Replacing Legacy Materials of Aquatic Play Structures with Flexible, Durable and Low-Footprint Alternatives
The advancement in flexible high-performance plastics has stimulated worldwide research and development to expand the use of these materials in versatile products. In particular, their flexibility offers more comfort and ease of handling and installation, as compared to alternative hard materials. On the other hand, rising global concerns over plastic pollution, along with known chemical and additive migration from polymers, require a more holistic approach to material selection tasks towards next-generation plastic products in a way that environmental impact and end of life management factors are also taken into account. In collaboration with the Waterplay Solutions Corp., a BC-based leading manufacturer of aquatic play structures used in amusement and water parks, this project aims to systemically select and evaluate new flexible high-performance plastic material options that can replace the fibreglass composite material currently used in the aquatic play structures. The desired material solution must meet (or exceed) all in-situ functional requirements of current product (e.g. load capacity), environmental durability (UV, oxygen, water/chlorine exposure), bio-safety (ensuring limited growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi).