Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Discovery Place Science

An aquarium is eye-catching, beautiful and amazing to viewers, but behind the scenes is an ongoing battle between the elements and the construction materials. Moisture, salt water and humidity combine to cause rust, rot and corrosion on wood, concrete and even stainless steel. That’s why Discovery Place Science and their aquarium contractor, Waterdog Products, turned to FRP materials from Bedford for aquarium updates and expansions.

Challenge

Aquatic and marine exhibits require a durable material — one that can handle being hosed down and splashed with saltwater day after day. Bedford PROForms® structural shapes and PROGrid® molded grating provided the ideal solution for this environment with the corrosion-resistant properties of fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP).

Solution

For an initial upgrade in 2010 and a follow-up expansion in 2016, Bedford manufactured work platforms, tank stands and storage racks for the aquarium. All of the components were completely custom-made to fit the space for onsite assembly and integration by Waterdog.

Bedford components are kit-shipped to the site for quick, easy assembly. As John Harriman, President of Waterdog Products, notes, “Bedford designs a knock-down unit for us, so when we come on site, everything’s cut to size and holes are drilled. The final assembly always seems to come out right where it’s supposed to be.”

Since the initial facility improvements and recent expansion, the response has been extremely positive. Visitation has picked up, and the professional look of Bedford FRP enhances the museum’s many behind-the-scenes tours.