Steam Canoe

The impressive Steam Canoe installation on the Toronto waterfront is a beautiful tribute to the innovation and ingenuity of today’s engineering industry. From a distance, the canoe appears as an elegant bow, tipping out of the sand. Upon closer inspection, you can appreciate the detailed curved wood pieces that make up this unique structure.

The Steam Canoe was designed and built by the OCAD University Faculty of Environmental Design as a wood-formed structure for Winter Station Design Competition, serving as a waterfront-warming hut.

The project relied on GRIP Metal’s one-of-a-kind, proprietary mechanical bonding solution, in which an array of mini-hooks is uniformly applied to a sheet metal surface to enable it to adhere to a variety of materials – including wood, concrete, and polymers – without using traditional adhesives.

Streamlined Construction Process

OCAD and GRIP Metal design and development teams worked hand in hand to create a flexible, formable wood-clad laminate structure using GRIP Metal bonding layers.

The team constructed the skin of the canoe in five layers: two outer layers of plywood strip and two inner ones of GRIP Metal sheets with hook arrays on both sides, surrounding a core of planking. The materials were roll formed together in a single pass, creating the distinctive bow in the panels.

By streamlining and improving the process of manufacturing formed or curved wood panels, GRIP Metal saved considerable time and effort on the project, removing the need for blocking, heating, and jigging shaped wooden forms, as well as saving setting time.

Award-Winning Design

The prefabrication process allowed the team to transport the Steam Canoe components easily and assemble the final structure on the beach. The project was a huge hit with spectators, its flowing, and lightweight design demonstrating the strength, durability, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness of the GRIP Metal solution.

The special laminate construction created a material that is stronger than normal wooden laminates. It also a “green” solution – it eliminated all glues and adhesives, and was completely recyclable.

The Steam Canoe active warming station was recognized for its design innovation and how it pushed the limits of wood design in structures by winning the Ontario Wood Work Award and the Materialica Design & Technology Award, a Munich-based trade event showcasing lightweight design and materials.

The Next Generation of Composite Materials

The project demonstrated yet again that GRIP Metal’s greatest assets are its strength, lightness, and durability. It provides the strongest mechanical bond with the lightest and most easily available core materials. Eliminating the use of traditional adhesives saves time and money as well, which enables engineers and manufacturers to enjoy half the work with twice the results.

More and more, companies are turning to GRIP to develop the next generation of composite materials for their industries. GRIP Metal is rapidly turning into the technology of choice for structural strength, environmentally friendly manufacturing, reducing the weight of materials, and thin-gauge material profiles. Its ease of process and realistically scalable properties make it ideal for a variety of both large and small construction projects.

To find out how GRIP Metal can solve your composite material and application challenges, contact our team of engineering and design professionals today.