BASF's melamine resin specialty foam, Basotect® has been employed in the Beijing swimming stadium to make the interiors flame-retardant while providing environmentally friendly acoustic insulation. Apart from these two primary functions, the specially developed ceiling structure made of large Basotect panels at the National Aquatics Center also blend in with the architectural design and meet the environmental requirements while being load-bearing, flame-retardant and able to withstand high levels of humidity. The panels were processed by Entech, Shanghai. The National Aquatics Center, which has been dubbed the "Water Cube" because of its shape, can seat 17,000 spectators. The first competitions to take place in the stadium were the swimming competitions of the Olympic Games in 2008.
The company says that due to its open-cell and fine foam structure of the melamine resin foam, the sound-absorption values in the medium and high frequency ranges are particularly good. Moreover, the lightweight material is easy to process. The installation is made of Basotect panels of different sizes, some of which span more than two meters. Securing these panels over such a distance called for their reinforcement with tubes. This resulted in a novel construction that is sufficiently stiff and can expand in response to temperature fluctuations. The entire installation, BASF says, was tested for its load-bearing capacity, sound protection and fire safety in a series of examinations.