Building large public aquariums is a delicate process that encompasses the imagination and needs of the customer coupled with the essential structural and safety concerns for both the future inhabitants of the aquarium and the public that will have the opportunity to view the display. The aim is to build an aquarium that will stand the test of time and be a beautiful exhibit. There are techniques that are used in this process from concept to inception and implementation used by specialised companies that ensure a successful project for their clients.
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Each public aquarium project starts with the design-build process. Specialised public-aquarium display companies will discuss each client's needs and desires and comprehensively build the aquarium to suit. Special attention is paid to any constraints, including the life support system complexity that will be needed for the aquarium inhabitants. Architectural drawings will be put together once all discussions are complete for the client to review and approve.
Public aquariums are often very large, and it is difficult to ship them complete to the location where they will be installed. On-site bonding of acrylic panels is an important part of the process in the construction of public aquariums. The builder will create a clean-room environment so that dust and other particles don't weaken the integrity of the bonding process, allowing for proper curing of the bond.
Thermoforming is a process of two- or three-dimensional forming of acrylic material using heat and time to fold sheets of acrylic. Due to the complexity and delicate needs associated with thermoforming acrylic, much experience is needed. Only a few companies worldwide have the capability to offer thermoformed acrylic sheets that match their customers needs while maintaining the structural integrity needed for a safe and lasting project. Large public aquariums hold massive amounts of water, and therefore tons of pressure will be exerted on acrylic sheets. Thermoformed sheets help keep public aquariums safe for viewers.
Installation and Waterproofing
Once acrylic panels are formed, they need careful installation to complete the public aquarium project. To do this, the acrylic panel is typically sealed into a concrete supporting block in either the wall or the floor of the future aquarium. All points of contact need to be connected, and it is important to let the bonds between the aquarium pieces cure and set properly. Once set, a variety of methods, such as epoxy coatings and cold joint repair, will be used to ensure watertight performance of the new aquarium.
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