Dreamworld’s Tigers Make a Splash

Dreamworld’s beloved Tigers are enjoying their new home and have been in the pool, showing off their swimming skills. Guests are now welcome to see the re-vamped animal exhibit, which includes a large, thermoformed, 12 meter, bonded acrylic pool window. Acrylic was selected as the best solution for this project because it allows a continuous, uninterrupted and extraordinary viewing experience.

 

What made acrylic the ultimate solution for this project?  

Acrylic’s versatile nature allows multiple panels to be joined and achieve the 12m unified length.

 

 

What is acrylic bonding?

Acrylic bonding is a unique process that involves joining a desired number of sheets to create one continuous, high strength, large acrylic panel. Due to the complexity of acrylic bonding, only acrylic technicians skilled in both chemistry and manufacturing undertake the procedure.

 

Process overview

  1. The acrylic panels are measured and each one is cut to size.
  2. The appropriate bond areas are roughened to ensure cross-linking occurs and then cleaned to remove any dust particles.
  3. The panels are mechanically lifted and placed on a custom steel frame.
  4. Now the panels are levelled, aligned and set with a 2-3mm gap between them.
  5. A casing is fixed over all sides of the gap ensuring the MMA will be contained.
  6. The MMA bonding components are mixed, aerated and then used to fill the gap between the panels.
  7. The bond is then cured through an oven run which is temperature controlled and monitored closely.
  8. Shortly after the initial cure another temperature controlled oven run is performed to anneal the bond. Annealing reduces stress in the acrylic and completes the cross-linking process.
  9. The bonded panel is lifted out of the steel frame and casing removed in preparation for buffing and polishing.

 

The outcome

Once the bond has been buffed and polished the result is truly outstanding. The bond is only noticeable when looking directly in front of the bond line whereas from a slight angle the panel looks as if it is one continuous piece and the bond is unnoticeable.

              

 

Why bond?

When it comes to creating big aquarium windows and immersive experiences, acrylic bonding is what makes the incredible designs possible. AAT use bonding to achieve large sizes that exceed the typical cast sheet sizes whilst preserving optimal clarity and high strength.