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Investigators report on probable cause for giant Chinese shark tank failure

By Leonard Ho - Posted Dec 27, 2012 09:00 AM
How does a 21 x 3 meter (70 x 10 feet) suddenly explode? Investigators conclude that a combination of UV radiation and thermal stress made the 10-inch-thick acrylic glass panel brittle, ultimately resulting in its violent, explosive demise.
Investigators report on probable cause for giant Chinese shark tank failure

The Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall aquarium, 2010.

Last week, we reported on the catastrophic failure of a 33.5 ton aquarium installed in a popular Shanghai shopping mall; The main 21 x 3 meter viewing panel was installed facing the outdoor walkway of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.  The aquarium contained sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life.

On December 18, 2012, the acrylic glass panel unexpectedly blew out, injuring 16 people and killing all the livestock.  Chinese investigators now believe the acrylic glass was compromised after two years of exposure to sunlight/UV and seasonal temperature changes, including very cold weather.

I have to say: It's absolutely mind-boggling that no one considered thermal and UV exposure when planning and constructing this massive aquarium.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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