a high-friction coating, since 2010 when it assisted in the construction of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands building.
The panels in today’s elevator interior cab designs are made of stainless steel, mirror, or laminate. Several current safety rules require fire-resistant materials that are also resistant to wear and tear. Elevator designers will increasingly combine cross-laminated wood with robust metal coatings to guard against heat and moisture in order to create sustainable surfaces.
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