------------------------------------ November 5, 2015
Truth about Thermoplastic Railing
your safety is concerned, as well as your pocketbook, the astute person does not
skimp on research. This is true with guardrail. There are many misconceptions
that prevail concerning "Plastic Railing". Many, without sufficient
knowledge of the available materials, have branded plastic as unsuitable for a
commercial grade guardrail system. This is a leftover misconception from the
early years of the technology we simply refer to as "plastics".
Admittedly, the first generations of plastics left much to be desired however
the promise was there. Today, plastics have overcome the issues that some still
blindly accept as reality. The truth is that plastics can satisfy almost any
list of performance criteria. Plastics is a catch-all term as there are many
types or formula. Plastic compounds are simply "recipes" where
different ingredients are combined to make up a "plastic" for a
specific end use. The key is to choose a thermoplastic "recipe"
formulated specifically for the use and conditions it will be subject to in its
final application. Too, technology exists that can combine two different
plastics, a co-extrusion, or three, a tri-extrusion, in order to adopt the
desirable attributes of multiple plastic types. For example, you can attain
strength from one and outdoor weatherability from another. This is important.
There is a common misconception that inevitability unsightly and extensive
fading will occur when plastic is left exposed to the sun or in colder climates
plastic will become brittle and crack. Technology has long since rendered that
conception mute. It would be equal to saying that airplanes can only take you on
short flights. While that was once true, we all know that today's aviation
technology can take you to the moon and back. Thermoplastic's are being used in
every conceivable climate and have proven superior in many applications verses
any other more traditional railing materials such as woods and metals.
it is determined which plastic or combination of plastics, offer the best
qualities for a railing system, equal concern must be given to the mechanical
fabrication of the system. More succinctly, how is the railing put together? The
decision maker should study design details to insure proper mechanical
connections and the quality of any internal non plastic parts, i.e., nuts, bolts
and screws. Obviously the most weather resistant and strong railing system will
not perform if its internal parts rust or otherwise deteriorate and compromise
the structural integrity of the entire system. Other considerations:
the system fabricated under control conditions in a factory or is there
reliance on an installer to "assemble" the system in the field?
the system chosen meet applicable building codes?
the system been properly and independently tested by an approved facility?
maintenance of the system is required?
the strength demonstrated in a controlled test be maintained over time once
addition to the above, important items to consider to insure you are getting the
railing system which will meet and exceed the conditions your railing will be
subjected to over years of use are:
It is made from a proven Thermoplastic specifically for outdoor use?
b) How is the Thermoplastic parts joined together?
c) Are all parts mechanically and securely connected?
d) Has allowance been engineered into the system for expansion and
e) Any railing system is only as good as its weakest point so are the
installation techniques and materials, which are independent of the rail, as
weather resistant and strong as the railing system itself.
hotels, entertainment parks, sports arenas, universities, municipalities, public
transportation areas where railing is needed, and others have learned that
properly designed thermoplastic rail is an exceptional value. Thermoplastic when
used as a component in an overall engineered guardrail system can offer the best
value when considering both acquisition costs and ongoing maintenance.
lifestyle demands products that reduce or eliminate maintenance rather than add
to it. Confirm that you are specifying and getting current technology, not
yesteryears. A knowledge of plastics and the mechanical methods of joining
railing components can put you in the position to make an educated decision
should you need to purchase or approve a railing system.
see our Thermoplastic Products click
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