Fiberglass Catwalks: Lighten Loads Safely & Securely
Industrial catwalks and platforms are part of the bedrock of safe and efficient operations in factories, warehouses, hangars, and many other large-scale working environments. They enable easy access to critical areas of operation, often providing elevated pathways to reduce the volume of foot traffic on factory floors.
Traditional engineering materials like steel are widely used to fabricate industrial platforms and walkways. However, in recent years, fiberglass catwalks have emerged as an attractive alternative with a wide range of beneficial performance characteristics, from ease-of-installation to reduced ongoing maintenance costs.
At Strongwell, we design and manufacture modular fiberglass catwalks and industrial platforms based on a suite of tried-and-true products. Leveraging our unique expertise in pultrusion, we can generate custom catwalk solutions comprising tailor-made grating, safety handrails, stairs with anti-slip treads, and various features that will elevate the performance of your catwalk system.
Fiberglass is renowned as one of the greatest modern composites from a strength-to-weight perspective, outperforming various traditional materials – including structural steel. We have extensively compared the load-bearing characteristics of pultruded fiberglass versus steel and found that structural elements comprised of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) significantly exceed steel when the ratio of strength-to-weight is considered.
Weight savings of up to 75% can be made for comparable strength, with superior load-bearing properties in the lengthwise direction. This makes it the ideal material for industrial catwalks which are subject to near-constant stress from foot traffic. It is also beneficial from a structural point of view, as the lightweight nature of fiberglass catwalks decreases the strain upon architectural elements such as struts, structural profiles, and roof supports.
The high strength of pultruded fiberglass products also translates to exceptional toughness, particularly when viewed through the lens of their inherent low-corrosivity. Unlike steel, fiberglass is impervious to water ingress and oxidation, which means it will never rust, even in the most challenging working conditions. Bolts and fixtures are safe from corrosion over the full length of the catwalk’s lifespan, ensuring that each modular component holds its own with little-to-no maintenance over years of heavy use.
At Strongwell, we engineer all our fiberglass catwalk systems with safety at the forefront of our minds, whether we are integrating high-performance resins for enhanced flame-retardancy or including abrasive grit stair treads for anti-slip measures. This is guaranteed under our commitment to OSHA compliance for the utmost health and safety standards in working environments.
We are familiar with a wide range of regulatory standards and will happily design custom solutions that meet stringent compliant standards. If you would like to discuss a potential fiberglass catwalk system for your application, simply contact a member of the Strongwell team today.