Industrial-Grade Custom Pultrusion Flooring Systems
Pultrusion is the process of continuously drawing raw materials through a curing die to create composite products with constant cross-sections. These materials include reinforced textiles, liquidized polymeric mixtures, and additional shielding agents, which are combined and compacted by a performer prior to shaping and curing through a heated steel die. The result: a rigid, high-performance composite shape that corresponds to the geometry of the die.
There are numerous raw materials available for pultrusion manufacturing and the geometry of the steel die can be adjusted as required, representing significant opportunities for customization. Custom pultrusions are composite shapes that have exploited these opportunities to overcome unique industry and market challenges.
What are Industrial-Grade Pultrusions?
Industrial-grade custom pultrusions are structural systems that boast high performance in rugged working environments. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for diverse industrial conditions. High-strength industrial-grade fibers may be used to impart enhanced tensile strength to the custom pultrusion, guaranteeing initial structural stability and performance, yet this alone cannot guarantee ongoing structural performance over an extended service period. Corrosion from process off-gases or vapors, weathering conditions in outdoor facilities, even water tracked in by pedestrian traffic could cause gradual degradation of the composite system, resulting in a loss of functionality. This poses safety risks to plant personnel and will incur additional costs for maintenance and potential replacement of the custom pultrusion.
Yet, as mentioned, there are myriad opportunities to tailor custom pultrusions to distinct operating conditions. Corrosion resistivity can be enhanced by adjusting the impregnating resin mixture. Resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light can be improved with the addition of a surfacing veil. Novel mechanical functionalities can be imparted by altering the shape of the pultrusion die and combining multiple near-net parts into a unique, customer-specified system.
Industrial flooring systems and grating, for example, must contend with various abrasive and corrosive factors. It may also need to be lightweight and easily machined to limit installation costs for overhead walkways and bridge systems. Compounding all that; grating must also be safe for personnel to walk over daily. This intersection of mandatory properties can be extremely challenging for structural steel, which is almost 80% heavier than fiberglass grating and will gradually succumb to oxidizing and weathering factors.
DURAGRATE® molded grating is a single-piece rectangular mesh comprised of industrial-grade fiberglass with an advanced impregnating resin matrix. It provides outstanding performance in load-bearing applications and is finished with a non-slip surface to guarantee the safety of personnel throughout the material’s long service life.
However, mesh grating is often unsuitable for walkways and overpasses, for both structural and aesthetic reasons. In such instances, a solid plate may be used in place of grating products. SAFPLATE® is a unique custom pultusion product from Strongwell that is available as a standalone solution, or as a composite product bonded to an underlying fiberglass grating. This guarantees the utmost structural security with absolute sure-footing due to the gritted surface finish, which is available in fine, medium, and coarse variants.
Custom Pultrusions from Strongwell
Customer choice is central to the industrial solutions that we offer at Strongwell. Each of these high-strength flooring and grating systems is available for custom requirements, with various plate and panel thicknesses upon request. If you would like to learn more about the custom pultrusions available from Strongwell, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.