Branding with Fiberglass
In 2008, Composites World magazine reported on a move by Canadian energy company Husky to use fiberglass cladding to replace the ribbed tin architectural cladding that bore their branding on their Husky Travel Centers. The decision was catalyzed by a pitch from composites fabricator Formashape (Kelowna, British Columbia), made by their engineering manager Henry Czenczek. “His demonstration of the way fiberglass composites could dramatically improve the look, weatherability and vandal-resistance of the ribbed tin architectural cladding on Husky’s Travel Centre retail outlets was enough to persuade Husky execs to overhaul the entire network.”
The new cladding was engineered using finite element analysis. Once design was approved, male plugs were CNC-milled from foam to create two-part fiberglass molds, which is turn were used to cast the finished fiberglass parts.
In addition to the enhanced look and greater durability of the fiberglass cladding, it was also considerably easier (and therefore less expensive) to install, a one step process where the tin cladding had required four.
Formashape has, in fact, made this kind of signage and branded cladding for a number of Canadian retailers such as Scotia Bank and Canadian Tire, and quite a few companies in the energy sector such as Irving Oil, Ultramar and FasGas. For Petro Canada, they produced 900 custom-made gas station makeovers, starting back in the mid-1990’s. The bright look and great longevity of the FRP cladding has, doubtless, played an important part in their continued success and expansion in this business.
(All images via Formashape.com unless otherwise noted.)