Autumn of 2013 the collaboration between Easy Form, Stadt Towing Tank, Rolls Royce and Nils Petter Vedvik v / NTNU started up. This resulted in a renewed design and engineering, to further optimize solutions for Aqua Dome ® and its operations.
The structural design of the AquaDome is based on three simple principles and requirements:
• The structure shall be cost efficient with respect of materials, assembly and transportation
• Functional requirements for regular operation and service shall be maintained during normal conditions at the site, and
• the structure shall have sufficient residual strength to prevent escape of fish if subjected to extreme weather conditions and likely accidental loads.
Common design for equivalent concepts and structures tends to take one of two extreme design principles: the fully rigid design for all weather conditions, or the fully flexible design, where the latter is basically a modified closed solution of the standard net concept.
The functional requirements and features for the AquaDome, including the innovative solutions for cleaning, maintenance and water circulation prevents the adaption of a general flexible design, while a fully rigid design was found to fail meeting the demands for high cost efficiency. Therefore, we have developed the philosophy:
"Just sufficient, yet safe for all that matters".
The double curved shell found in the AquaDome provides a sufficient stiffness in normal conditions such that the geometrical shape required for water circulation and cleaning is continuously maintained.
The design for safety at extreme conditions has primarily focused on how to prevent the possibility of fish from escaping after server structural deformation and possible damage. We identified multi-axial continuous glass fiber laminates as being the most applicable candidate: Such laminates can be subjected to extremely high strains prior to critical damage and ultimate failure, the density is relatively low and the material is well adapted to the sea water environment without any need for corrosion protection and regular maintenance of the coating. In order to maximize the stiffness and minimize the thickness of the shell we have chosen a well-controlled and repeatable vacuum infusion process for manufacturing of any critical parts.
The dome is made up of 18 panels which can be replaced if subjected to accidental loads and subsequent damage.