Cliff Hollestelle Crane Sculpture
Lincoln, NE United States | 2013
Florida is home to eight of the top twenty amusement parks in North America. Millions of visitors travel through the parks' streets each year. Branding and correlation to entertainment in our daily lives are vital in the theme park industry. An effort to connect with these visitors, entertain them, and bring them back is what theming is all about. Great effort is put into the decorations, surroundings, and ambiance inside the theme parks. One such decoration is the topiary. We have all seen the plants shaped in the form of our favorite characters. Thousands of visitors stop and have their photograph taken next to these.
The corrosion protection offered by hot-dip galvanizing keeps the structural steel framework of these displays in sound condition...
S&B Metal Products is a company that many of the theme parks look to for design and fabrication of their topiaries. When Busch Gardens in Tampa planned to open their newest ride in 2014, "Falcon's Fury," they requested a topiary design for a falcon to be installed in front of the ride. S&B Metal came up with a design only to find out it was too large to be galvanized. The design was changed to create smaller, interlocking pieces that could galvanized. Busch Gardens was thrilled with the results and many photos have been taken of this beautiful piece.
While made of structural steel, the topiary framework can be somewhat fragile. The pieces are a form of artwork and take many hours of design and fabrication to create. Care must be taken in all areas of handling, during shipping (to and from the galvanizer), rigging, galvanizing, and dressing. From the heavy equipment used in the galvanizing facility to the heat of the galvanizing process, there is potential for distortion or damage. Frequently the requested topiary is too large to fit in the galvanizing kettle. S & B Metal Products works with the galvanizer to design the topiary in parts that will be suitable to fit and be able to be processed smoothly. Also, these pieces must be designed to facilitate galvanizing while meeting the needs and requirements of the park. These topiaries are highly visible to the public. Placed in various areas throughout the theme parks, they are used to create an ambiance for a particular section of the park, advertise the entrance to a ride or establishment. They are created specifically to be seen.
Hot-dip galvanizing was chosen to protect these steel structures because of the customer's prior experience in seeing how well it protects and prevents corrosion. Since maintenance cannot be performed without destroying the artwork of the plant, a critical factor is that the steel framework not rust. Topiaries are difficult to create and take a significant amount of time to grow, shape, and have ready for display. Once displayed, they may be settled in their spot of the park for several years. The corrosion protection offered by hot-dip galvanizing keeps the structural steel framework of these displays in sound condition under the onslaught of consistent watering and the harsh, tropical Central Florida environment. A bare steel frame or painted finish cannot withstand and would corrode in a relatively short amount of time. Hot-dip galvanizing prevents the corrosion that would destroy the shapes and forms of these beautiful, fun pieces that everyone enjoys.
Tampa, FL United States
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Prior HDG Experience, Sustainability
Steel framework, and bases.
S & B Metal Products
Valmont Coatings - Tampa Galvanizing
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