Fiberglass Ladders from Strongwell
Industrial ladders and ladder cage systems are integral to everyday operations in a wide range of industrial facilities, providing access to multi-level walkways, maintenance platforms, process equipment, and more. The fixings and individual components of ladder systems have been engineered from aluminum and steel for decades. However, since the 1950s, fiberglass ladders have represented a comprehensive improvement on metal alternatives.
This blog post will explore the engineering behind fiberglass ladder systems, and why they are significantly outperforming metal alternatives in all industrial spaces.
Mechanics of Fiberglass Ladders
In a fiberglass ladder system, the side rails, rungs, and fixtures are engineered from a pultruded fiberglass textile reinforced with a polymeric resin. Strongwell SAFRAILTM fiberglass ladders, for example, are engineered from a premium grade polyester resin system with additional inhibitors to improve flame retardancy and ultraviolet (UV) resistance. Rungs are treated to produce a non-skid surface, while the cage hoops and straps are manufactured from the same materials through an open molded hand lay-up method.
These individual components are inherently lightweight yet are imbued with exceptional strength. The resulting products are stronger than structural steel on a pound-for-pound basis and 30% lighter than aluminum. In addition to the poor electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance of fiberglass ladders, their exceptional strength to weight ratio is a major reason why fiberglass ladders have rapidly replaced alloy systems in industrial applications. They provide significantly higher structural stability without commensurately increasing the strain due to the added weight.
This enables more complex ladder systems to be integrated into facilities without significant architectural implications. Our SAFRAILTM fiberglass ladder systems can be installed with a base or wall mounts, and a range of accessories to improve personnel safety and ease-of-access to platforms. We can design tailor-made ladder systems with extendable side rails at the top to improve safety precautions when installing a walkthrough is not an option. Our cage configurations can also be altered to suit particular exit methods for complex platforms and processing equipment.
Chemical Benefits of Fiberglass Ladders
The mechanical benefits of fiberglass ladders are succeeded by their exceptional corrosion resistant behavior. At Strongwell, we include a proprietary wet-out process during pultrusion, which guarantees total reinforcement saturation to eliminate the risk of rungs and rails succumbing to common corrosive elements. Our fiberglass ladders are impervious to many of the elements that would rapidly degrade the structural integrity of steel or aluminum alternatives, even when subjected to total immersion for extended periods.
Fiberglass Ladder Systems from Strongwell
Strongwell is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fiberglass solutions for industrial applications. Our SAFRAILTM systems are supplied in a range of styles, with vinyl ester resin versions available for additional corrosion resistance.