Case Study: Fiberglass Grating and Handrail Take the Shock Out of Electricity

0813-Intalco Maintenance Plartforms140,000 amps of DC electricity flow through transformers that power the aluminum manufacturing process at Intalco Aluminum in Ferndale, Washington. The Maintenance and Engineering Department at Intalco turned to non-conductive fiberglass grating, handrails, and structural supports for safe, strong and maintenance-free platforms around the transformers. Safety was a primary concern for the company and the platforms had to be designed to prevent any possibility of being grounded when working on them.

At times, the entire platform must be disassembled to perform a full tune-up on the equipment. Fiberglass platforms weigh approximately 80% less than steel; therefore it was much easier to move around for this routine tune-up.

Product: Cantilevered Platform
Process: Pultrusion, Fiberglass Fabrication

  • DURADEK® fiberglass reinforced vinyl ester grating
  • SAFRAIL™ fiberglass reinforced vinyl ester handrail
  • EXTREN® Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester
Sizes: DURADEK® T-5000 1-1/2" grating (currently DURAGRID®)
EXTREN® structural shapes:

  • 8" x 2-3/16" x 3/8" Channel
  • 2" x 1/4" Square tube
For: text
Fabricator: text

The project was fabricated by EDCO in Bellingham, Washington. EXTREN® Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester with fire retardant was chosen for this job. The cantilevered platform used 2" square tube for its supports. The stairs were fabricated from 8" x 2-3/16" x 3/8" channel with 1-1/2" T-bar fiberglass grating and stair treads. SAFRAIL™ fiberglass handrail system was used on the stairs and around the walkways.

The high quality resins and surfacing veils used in pultruding the safety yellow SAFRAIL™ handrail and square tube supports are expected to weather the aggressive climate in the state of Washington without loosing their attractive appearance.

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