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CASE STUDY: Taking Shape

October 1, 2011
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A new architectural hotel façade designed in gel-coated fiberglass takes shape with Crystic Crestomer structural adhesives.

The exterior of the renamed Hotel Riviera in Benidorm, Spain, was recently refurbished and given a modern new look by Spanish architect Vicente Peidró. The new facade was produced in white gel-coated fiberglass (GRP) by Miraplas S.L., which molded the triangular and elliptical GRP architectural shapes. The assembly and construction of the new facade used Crystic Crestomer structural adhesives for bonding the molded 22.5-sq-ft GRP sections together, as well as the sections to the steel frames that are used to mechanically fix the sections to vertical steel pillars on the hotel exterior.

Crystic Crestomer structural adhesives were applied using a combination of 380-ml cartridge handguns and pneumatic handguns to improve production efficiency.

Project Implementation

The first phase of this hotel refurbishment project was carried out in the Miraplas factory. The nine elliptical sections were made from eight individual GRP pieces bonded together with Crestomer structural adhesives. A metal clamping frame was specially designed by Miraplas to hold all the parts in position during bonding.

The most challenging aspect of the architect’s design was the production of the nine large curved triangular and elliptical sections. It proved most cost effective to produce these sections by making separately molded, 5-mm-thick GRP laminate parts and bonding them together.

All the GRP parts were produced using an isophthalic resin, three layers of glass matting and an isophthalic gelcoat. Once molded, the eight separate GRP parts for each triangular section were accurately positioned in the metal clamping frame and bonded together. Crystic Crestomer 1152PA structural adhesive was applied using a pneumatic gun. The steel frames for mechanically fixing the GRP sections to the hotel wall were also bonded into place with Crystic Crestomer 1152PA. In some confined areas, hand guns with cartridges of Crestomer Advantage 30 were used.

Miraplas, which has a purpose-built, 44,000-sq-m composites molding factory located in Monforte del Cid in the south of Spain, has traditionally specialized in manufacturing large GRP tanks and related parts used in waste water treatment, water purification and desalination plants. For this hotel project, most of the GRP parts manufactured by Miraplas were produced by resin transfer molding (RTM) light closed molding; others were produced by hand layup.

With the technical assistance of Jose Manuel Bey Garcia, an independent specialist consultant in RTM processing and the appointed hotel project technical advisor, the company has expanded its manufacturing capabilities in RTM closed molding over the last 18 months. Miraplas can now fabricate a wider variety of large complex GRP shapes for industrial and building and construction applications, such as doors, tank covers, curved cladding, cylindrical-shaped parts, and wind generator blades.

The eight GRP molded parts for the triangular sections were positioned in a specially made metal clamping frame for holding the newly bonded sections together until the structural adhesive cured.

A Guaranteed Bond

Crystic Crestomer adhesives, manufactured by Scott Bader, are GRP structural adhesives that have proven to be successful in a variety of building and construction applications, including cladding panels on bridges, as well as in many fiberglass marine applications in both hulls and decks. Reliable, long-term structural bonding of composite and metal substrates is achievable provided the recommended surface preparation is carried out prior to bonding.

“Having used Crystic Crestomer adhesives for many years on several other projects, I was able to recommend their use for this project with great confidence that they will provide a guaranteed, reliable long-term bonding performance,” said Bey Garcia.

In this type of application, bonding also helps to significantly reduce the overall weight of the final GRP section while offering additional benefits in production efficiency, particularly when using pneumatic application guns instead of 380-ml cartridge hand guns where possible for larger sections.

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About Scott Bader

Established in 1921, Scott Bader is a £180 million (approximately $288 million) multinational chemical company that employs 560 people worldwide. It is a common trusteeship company with no external shareholders and a strong commitment to supporting its customers, workforce and the environment. Scott Bader’s headquarters in the UK features purpose-built, state-of-the-art technical facilities that accommodate R&D and complete evaluation, testing, and application support. The company also has manufacturing facilities in the UK, France, Croatia, the Middle East and South Africa.


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