3 Considerations for Selecting Commercial FRP Decking Panels

5 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Commercial deck panels are valuable in numerous applications, depending on the exact nature of the operation. Generally, you can install these features to support industrial cabling and equipment such as HVAC outdoor units. This type of decking product can also be used to create bridge decks, cooling tower roofs and general walkways. You can choose between steel, aluminium and fibre-reinforced plastic decking panels for your building.

All these materials have numerous advantages, but FRP provides the best properties of the other two. In simple terms, the plastic is strong and resilient like steel and can resist corrosion and water damage like aluminium. Moreover, FRP does not cause electromagnetic interference like these metals. If you decide to purchase FRP decking panels for your commercial premises, consider these critical factors to ensure that the best product is obtained.

Load Bearing Capacity

All FRP decking panels are strong, but the products are not built homogeneously. Therefore, the resilience, and as a result, the load-supporting capacity, of specific panels can vary significantly. This difference can be attributed to factors like the quality of manufacturing materials and the fabrication processes. You should check the maximum weight rating that is recommended by the panel manufacturer before purchase. Compare this with the potential pressure that will be exerted on the surface after installation. For example, can the decking unit support a commercial air conditioning unit from the roof and withstand a person's weight during maintenance? In addition, consider the cost factors because stronger FRP will increase your purchase expenses.

General Slip Resistance

If the decking will be used to support foot traffic, it is critical for you to consider slip resistance. This will protect you from lawsuits and general liabilities presented by falls and subsequent injuries. There are FRP decking panels in the market with grit surfaces. These are ideal for creating optimal friction even when the surface is wet. Unfortunately, the grit can cause abrasion on items that are placed on top, so consider this aspect. There are alternatives with concave surfaces; the curve will provide good support when walking without abrasion. If the decking will not be exposed to foot traffic, you can choose the smooth and flat alternative.

Panel Design

Finally, consider the design of the panel structure and ensure that it matches your functions and aesthetic preferences. You can purchase FRP panels that are in the form of completely solid panels, or they can have punched slots for ventilation and visual interest. In addition, think about acquiring grate-like alternatives if drainage of water is potential issue.