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Marion Island Research Base Analysis
Typical panel sections - Integrally manufactured with foam and ribbing Roof panel prepared for resin infusion
Base during construction Base during construction
Completed base Completed base

MMS Technology, with years of experience in materials and structures, was approached for the design, analysis and manufacture of structural panels for the new scientific base on Marion Island in the Indian Ocean. In order to withstand the environmental as well as structural loading on the panels, finite element models of the panels were generated, and various materials were investigated for suitability from a structural, manufacturability and cost point of view.

Manufacturing Detail:                                                                                                                                                                         

MMS Technology manufactured all the structural wall and floor panels of the Marion Island Research Base. Materials utilized were phenolic and polyester resins, E-glass stitched weave fabric and PIC foam cores. Processing was by means of vacuum infusion.

A total of 1760 GRP panels were required for the project. Total panel area manufactured: 11 825m2 Typical panel size: 7m x 2.6m x 120mm.

The panels comprised out of:

  • 710 Polyester/glass wall and gable panels.
  • 640 Polyester/glass ducting panels.
  • 410 Phenolic floor panels.

The materials processes for the panels were:
  • 50ton Polyester resin.
  • 55ton Phenolic resin.
  • 6ton Gel-coat.
  • 45ton PIC Foam.
  • 150ton stitched weave glass fibre.
  • More than 60m3 of wood for crating.

Apart from the GRP panels the following were also supplied:
  • All glazing.
  • All PVC window frames
  • External doors, both steel and glazed.
  • Several other construction components such as fasteners and adhesives.

Composite moulds were designed and manufactured from special polyester tooling resins for all the different shapes and sizes.
  • A total of 670 different panel shapes and sizes were required.
  • Heated moulds were used for all phenolic/glass panels.
  • Room temperature moulds were used for all polyester/glass panels.

The contract period was 12 months. An additional workforce of 130 were contracted and trained. 


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