Location: Freeport, Texas

Electrical Substation

Humid coastal areas like the Texas gulf coast call for building materials that stand up to the elements. And safety is critical around electricity. Bedford’s fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) products provided the perfect solution for this project, delivering high corrosion resistance and low conductivity.

Challenge

The customer needed to construct a connected system of elevated platforms for electrical generators to provide power for a nearby chemical facility. They also wanted to use a building material that offered corrosion resistance, low conductivity and safety.

Traditional materials like steel or aluminum weren’t ideal for this project for several reasons. The jobsite is located in a flood zone just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s subjected to corrosive salt air, the hot Texas sun, and the potential for hurricanes and flooding. In addition, any metal used around electricity requires proper grounding, which would add time and labor to the installation.

Materials like steel also require heavy equipment to move it into place, along with welders and special tooling for cutting and assembly — another factor that can add time and cost to a project.

Solution

 

The customer chose FRP for the project based on its unique properties and benefits. FRP is corrosion resistant. It does not require grounding. And it offers excellent strength with light weight, making it cost-effective to transport and install. The PROGrid® molded grating used in this project also has a gritted non-slip surface that’s designed for safety on stairs, platforms and walkways.

Once FRP was selected, Bedford worked with its Houston distributor, DEFI Structural Fiberglass, to design kits for 15 stair towers with FRP stair treads, handrails and molded grating.

DEFI Structural Fiberglass fabricated the kits in its Lafayette, Louisiana, facility and shipped them to the jobsite ready to assemble. All the contractor had to do was put them together. Aside from unloading the truck, no heavy equipment was required; components were all put in place and hand-assembled using standard tools — no cutting or painting required.