Aquarium Manufacturer Reynolds Polymer Technology Celebrates a Remarkable Year of Success
RPT has launched 159 projects in 24 countries over the past 12 months, making it the most productive time-period in recent history. 2014 included several large-scale openings and the addition of substantial capital investments.
Reynolds Polymer Technology, the manufacturer of R-Cast® acrylic, is pleased to announce that 2014 was in every way an outstanding year in business. Though it was a period of time marked by significant technological advancements, the final credits belong to the company’s human resources. As RPT President Scott Sullivan remarked, “Our continued success in 2014 was the result of extremely hard work by our very competent and dedicated staff. We have so many good people at Reynolds, and our success is attributable to everyone’s hard work.”
RPT substantially increased the annual amount of monolithic acrylic that it is able to produce on a global scale. Both the U.S. and Thailand plants have enjoyed new tooling and additional oven capacity, which together have multiplied the quantity of R-Cast® being finished. Orders from both plants are being shipped around the globe with reduced lead time.
The company added a cutting-edge research and development laboratory onto their US manufacturing facility. Three specialty diagnostic instruments now allow technicians to gain valuable data about R-Cast® polymer properties and accurately predict material behavior. Constant testing during the manufacturing process has further augmented RPT’s stringent quality standards.
2014 included the grand opening of several high-profile oceanariums. One such case was the Journey to Churchill zoo exhibit in Winnipeg, Canada. Reynolds Polymer Technology manufactured 13 custom-acrylic panels for the attraction. The Sea Ice Passage, a unique underwater area within the park that is home to both polar bears and seals, features two underwater viewing tunnels. In total, approximately 50 tons of R-Cast® was installed in the new facility.
In South Korea, aqua planet Ilsan has several notable R-Cast® exhibits to delight visitors. The Deep Blue Ocean Encounter, perhaps the most prominent tank in the aqua planet facility, is a remarkable 35 feet long by almost 20 feet tall and is 18 inches thick. To manufacture a panel of this magnitude, Reynolds Polymer needed to perform an on-site bond. RPT has perfected the art of on-site bonding- which involves a special bonding crew to be on location and the construction of a sanitary “adhesion room” that mimics the environment needed for successful acrylic fusion. This technology gives RPT the advantage to continually raise the bar as to what can be achieved with monolithic acrylic and continues to give visitors spectacular views that were once impossible.
At Draper, Utah, USA, the Living Planet aquarium now allows visitors to enjoy the longest underwater viewing tunnel in the Rocky Mountain region. In fact, the closest comparable tunnel in size is roughly 750 miles away in California. Visitors to the shark tank, which comes complete with stadium seating, are immediately immersed in the panorama provided via two large R-Cast® viewing windows. The 6,000 pound custom aquarium panels are each 20 feet long by almost 9 feet tall and are capable of holding back some 300,000 gallons of water.
Visually, the aquarium at Avia Park was perhaps the most stunning achievement of the year. This cylindrical aquarium is four-stories in height and home to 2,500 specimens of fish. What appears to be a single acrylic column actually consists of seven bonded sections that weigh as much as 13 tons each. All told, the aquarium is 75 feet tall, 20 feet in diameter and holds 98,000 gallons of salt water. To contain such pressure, the walls were engineered to be up to eight inches thick, requiring a total of 55 metric tons of acrylic.
Other notable projects to open this year include the panels at Scheels All Sports in Montana, USA, Aquarium Inbursa in Mexico, Lotte World in South Korea and Chimelong Ocean Kindgom in China.
“Our success this year is attributable to the synergy and experience of our team,” said Matt Houlihan, Executive Vice President of Reynolds Polymer Technology. “In fact, 2015 is already shaping up be a year with a large number of projects for us. We have the inventory and the technology. RPT is ready to go.”