Case Study: Fiberglass Panels Provide Durable, Safe Walking Surface for the Visually Impaired

1002-NewYorkTransitPlatformSurfaceThe New York Transit Authority was seeking a lightweight walking surface for subway patrons that would be slip resistant throughout the entire platform and would indicate to the visually impaired when they were nearing the edge. The answer came from fiberglass.

The 3/8" thick fiberglass panels were designed by Strongwell Chatfield Location and provide a durable, lightweight walking surface that is low maintenance and strong enough to support high volumes of pedestrian traffic on the subway platform. Also, a durable, anti-skid surface covers the panels to provide patrons with a clean, safe walking surface. A 10" wide, orange strip extends the length of the platform about 18" from the edge. The strip is impregnated with a coarser, larger grit surface than the rest of the platform. The coarse grit appeals to the sense of touch and this helps communicate to the visually impaired when they are nearing the platform’s edge.

Product: Fiberglass Panels for Visually Impaired
Process: Pultrusion
Materials: SAFPLATE®, EXTREN® Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester plate, fire retardant, grit surface
Standard sieve-size grit applied to entire surface except 10" wide strip painted orange where larger sieve-size grit is applied
Sizes: 3/8" Plate; various lengths and widths
Weight: 8 lbs./ft.
For: J. T. Ryerson & Son, New Jersey
User: New York Transit System

The panel itself is a fiberglass reinforced polyester gray flat sheet with a fire retardant and has a durable grit surface that is permanently bonded by a baked epoxy finish. The durability of the anti-skid surface is of primary importance to the Transit Authority because of the high pedestrian traffic volume and exposure to the elements. The New York Transit worked with Strongwell-Chatfield Location engineers to select the desired grit particle sizes and thoroughly tested the durability of the anti-skid surface.

Ease of installation was one of the primary features for the customer. In actual use the panels have performed very well. They show no signs of wear and are low in maintenance.

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