The ceremonious June 2021 opening of the new Aquarium Mar de Cortés in Mazatlán, México adds yet another attraction to the popular tourist destination. PENETRON ADMIX was used in all of the aquarium’s viewing tanks and pools to guarantee impermeable and durable concrete structures.
Situated on México's western coast across from the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Mazatlán lies at the confluence of the Sea of Cortés and the Pacific Ocean. With a population of almost 500,000, it is a popular tourist destination, with attractive beaches and numerous sights – both on land and on the water.
Mazatlán’s newest attraction is the Aquarium Mar de Cortés. With a main tank displacing 5 million liters (1.32 million gallons) and numerous smaller tanks and open pools, it is set to be the largest aquarium in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. The US$ 65 million project was designed by the architect, Tatiana Bilbao and Alejandro Nasta, designer of the Acuario Inbursa in México City, previously the largest aquarium in México.
Concrete Exposed to Fresh & Saltwater
The new aquarium is built on an elevated base with thick concrete walls that house all the marine life tanks and outdoor pools. With both saltwater and freshwater tanks, the Aquarium Mar de Cortés will exhibit both local marine flora and fauna as well as marine ecosystems beyond México.
“The main challenge of the Aquarium Mar de Cortés project was not only the sheer volume of concrete needed for the tanks, but also the tight construction schedule. There was no room for delays or mistakes,” adds Alejandro Muciño, Managing Director of Penetron México.
The total volume of concrete required to construct the aquarium was about 28,000 m3 (33,500 cubic yards). CEMEX Concretos, a Penetron partner, supplied two special types of concrete for the project’s tanks and pools:
PENETRON ADMIX was added to the DURAMAX concrete mix to provide self-healing, low permeability properties to the mix
APARENTIA is an architectural concrete that eliminates the need for any coatings to greatly reduce future maintenance; was also treated with PENETRON ADMIX for enhanced durability and waterproofing properties
Protected Even Under Hydrostatic Pressure
Once mixed into the concrete, PENETRON ADMIX generates an insoluble crystalline formation that fills the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete, providing permanent protection against the penetration of water or liquids from any direction – even under the high hydrostatic pressure encountered in the tanks of the Aquarium Mar de Cortés. By significantly reducing chloride penetration of the concrete, PENETRON ADMIX also provides robust protection against the corrosion of reinforcement steel used in the aquarium tanks.
“PENETRON ADMIX has been successfully used in well-known aquarium projects around the world, which reassured Meprosa, the project’s general contractor,” says Alejandro Muciño. “In addition, the ease of use and reliability of the PENETRON ADMIX solution helped keep construction of the tanks on schedule.”