[quote]Nowhere else on earth can you ﬁnd a park of this magnitude that is entirely dedicated to the wonders of the sea.” — Matt Houlihan, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Reynolds Polymer[/quote]
Grand Junction, CO, USA – The art of engineering oceans has left a large footprint with the opening of Chimelong in Guangdong, China. The massive new facility houses seven different areas that are designed to replicate different global habitats and aquatic regions. The aquarium is said to contain a total of 12.87 million gallons of water and claims several Guinness titles, including the world’s largest underwater dome room, largest aquarium tank and largest aquarium viewing window.
Reynolds Polymer Technology, Inc. created custom panels for many of the exhibits at Chimelong, including the penguin area, the freshwater exhibits, and the Beluga whale pool. Installation of the numerous panels and large tunnel sections is always a delicate process; however, Chimelong was especially difﬁ cult. RPT workers were faced with the challenging task of positioning panels without a crane on the already roofed architecture, a feat that few could have accomplished given the geometries that RPT had to negotiate.
The Polar Adventure attraction is home to the Beluga Experience, Polar Bear Village, and Penguin World, all of which feature RPT acrylic. Inside the Polar Bear Village is a 50 foot wide underwater demi-tunnel that required over 33,000 pounds of R-Cast. This unique concave panel brings visitors within inches of the largest inland carnivores in the world.
The viewing panels in the Beluga whale amphitheater pool showcase the remarkable clarity that is possible from R-Cast material. The center arched panel is 40 feet long by 6.5 feet tall giving spectators dynamic views into the whale’s activities below the surface. The two curved panels on either side of the main panel offer similar experiences and are each 26 feet long for a total of 92 feet of viewing opportunities.
A true RPT creation is the one-of-a-kind tunnel that runs through the penguin exhibit inside the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. Visitors are able to walk through the 68 foot long, curved, underwater tunnel and see multiple species of penguins including King, Gentoo, Emperor, Adelie, and Humboldt. This acrylic tunnel features a 120° bend and offers the unique feature of viewing two different penguin exhibits within the same tunnel. R-Cast acrylic made it possible to connect each habitat with acrylic, rather than concrete, for a seamless transition from one area to the next.
The Amazing Amazon attraction features a freshwater tunnel that is 87 feet long and takes visitors through an 88° bend. The crystal clear aquarium tunnel is only six inches thick and offers intimate views of two different river ﬁsh species, the South American river ﬁsh and the Asian river ﬁsh.
“It is always exciting to work on large projects, but it is truly an honor to have participated in the construction of the world’s largest aquarium,” commented Matt Houlihan, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This is our forte. When records are going to be tested, RPT always gets the call to be involved. Chimelong is a surreal environment.”