March 22, 2007 Creating a structure as spectacular as the new U-shaped Grand Canyon Skywalk observation platform requires reliable engineering - visitors will be standing on all-glass flooring suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The architect's vision is that visitors will have the sensation of floating freely without the intrusion of visible supports and can enjoy a panoramic view. The graphic shows the height of the Grand Canyon Skywalk compared with the world’s tallest buildings. The Skywalk opens March 28 when visitors will be able to scare themselves silly looking between their feet, through two inches of ultra-clear DuPont SentryGlas Plus structural interlayers and onwards to the depths below them. The DuPont material provide strength and stiffness plus optical clarity for the all- glass flooring that enables visitors to have an unprecedented viewing experience while standing safely on the observation platform. Analysis done by DuPont; the glass supplier, Saint-Gobain; and structural engineering consultants show that the laminated glass floor can hold the weight of up to 120 people and maintain a top safety rating even in the face of 100 miles per hour winds.
"DuPont has a long tradition of protecting people, properties and operations around the world by putting its science to work," said Craig Binetti, vice president and general manager -- DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. "SentryGlas safety glass is a high-performance material with structural properties designed to withstand high winds and weight loads and to meet high security standards for blast mitigation. These properties allow SentryGlas to be used in places where glass could never be used before. "
The two-inch thick glass decking, approximately 10 feet wide and 70 feet deep, is made of a multilayer glass construction including three SentryGlas Plus structural interlayers and four layers of Saint-Gobain Diamant glass.
DuPont SentryGlas has been chosen for a number of innovative and award-winning installations worldwide such as for: ultra-clear viewing panels for the Top of the Rock observation deck at New York City's Rockefeller Center; wind and bomb resistant windows for the Miami, Florida U.S. Federal Courthouse; glass staircase steps and balustrades in a number of Apple Stores worldwide, and; the uniquely designed Shanghai Oriental Arts Center in China, among many others.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.