FRP Structure Helps with Zoological Exhibit

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a 183 acre facility located in northeast Ohio. More than 3,000 animals are housed in the zoo, and it is sectioned into various departments to symbolize a trek of wildlife around the world.

The zoo looks after one of the biggest primate selections in North America, including the Western Lowland Gorilla. Recently, the zoo reported that it would be expanding its collection with new gorillas being introduced. In a search for renovation to create extra space, the zoo contacted Advantic, LLC, about best practice alterations to its current set up.

The creation of an interconnected chute was needed by the zoo to create extra room for movement of these territorial animals, and to facilitate easier viewing of them. The zoo has over one million visitors each year. As such, creating a minimal amount of interruption for both the primates and the animals located near to them was very important to the client.

Use of Fiber Reinforced Polymers in Elevated Tunnel Design

Recommended by Advantic, LLC, an elevated tunnel design was furnished with FRP (fiber reinforced polymers) which allowed the primates to have a 360 degree view of their surroundings. The raised tunnel was composed of EXTREN® wide flange beams, angles, plat, I-beams, and channels.

The tunnel’s floors were made from 1.5 DURAGRID® HD-7000 which can comfortably bear the 450 lb weight of an average male Western Lowland Gorilla.

Advantages of Using FRP

The value engineered FRP design was firstly constructed from stainless steel, but the former version adhered to all the structural necessities and also minimized the requirement for expensive and restrictive rigging, lifts, and cranes needed to transport and station heavy steel elements.

The only entrance available was a single personnel door; thus all of the FRP beams were carried by hand into the exhibit through this entry point. It took four craft workers to set up the FRP design over seven days, half of the time it would take for a steel equivalent.

The speed of the installation meant that disruptions were reduced, along with intense noises, welding risks, and any invasive movement to the public, zookeepers and gorillas.

Technical Data

Product Elevated Gorilla Exhibit Chute
Process Pultrusion
Materials & Sizes EXTREN® Structural Shapes:
  • 8" x 1/2" wide flange beam
  • 10" x 1/2" I-beam
  • 3", 4", 6" angle
  • 1/4", 1" plate
  • 10" x 1/2" channel
DURAGRID® HD-7000 1.5" grating
For Advantic, LLC
User Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell Corporation.


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