Both the Ferrari Experience building and Red Force, Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster, were fabricated using a combination of painted flat aluminium panels and more complex, curved fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) composite wall cladding and roofing sections. Altogether, the composite parts supplied covered approximately 1,500 m2, installed on the exterior of the Ferrari Experience building and various sections of the Red Force rollercoaster.
A total of 800 individual FRP parts ranging in sizes from 0.5 to 5.0 m2, were hand layup moulded by Look Composites at its factory in Alicante, Spain. All parts were supplied to the contractor ready for priming and painting. As the buildings used both aluminium and FRP cladding panels, to ensure identical colour matching of dissimilar material all the sections were spray painted as a second stage by a specialist local company.
In order to meet the EN 13501-1 Euroclass B,s2,d0 fire performance rating stipulated for this project, all the FRP parts were custom moulded by Look Composites using Scott Bader’s Crestapol 1212 resin with alumina trihydrate (ATH) fire retardant filler.
The moulding phase of the project took Look Composites eight months to complete, with finished parts delivered in stages to the construction site. The 800 complex shaped composite parts needed were challenging to mould to the size, design and dimensional accuracy required. Each FRP part had either a double curvature design, or were non-linear with curves and tight angles, all with moulded fixing point flanges.
The first challenge for Look Composites was to design and fabricate all the composite tooling for the wide variety of differently sized and shaped parts. The accurate positioning of the moulded FRP flanges on each part was vital to ensure that when each wall cladding and roofing section was mechanically fixed onto the building framework, it exactly lined up and fitted into place.
The second challenge was to select a suitable laminating resin that could meet the Euroclass B,s2,d0 fire specification and still be cost effectively hand moulded with good levels of shop floor productivity, needed for such a large number of parts.
“Crestapol 1212 is a well-known resin to us,” states Antonio Mira, CEO of Look Composites. “In our experience, it has proved to be the best laminate resin system for building cladding to meet the Euroclass B,s2,d0 fire specification, still being perfectly usable for hand layup moulding even when very heavily ATH filled. With a little practice you can easily laminate, even complex shaped, 3D parts.”
Scott Bader reports that Crestapol 1212 resin enables hand layup and infused moulded FRP parts or pultruded profiles to be rapidly produced due to a combination of very low viscosity with a fast ambient temperature cure rate. The resin is also said to give moulders the flexibility to adjust ATH and accelerator levels as needed, depending on the application and working times required. According to the company, the inherent toughness of a cured Crestapol 1212 resin matrices results in laminates exhibiting excellent mechanical performance despite the presence of high levels of ATH filler.
Companies: Scott Bader