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GMA’s quality performance in monumental skywalk

Overlooking the incredible vista of the Murchison River Gorge, twin skywalks built 100 metres apart have become a must-see tourist attraction for visitors to the MidWest region of Western Australia.

Perched more than 100 metres above the Murchison River, the larger of the two skywalks extends an impressive 25 metres over the edge of the gorge. And while the drop may not be as dramatic as what you can experience from the Grand Canyon skywalk, the incredible structure lends to making one feel like they are “walking out over nothing.”

The engineering behind the Kalbarri Skywalk is as impressive as the attraction itself. So, when Geraldton based company, and GMA customer, Reno Blast was contracted to be a part of the construction phase of the red ochretoned structures, it meant three types of high-performance abrasives would be used throughout the project.

GMA NewSteel™, GMA SpeedBlast™ and GMA PremiumBlast™ were used at different stages across this construction, with Reno Blast providing all the blasting for the structural steel and accompanying steel packages for both skywalks, as well as the tourist facilities built alongside the skywalks.

Using GMA’s garnet abrasives, Reno Blast also completed the decorative blast stencil work in the concrete which is prominent all the way up the entrance and path.

The stencil work is full of thousands of individual dots that represent a Dreamtime Snake zigzagging along the path – homage to the Inyaka Wookai Watju site in the Yamaji region of Western Australia, and where the skywalk was constructed.

Incredible vista: the Kalbarri skywalk is a must-see tourist attraction in Western Australia
Incredible vista: the Kalbarri skywalk is a must-see tourist attraction in Western Australia

Thirty tonnes of GMA Garnet™ were used in the project, with Reno Blast deeming all three abrasives highly effective across all the surface preparation work.

“No other product would have been able to provide the quality and flexibility that we needed to complete this project,” a spokesperson for Reno Blast said.

An interesting fact? Reno Blast revealed that all the steel used on the structures has a rustic look - the result of a special steel named Core10, designed to give that appearance.

According to Reno Blast, the steel first must be blasted to a Sa 3.0 Abrasive Blast with a 50–75-micron anchor profile. It is then blanched evenly with water to start the rusting process, ensuring the steel looks uniform across all the structures.

The steel is formed to only corrode at 20% rate of normal steel, so the end result is a decorative look, with a very long lifespan.

Garnet used in this project was mined from GMA's Port Gregory site, just under an hour drive from the skywalk, keeping the connection of this monument, right down to the last detail, as local as possible.