# Clear Pool Wall Design

I am tinkering with an idea in my new house design - that the living area be sunk about 1200mm, and one wall is clear polycarbonate, forming one wall (the top part anyway) of the pool outside. So it's a kind of aquarium effect, looking into the pool from the house. Any thoughts on the practicality of this, and what thickness of poly I'd need? Does the width of the pool increase the pressure? How about the length, which exttends beyond the poly wall? I'm guessing so - but what's the limit? I mean, for the sake of the engineering exercise, how thick a wall is need to hold back an ocean for a depth of 1200mm and a length of say 5m?
TIA.
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Interesting idea...
There are several immersive aquariums around the jewnited states so it should be easy to use the web to find them, contact their management, and ask to be directed to the architects who designed their "walk-through aquarium" and poof! you get all the answers you need not very much different than using the web to find people and facts that prove...
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wrote:

OK, so 1.2 meters tall. How wide? (strength of the plastic would be a factor affected by width...)

Practical? Depends on how much money you have... There are all kinds of issues, including insurance (what if it does break?) and the likes.

Commercial jobs I've see have been as much as many inches of polycarbonate. I've a piece of 3/4 inch polycarbonate sitting in my shop, I'd perhaps trust it for about half the depth you suggest. I'd guess (GUESS!!!!) maybe an inch and a half would be safe.

No, but it increases based on the width of the plastic panel. The PSI load won't change based on the size of the body of water, only the depth.

No.
Same as to hold back any other body of water of a given depth... Water, per foot of depth exerts about .443 PSI. So if your plastic wall is about 5 ft tall, the pressure at the bottom (assuming the water's top level is even with the top of the plastic), would be about 2.2 PSI. A plastic wall, 5 ft tall, and 10 ft wide, has a surface area of 7,200 sq inches. Time the PSI at the bottom (worse case engineering used here) brings the total pressure on the wall to 15,840 lb. You are talking mounting the plastic in a well reinforced concrete wall, right? The mounting will have to be carefully engineered so the water pressure pushes the plastic into the wall, not out (the plastic woudl be on the water side of the wall).

It is a cute idea... An interesting tropical home (never practical in a non-tropical environment, IMHO.) Consider also that you'd be best off if you laminate glass to the plastic to protect it. Polycarbonate is very soft and will scratch easily. Without somethign to protect it, it will look like do-do in a few years.
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