Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 4

4 * Plastics News, October 17, 2023
FAKUMA SHOW DAILY
When the massive
AquaDom aquarium in
Berlin burst in late 2022,
killing 1,500 fi sh inside
it and causing extensive
damage to a surrounding
building, offi cials called in
plastics experts to try to
explain what happened.
Reynolds Polymer Technology photo
IKT PLASTICS
TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
Hall A5, Booth 5104
FRAUNHOFER IAP
INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED
POLYMER RESEARCH
Hall A6, Booth 6412
IKT investigates cause
of AquaDom's failure
By David Vink
Plastics News Correspondent
W
hen the massive
AquaDom aquarium
in Berlin burst in late
2022, killing 1,500 fi sh
inside it and causing extensive
damage to a surrounding building,
offi cials called in plastics experts
to try to explain what happened.
The 28 million euro AquaDom
structure was supplied by Grand
Junction, Colo.-based Reynolds
Polymer Technology Inc., which
claims to be the only
company in the world
that designs, engineers,
casts, thermoforms,
fabricates and installs
cast acrylic panels for
aquariums.
The aquarium was installed
by partner company
International Concept
Management Inc.
in December 2003 at the
Radisson SAS hotel in
Berlin.
This 15.85-meter-tall,
11.08-meter-diameter
cylindrical aquarium
used 41 PMMA panels
and 16 on-site bonds.
It was in the Guinness
Book of World Records
as the largest cylindrical
aquarium in the world.
According to the building's owner,
Hamburg, Germany-based Union
Investment Real Estate GmbH, the
outer PMMA cylinder wall thickness
was 22 centimeters at the bottom
and 18 centimeters at the top.
The AquaDom made international
news when it ruptured at
5:45 a.m. on Dec. 16, 2022. One
In order to establish insurance claims, Union Investment
commissioned an investigation in January by Christian
Bonten, the head of the Stuttgart, Germany-based IKT
plastics technology institute.
million liters
of salt
water destroyed the hotel lobby,
breakfast area, reception and elevators.
RTL TV station speculated
that the cause could have been
the temperature difference between
nighttime atrium air at -9°
C and the water at 26° C.
In order to establish insurance
claims, Union Investment commissioned
an investigation in
January 2023 by Christian Bonten,
the head of the Stuttgart,
Germany-based IKT plastics technology
institute. Bonten came to
IKT in 2010 from bioplastics compounder
FkuR in his hometown of
Krefeld, having previously been
responsible for polystyrene business
and the Designfabrik at BASF
in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Bonten said in an Oct. 11 report
that outer cylinder damage
IKT plastics technology institute photos
by sabotage, incorrect cleaning
agents, seismic vibration or cold
atrium winter air were unlikely.
The cast PMMA didn't show any
weakness. Union Investment stated:
" Forensic investigation provides
clues to causes of damage,
but no conclusive evidence. "
Possible causes identifi ed by
Bonten included an effect of an
adhesive bond drying or base area
notches during a 2019 renovation.
" No clear evidence for possible
causes can be derived from existing
documentation and much
elaborate forensic examination, "
he said.
Bonten's team couldn't determine
where the fi rst fracture or
crack occurred in the 26 outer
panels, or whether a seam opened
or if a slow crack growth started
from stress by notch at the base,
" even though calculations showed
it is theoretically conceivable. "
PMMA sheet drying out during
refurbishment could have interacted
with one of the other two
possible causes. It is not possible
to trace which of the three possible
causes were factors in the collapse,
Bonten stated.
The investigation started with
cartographic
on-site
recording
and debris alignment of around
700 fragments and shards, prior
to salvage and transport of almost
90 tonnes of material to a
warehouse in Bad Belzig, Germany.
Some large pieces had to be
cut up on-site before shipping.
Further
investigation
included
tensile tests and examination
under an IKT microscope. IKT
subcommissioned Potsdam, Germany-based
Fraunhofer IAP institute
for applied polymer research
with PMMA segment and adhesive
seam molecular chain length
chemical analysis
Union Investment Marketing
and Communication Manager Fabian
Hellbusch said " the acrylic
fragments will remain stored until
further notice. The material is
basically recyclable. So, as soon
as it no longer needs to be held
for legal reasons, we will put it to
a new use. "

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 1
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 2
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 3
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 4
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 5
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 6
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 7
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 8
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 9
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 10
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 11
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 12
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 13
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 14
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 15
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 16
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 18
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 19
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 20
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 21
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 22
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 23
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 17, 2023 - 24
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