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Grade II Listed Training Centre GRP Building Shows Longevity of Crystic Gelcoat Performance

  • Tuesday, 16th October 2012
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

A training centre acquired by Olivetti Corporation in the late 1960’s in Haslemere, Surrey, and refurbished using fibreglass panels manufactured from Scott Bader’s Crystic resin and gelcoat is showing, 43 years on, that the Lloyds approved marine grade Crystic 65PA gelcoat, also suitable for exterior building applications, is still in very good shape and has proved its long term outdoor performance capabilities.

Olivetti commissioned James Stirling, the internationally celebrated architect of his time, to create a modern building with a unique design for their new UK training centre. Stirling’s designs were often radical, incorporating vivid colours and using new types of building materials. This included the use of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) exterior panels as they enabled Stirling to design interesting new shapes for the façade of a building; this holds true for architects today. Sir James Stirling (1926-1992) is now regarded as one of the most significant British architects of the 20th century.

The new Olivetti training centre was completed in 1969 and in 1977 the building was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage. The GRP polyester panels, which form the outer structure of the building, were fabricated at the time by hand lay-up using Scott Bader’s Crystic unsaturated polyester resin and 65PA brush applied gelcoat. When the new training wing was built, the roof panels installed were gelcoated in beige and cream colours. However, the researchers who put together the 2011 Tate Britain architecture exhibition featuring Sir James Stirling and his work, discovered drawings that showed he originally intended the GRP panels to be lime green and violet.

Scott Bader explains that Crystic products were chosen at that time as the market leading GRP technology in the UK, which is still the case today.

In further news, Scott Bader Europe is increasing the price for its Crystic range of unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester, DCPD, plus all other manufactured composite products by 110€/te. This latest price increase will be implemented from 29th October 2012, subject to existing customer contracts.

“This second price increase has been forced upon us, since the price increase implemented back in in September of 75€/te has proved insufficient to cover the recent significant escalation in raw material costs, which manufacturers cannot absorb. Scott Bader will endeavour to minimise the impact of this further price rise where practicable, but it is inevitable that all customers will have their prices revised upwards,” commented Bob Garner, European Sales Manager for Scott Bader Composites Europe.

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