POLYCOR® Shimmer® gel coat proves to be the ideal surface for inground swimming pools.

CCP Composites releases a case study done in conjunction with Thursday Pools® on the POLYCOR® Shimmer® gel coat. Case study reveals it is the ideal swimming pool surface. 

Daydreaming of that quick dip in the pool? Making that dream into a reality has now been made even easier by the folks at Thursday Pools®! Combining 26 years of experience in fiberglass pools and spa design with manufacturing across multiple industries, Thursday Pools® edge innovations to the pool world. Thursday Pools® builds some of the highest quality fiberglass pools in the industry, all starting with the finest grade of gel coat available for pool producers: CCP’s Shimmer® gel coats. With a coatings history that dates back to 1913 (then known as Cook Paint and Varnish) and later as the first gel coat producer in the late 1950’s, CCP Composites has produced market inspired gel coats for some of the most demanding applications and industries, including:

  • Marine boat hulls and decks where constant impact, toughness, UV, blister and water protection are demanded
  • Gel coats for tub shower units, where moisture resistance, impact, and cleaning chemicals are used
  • Fatigue and moisture resistance for wind energy blades
  • Truck hoods, air deflectors and sidewall panels where moisture, impact, fatigue, UV and heat all come into play

CCP Composites aggressively researches market needs and expectations, offering only the finest materials that will stand up to demanding industry needs. With pools in particular, only certain colors like white and light blue gel coats were suggested to s, mainly due to the nature of the chemicals needed to keep pool water healthy. These included adding acids or caustic materials to adjust pool pH, certain metallic salts chlorinated chemicals to control bacterial of the gel coat surface, either through mineral deposits or bleaching of the surface through chlorine attack.

Fabrication of a Thursday Pool starts with Shimmer®
Fabrication of a Thursday Pool starts with Shimmer®

Surprisingly, ambient temperature,chemically‐treated pool water is more aggressive chemically than salt water from the ocean. The lack of color options is often cited as one of the main reasons for choosing cement/tiled finished in‐ground pools over the superior performance of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) pools.

Vinyl lined pools were also more popular because beyond the  increased color range, vinyl pools offer a smooth floor (unlike the bottom of cement pools, which have a tendency to cut up customer‘s feet as they walked or played in the pool). All that changed in 2002, when one of the first pools was fabricated with a break‐through, deep colored gel coat specifically formulated by CCP’s sister company, CCP Composites Australia (FKA Cray Valley) for the rapidly growing pool industry in Australia. This product was heavily researched for blister, water uptake, color fade (bleaching) and for UV resistance. This new, ISO/NPG high performance gel coat proved to be far superior in all respects when compared to conventional pool gel coat products available at the time. Within 3‐4 years of product launch, the CCP Composites gel coat, known as POLYCOR® Shimmer®, became the dominant pool gel coat used in Australia. CCP Composites US brought this gel coat technology to the North American market, where it is now rapidly becoming the pool industry’s “go to” gel coat. Several years ago, Thursday Pools® found the benefits of Shimmer® for their pools, just as the Australian pool manufacturers did in 2002.

Bill Khamis, CFO of Thursday Pools, has seen immediate benefits of the Shimmer® products, such as “reduced air pressure for reduced styrene emissions,” along with “better transfer efficiencies that have resulted in a 30% savings in gel coat materials consumed.” “25% labor savings” have also been utilized in that it “takes less time to spray a mold, cleans up faster and spray gun set up is significantly faster.” Improved lay down of the gel coat has also been noted in a “better and more uniform surface quality that customers have noticed.” Bill is a very strong advocate for the Shimmer® product, sharing that customers not only love the color range, but also the depth of color, made even greater by the glittering particles included in the Shimmer® products.

In addition to color range and the advantages of fiberglass pools over concrete, Thursday Pools require 70% less chemicals usage, have cleaner surfaces and reduced maintenance that are significantly less abrasive to the skin and feet, and are far less prone to cracking. The only advantage to vinyl linings is the lower initial installed cost; however, ongoing maintenance costs increase every time the liner tears as it must be repaired or replaced. As you can see, FRP pools are clearly the way to go. With over 5 million in ground pools installed in the US (and over 53,000 installed in 2012 alone) and 5 of the top 10 pool states (Source: APSP 2013) within driving distance of their central Indiana location, Thursday Pools is well located, well suited and well-organized to capitalize on the growth potential of the Midwest FRP pool market.

Ed Vondell, COO of Thursday Pools®, noted the valued technical and product support that CCP Composites has provided with Bill Bannow, Technical Services Engineer and Jason Baranowski, Account Manager. Both have spent long hours in specialized support staff training in the use of the Shimmer® products, and more recently, introducing the CCP Composites rapid mold manufacturing technology that utilizes the OptiPLUS® mold making materials for a brand new Thursday Pools® design launching in 2014. The outlook for Thursday Pools® and Shimmer® gel coat looks quite promising in 2014 and beyond.