Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Uses Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) to Renovate the Gorilla Exhibit | Composites Manufacturing Magazine

2022-05-19 09:44:39 By : Mr. Richard Lou

The new, elevated tunnel design provides the gorillas with a 360-degree view of their habitat and efficiently supports the 450-lb weight of a typical male Western Lowland Gorilla.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo houses one of the largest primate collections in North America, including the Western Lowland Gorilla, and the collection recently grew with the addition of two new gorillas.  The Zoo contracted with Advantic, LLC to renovate the Gorilla Exhibit for additional space and modifications to its existing structure, specifically requesting an interconnected chute be built to provide extra space for movement and observation for the gorillas. The zoo also wanted to minimize disruption to both the primates and the neighboring habitats.

Advantic, LLC, recommended an elevated tunnel design outfitted with FRP, providing the gorillas with a full, 360-degree view of their habitat. The elevated tunnel was constructed with Strongwell EXTREN® wide flange beams, angles, plate, I-beams, and channels. Strongwell 1.5″ DURAGRID® HD-7000 was used as the chute’s flooring, providing the strength needed to support the weight of the primates.

The tunnel was Initially designed out of stainless steel, but Advantic’s FRP design met all structural requirements and reduced the need for costly and restrictive rigging, lifts, and cranes required to move and install heavy steel components. The FRP beams were hand carried into the exhibit through a single door.  Four workers installed the FRP structure in just seven days, 50% faster than the time estimated if steel was used, reducing interruptions, loud noises, welding hazards and intrusive movement to the gorillas, zookeepers, and the public.