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On 24th September 2008, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai was opened; a large-scale aquatically-themed development whose vast water requirements needed 167 mega-filters in order to keep its supply at optimum cleanliness.
The resort hosts 1539 rooms, a 42 acre water park, an interactive dolphin exhibit, as well as housing 65,000 marine animals, which is why a specialist collaboration was needed to develop these large-scale filters, bringing together filter designers Neptune-Benson and manufacturing experts, Appalachian Plastics (API).
In order to achieve high strength and outstanding chemical resistance, API turned to resin technology from AOC. The large fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite housings for the filter systems are produced with Vipel F010 bisphenol A epoxy-based vinyl ester.
Appalachian Plastics manufactured the horizontal, cylindrical components for the filters by winding resin-impregnated glass fibre reinforcement on a rotating mandrel. The fibre reinforcement was a combination of continuous roving for hoop strength and stitched fabric for axial strength.
The end caps for each filter were open moulded of chopped strand mat and woven roving. The interior surfaces of all composite components used C-veil to create a resin-intensive corrosion barrier that protects the reinforcing fibres and provides a seal against internal pressure.
The horizontal composite filters for Dubai are 5 feet in diameter by 12 feet long (1.5 by 3.7 meters). Each filter has an internal manifold made of polyvinyl chloride. Water is pumped into the filters and conveyed under pressure through a bed of sand filtering media which trap dirt and particles. The filters are designed to withstand pressures up to 100 psi (6.9 bar).
“To meet requirements for corrosion resistance, the filters could be made with an isophthalic polyester resin,” said Allen DeBusk, API General Manager. “But isopolyesters are brittle and develop surface cracks under the cyclic action of the filtering process. This does not affect structural performance but encourages unwanted algae to grow,” added DeBusk.
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