Case Study: Fiberglass Used for a Walk on the Wild Side

0820-Sea World Wild Arctic Main0820-Sea World Wild Arctic DetialThe Wild Arctic attraction at Sea World in Orlando, Florida has fiberglass decking and rails used throughout the exhibit area. Wild Arctic, which houses polar bears, whales, and walruses, could have experienced some real corrosion problems from the constant moisture. Corrosion resistant fiberglass structural materials and grating were the perfect solution. As you walk through what appears to be the hull of a sunken ship, you can see the wild arctic animals both above and below the water.

DURAGRID® T-1000 1" grating, manufactured by Strongwell Chatfield Location, was used here to simulate the deck of a ship. Selected for its high strength and corrosion resistance,  DURAGRID® was used for both the deck of the ship and the primary exhibit viewing areas. The T-bar construction with the 10% open area was selected as a safety precaution against the possibility of visitors getting their toes caught in the spaces between the grating. In other areas of the exhibit DURAGRID® is used as the actual drain.

In addition to the grating walkways, fiberglass custom railings were used to keep the viewers back from the exhibit area. The custom railing was designed and fabricated by Strongwell Chatfield Location using EXTREN® fiberglass square tube stanchions and round tubes for the top rail with a nylon mesh netting. A radar tower which is used to project the sky and background for the attraction was also fabricated from EXTREN® fiberglass structural.

Product: Exhibit Decking and Handrails
Process: Pultrusion, Fiberglass Fabrication
Materials: Fiberglass reinforced polyester, fire retardant

  • DURAGRID® T-1000 1" grating
  • EXTREN® Series 525 structural shapes:
    - 2" x 1/4" Square tube
    - 3/8" Plate
    - 1" x 1/4" Round tube
    - 4" x 1/2" Angle
    - 8" x 3/8" Channel
For: Sea World

Fiberglass walkways and ladders are used throughout the life support side of the Wild Arctic attraction as well. This is the industrial part of the exhibit, behind the scenes, where the animals are fed and taken care of and the support equipment is housed. Maintenance-free DURAGRID® fiberglass grating and SAFRAIL™ fiberglass ladders and ladder cages were ideal for the salt water and the constant moisture in this area.

Another specially designed rail system is used in this area with a plastic safety mesh. Some of the other special fabrication requirements for this area included lock-outs for access ladders (made from plate and structural tubing) and non-corrosive utility storage cabinets.

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