Rigidized® Metals Corporation Provides Durable Custom Metal Panels for Cave of the Winds Niagara Falls, NY 

Architect: Watts Architecture & Engineering
Contractor: Rodems Construction
System Manufacturer: Watts Architecture & Engineering and Rigidized® Metals Custom Systems

Cave of the Winds, an attraction located in Niagara Falls, New York, attracts thousands of guests each year, making it a very popular, high-traffic attraction. Located underground, this structure faces high levels of moisture and humidity. The goal for this project was to develop and fabricate a curved, textured copper panel that was capable of withstanding a high moisture environment, was lightweight for installation, and durable, with a texture that would provide depth.

The Challenges
Aside from selecting material and developing a customized curved panel construction that could withstand high levels of moisture, while providing durability with an aesthetic appeal to fit within the architects' design environment, the installation took place in very tight confines located 180 feet underground. This restricted space, mobility and ease of access during the installation of this project.

The Solution
Revere Copper's Continental Bronze finish, selected for its duller copper surface finish, will naturally patina and, being nonferrous, will withstand high levels of humidity and moisture. Rigidized® Metals 6WL® pattern was added to provide durability and aesthetic appeal with its depth, added rigidity and stability, as well as the ability to diffuse light. Panels were constructed of the textured copper face pan, stainless steel backer for strength and corrosion resistance, and a poly-honeycomb core for its ability to withstand constant high-moisture environments and eliminate any risk of galvanic corrosion (as opposed to an aluminum honeycomb core). For installation, the panels were attached, on site, to adjustable brass brackets that were affixed to the cave walls.

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